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Wednesday, December 1, 2010

When Little Boys Are Quiet

"Admit it. When the girl's are quiet, all's sweetness and light. When the boys are quiet, someone better check on them."
~Hal and Melanie Young

So true. I know when my son is quiet I better drop everything and check on him. He’s either doing something dangerous or something destructive.

It may be that way for some girls, too, but boys tend to be more secretive in their exploration of new things and their ultimate destruction.

I wonder why that is. I wonder why boys are so secretive. I'm not totally convinced it's because they are purposely trying to conceal their actions, especially when they are toddlers. I think it's more of a fact that they get so engrossed in their play, they block out the rest of the world. At least until they get past the toddler stage. Then their secretness takes on a whole other purpose.

How can I teach my son to enjoy and explore his surroundings, but not learn to hide things from me? I understand as time passes he may pull away from me more and keep secrets from me, but how do I keep that to a minimum? How do I teach him to come to me when it’s something really important?

Right now, his concealment is limited to coloring on a wall with a crayon or playing with an ink pen he managed to reach off of the counter. But later this might gradually turn into playing with matches, bullying another child or being bullied. It may then later be succumbing to peer pressure and smoking and trying drugs.

It’s innocent and cute now, but how do I gently teach him to come to me? I may start by teaching him that God sees and knows all that he does. He knows the secrets my son keeps in his heart. But I must temper that with teaching him that even though God knows all that he is thinking and doing, God will also welcome him into His confidence. I must teach my son that God encourages us all to come to Him with our secrets, our worries, our concerns and our problems and know that our secrets are safe with Him.

Maybe if I teach my son that even if he can’t come to me, he can always go to God. Then in doing so, he may also learn that he can come to me as well. God may very well tell him to go to his mother (or father) for the help and security he seeks.

I have learned that when you have trouble trusting anyone, trusting in God first helps us learn to eventually trust others again. This is what I must first teach my son, to trust God first, then to learn to trust his parents as well.

I must be the parent he seeks. One he can trust, one he can turn to when he needs me. So for now in the present I will be there to encourage him when he does right. Reward him for telling me the truth and gently, but firmly correct him when he conceals his errors. I must always, always be there for him. Just like God is always, always there for His children.

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