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is this typical older boy stuff?

898 Views 6 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  supervee
We've had a few experiences in the last week with older boys and I'm curious if this is typical. I'll preface by saying I know boys have more of a high-energy level than girls and like to bounce around more. DS is quite a wiggle-worm, so I can appreciate that part of boyness. (And love it!)

TIA for any insight.

So #1: We babysat a friend's 7 year old. He's well-mannered and sweet to DS. We took out the hose to fill up a little play area with water and he got so worked up about the water that he takes the hose and squirts me soaking wet & wouldn't stop. It was really scary b/c he's kind of a big kid & didn't appear to have what I consider a normal "restraint"; I wasn't going to pick him up and take him inside, kwim? It was more like he was attacking me than playing. I finally talked him down & thank goodness it was time to take him home.

#2: We visit a 10 y.o. boy cousin. When we left, he starts begging & pleading for DS to spend the night and won't stop for like 10 minutes (again, no restraint switch!). I just kept saying calmly that I wasn't comfortable, that DS was too young, that it didn't have anything to do with him so he wouldn't get his feelings hurt. He is crying but then flips me off as we are driving away (yeah, we're not going back), and after we leave, he apparently threw a giant destructive temper tantrum for not getting his way. (He's 10!) They told us he does this often.

#3: We go to a summer church program where some kids are listening to a story & playing a quiet game. The boys (probably around 3rd-5th grade) are piling up on each other, pulling each other's hair, stuff I'd expect from elementary school boys forced to sit still for something kind of boring. But then the agitation level gets so high that they end up breaking up the teacher's game, to pieces!

Is this typical boy stuff? I can't find another common thread besides "being a boy", positive discipline vs. corporal punishment or any other parenting style or family situation. Please tell me that your boys are more... I don't know, mature, is that the word? Restrained? Is that too much to expect? Am I living in a dream world thinking that I am teaching DS responsibility and social skills at an early age & will avoid this?
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Gosh I hope its not normal, but that being said.....
My almost 5 year old gets a weird "attitude" at times, when we tell him NO for one thing or another, and he'll get almost MEAN.....
For example: If we say NO he can't watch a cartoon, he'll get a funny look, then try stand on either my foot or my husbands foot, and the intent is clearly to HURT.
I've no idea how to change this behaviour, we've told him its not the thing to do, and we've sent him to his bedroom more than once.

(as a side note, most of his bad behaviour was picked up when he was in daycare - I took him out in February this year when I lost my job)
I believe it is totally typical "Boy Behavior" Anytime you get boys in a group, they get roudy... And,
I have an 11 year old brother, and i swear i have to treat him like my 3 1/2 year old son. Everything is a fight between them, he acts JUST like a toddler!! Boys are often much, much more immature than girls of the same age.
Well I have only boys, so I can't say if it's a boy vs. girl thing or just a child that age thing, but most of it sounds within the range of normal.

#1: The hose incident, well that sounds completely normal. My boys go crazy with the hose - they love it. Maybe hosing you down was a game he normally plays with his mom and they have fun with it and he didn't understand you didn't like it.

#2: My oldest is 6 1/2 and he can have tantrums just like he did when he was two. Kicking and screaming angry. However he does not destroy the house and would not be allowed to. The 10 yr olds behavior sounds more like a parenting issue than a "normal boy thing" IMHO.

#3: Boys getting rowdy and wrestling sounds normal to me, but being allowed to get so out of hand that they break a teacher's game. . .where were the parents or adults who were supervising the activity? I allow my boys to wrestle with each other when they're in the mood, but I wouldn't allow them to behave that way where it was disruptive to others. Again this sounds more like a parenting issue than a "normal boy thing."
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Ive got an 8 yr old boy and yes he does get rowdy and likes to wrestle, but he's also sweet and kind. If I told him (or his friends) to cut it out for example the hose story they best be stopping! That would make me feel vulnerable and weird- its one thing for them to spray each other but not me, especially if i was clear about stopping. I was an only child so this whole fighting and rowdiness thing has been an adjustment for me- I am pretty ok with it by now but sometimes it can be overwhelming.
Yes he does throw tantrums sometimes but certainly not long, drawn out ones. He might be sad or angry but not long-term like that. It does sound like a behaviorial problem to me.
And number 3- I agree with dotcommama breaking the game is way out of line! My children have more respect than that.
Really my son is more rowdy in general than my daughter and of course is not perfect but I would be having a good conversation with him if he had any of these behaviors. Boys dont need to be out of control and disrespectful! I do make sure my kids have plenty of outside play time and positive physical activity like bike riding. It just makes it easier on all of us.
anyway Im rambling now.
hugs to you all and your boys
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So #1: any child can get carried away.

#2: If he whined and cried like this and he was a girl would you be upset? As for the other behavior he is allowed to do it so he does it. I know girls this way. I think this is a parenting issue.

#3: I agree with other person this sounds more like a parenting and lack of suppervission. Those kids were bored and not directed properly. When they started they should have been redirected. Boys at this age do better with outside/physical games.

Please read "The Wonder of Boys" by Michael Gurian.

Also remember this, there is little to no studies done on boys and puberty. How hormones effect them. We give girls the excape of hormones for bad behavior, boys should get some understanding.
Thanks for your insight & experiences, mamas. I agree that in all cases it was a parenting/supervision issue, and that more direction would have helped. For instance, in the water hose case, if I'd had more experience with 7 year olds, I would probably have not turned it on in the first place.

To the question of whether a girl doing any of these things would have bothered me, yes it would have. Actually, I have a little girl cousin who acts very similarly to #2 and is allowed to, and it is annoying. I guess I was just asking in particular about boys and these things is that we ran into a lot of experiences like that in one week, and I have little experience with boys.

Growing up as a girl, boys were the loud obnoxious ones who killed frogs in mad frenzies or fought or destroyed things for no reason. I certainly don't want to think of boys like that as an adult or a parent of one! So some of this is changing my perspective, and the other part is changing my strategies for direction. And part of it is putting my own son in places where the adult in charge isn't making him sit still and shushing him unnecessarily.

It's hard to tell what's expected (like the fact that boys need more time to run around outside) or what's hormonal/physical, or what should just not be accepted from either gender. Like in my birth family, being loud inside was a definite no-no. But there were only girl kids. In this family, being loud is expected. We save quiet for the library or some workplaces. Is that a boy/girl thing? Maybe.

I'll check out "The Wonder of Boys." Thanks! I'm reading "Raising Cain" right now which is very good.

I bet the reason we give girls a walk for hormonal behavior (and I'm assuming you mean the preteen/teen cliques and moodiness?) is that girl hormonal behavior doesn't scare/threaten us as much as the physical boy hormonal behavior.
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