Raising Boys: My Top Ten Tips
LIfe with boys
For the past 5 years I haven’t known anything else, as I have these two adorable, loving and challenging balls of energy. I always thought I would have four kids but now that I’m a mom, two kids feels like a 100 and having two boys life is loud, messy, and very full! So when I was thinking about this post and what I wanted to write, making life easier for us boy moms was at the top of my list. So if you’re just starting out on your boy mom journey, I hope these tips help!
My top ten tips from a mom raising boys:
Teach toilet manners early - Yep, I started with a bathroom one! Pee is to go in the toilet and it’s not an aim game. Starting early with most things that need to become a habit will make your life easier, later. Your future self will thank you!
Have a food plan - Boys can go from not hungry to ravenous in a matter of two minutes flat, so always have a food plan. When I ask if they’re hungry and I get no’s all around to only have them tell me minutes later that they need to eat like NOW, the food plan always saves me from dealing with meltdowns. So I take food with us everywhere! Running errands, I take snacks or on-the-go meals with me. Eating dinner at a family or friend’s house I take food with me, because kids are picky and picky + hungry kids are gremlins and no one wants to hang out with gremlins. When we go to after-school activities I make sure to bring a snack to hold them over for dinner. Believe me, snacks will be your saving grace and will make your life SO MUCH EASIER, so just pack them!
Simplify - When you have more than one child simplify the decision making…buy matching outfits, shoes, lunch boxes, whatever. Omgoodness does this help with time management! Making only one decision for both kids is SO MUCH EASIER. I usually do this when I’m under a time constraint like for family photo shoots or family occasions or if I’m getting decision fatigue with all the choices out there, otherwise I spend the extra time to choose items that my boys will specifically enjoy. Plus, I think matching outfits are the cutest, a total win win! OK this one isn’t really a boy thing, but it’s a good tip so it made the list.
Think durability - Invest in durable, well-made clothes. Boys are hard on their clothes. They like to sit in the dirt, play with bugs, pull flowers and leaves off bushes and wipe all of it on their clothes. Sometimes I’m shocked by how dirty a shirt can become in less than 2 hours of wearing it. Oh and while you’re at it, invest in a good stain remover.
Get them outside - I was definitely not prepared for the amount of physical energy boys have. My best advice is to get that energy out by being outdoors, gardening, setting up tents in the backyard, looking for bugs, watering the plants, biking around, anything physical. The other day I took them to a wide open field and just let them run free. Seeing them run without a care in the world and laughing until they were out of breath made my heart so happy.
6. Take time for you - With all the energy boys have and the energy that you exert taking care of their energy, you need to plan for your own personal time. And by plan I mean schedule it, like now, because it only works if you schedule it. My husband and I just started taking our own personal nights and it has been a breath of fresh air.
7. Have one-on-one time with each kid - By far this is one of the most important tips! When my boys are together their energy is amplified, but when I spend time alone with them I often get to have the deepest conversations because they feel focused and they’re not in competition with one another. It’s natural for boys to act like this when together so schedule one-on-one time and see how fast they open up and how sincere they treat you and enjoy the peace and quite!
8. Embrace likes and interests over gender norms - In our house, pink is prevalent and I love that. Pink is not just for girls, pink is for everyone and we embrace all colors. We love pink just as much as we love blue. The pink plates, cups and bowls are actually our most loved. Cultivate a home environment that positively supports whatever makes them happy because if they grow up feeling that their unique individual likes are important, accepted and celebrated they won’t be phased by society’s stereotypes.
9. Cultivate positive open emotional communication - We all have emotions and it’s healthy to express those emotions. Create an environment where they are at ease when communicating about how they feel and convey to them it’s OK to show their emotions and to cry, actually it’s healthy. Raising good communicators is by far one of the most important things a parent can do.
10. Use role playing to teach them strategies to cope with their emotions - When starting a new school show them how to introduce themselves to new friends. When someone hurts their feelings discuss how they can respond instead of react. If they don’t like what someone is doing teach them to stand up for themselves and also for others. The most important part of this tip is to tell them the strategy and then act it out by role playing. It helps them to remember if they are physically playing the part.
11. Lead by example - This is my bonus one because it goes for all parents. Your kids are watching, listening and learning it all from you. You are their best example and teacher. My best advice here is to create strategies for yourself to hit the pause button when you want to quickly react but need to respond so you can teach. Having a meditation practice and exercising plan has shown me how to create space during those hard moments so I have more patience to gracefully respond instead of reacting.
My Boys’: Target always makes my life easier when it comes to finding clothes for my boys’ and if their sizes are out of stock in the store, ordering online from them is so super easy. The links below from Target are affiliate links, I only share items I love and from brands I trust. :)
My boys t-shirts are my current favorite - they’re super soft and the material is thick; you can feel that they will last a while and the color is so vibrant which I love.
Their black shorts have a washed out look to them making them look trendy and feel like sweat pant material.
Shark boots - these rain boots are too cute and couldn’t be more perfect for my littlest guy who is currently obsessed with sharks!
The Raising Boys pale pink sweatshirt I’m wearing is from Ford and Wyatt, a store I found in my early days on Instagram. It’s a small business run by a mom of twin boys and I love her dedication and designs. She also has a Raising Girls design, too, plus several others — go check her shop out! The fit is oversize yet flattering.
My jean shorts are from Revolve. They’re called the Parker Vintage Cut Off Short in Swapmeet. They run true to size and are so comfortable, by far my favorite jean shorts.
My fringe boots are from Nordstrom. They don’t have black anymore but have several shades of brown. I’m loving the dusty brown suede. They’ve sold these boots for a while now so maybe the black will be back in stock during fall or winter season. So check back!
Are you a mom raising boys, or maybe you’re raising girls or a combo of boys and girls? What have you learned? Have any tips for us? We are all in this motherhood journey together so leave a comment or find me on Instagram at @sugarmoobloom and tell me all your tips. Either way I’m happy you found me!