February 16, 2010

How to raise a boy or “Point that thing down, son”

So my blogging pal Renee at But Why Mommy whose birthday, you may recall, we celebrated here a few months ago is about to adopt a beautiful baby boy named Lion and our mutual friend Issa (who I adore and you should too) thought it would be a great idea to throw her a virtual baby shower.  Seeing as how I’m probably the only guy that’s been invited to this party, I thought my gift should be to both Renee and her husband Scott about how raising a boy is different than raising a boy – and how it’s not.  So, happy adoption Renee and Scott! Lion will be lucky to have you.


Raising a boy in this day and age is a challenge. On one hand, you want your son to be strong and confident enough that he doesn’t get his butt kicked out on the playground on a regular basis. On the other hand, you want your son to move beyond age-old stereotypes of caveman-like proportions. This means letting your son dress up in his sister’s princess gowns and try on fingernail polish whenever he gets the urge. It also means letting him play with dolls and fire trucks and dolls with fire trucks.

Raising a boy means you will have to answer questions Lots of questions. Some of these questions you will know the answer to and some you will have to make up. This includes questions like “How fast is that race car, Daddy?” or “Why do boys have penises and girls have vaginas?” or “Why do you keep saying, Sssshhhh?!” Questions. Be ready.

Raising a boy means messier meal times and a totally different rule book than the one you started creating for your lovely daughter. Rules that made your daughter cringe in fear will be laughed at by your son.

Raising a boy means really boring outfits. Remember all those incredibly cute outfits you couldn’t help but purchase for your little girl? Yeah, those don’t exist for boys. The biggest thrills you will get shopping for your son is deciding between jeans and corduroy pants.

Raising a boy means longer potty-training battles (“Point that thing down, son. Down! I SAID DOWN!!”). It also means dodging streams of pee shooting toward your face when changing his diapers. It will happen. Let’s hope your reflexes are up to the challenge.

Raising a boy means teaching him how treat the women in his life and the responsibility that holds. It means showering him with love and affection from both dad and mom so he has balance in his life when he goes out into the world. It means teaching him to express his anger with words, not with his fists.

Finally, raising a boy isn’t all that different than raising a girl. Love him and hold him close to your heart every day of your life. In the end, that’s enough.


  1. Best advice ever. You are a gem! Btw, I would like my daughters to have a father in law like you!

    Comment by Denise — February 17, 2010 @ 8:12 am

  2. this was great. i have two boys and two girls. our oldest is an 8yo girl. then we have BBG triplets who are 2-1/2 years old. we’ve had experience w/ both, and for what it’s worth, your assessment rang true to me.

    Comment by john cave osborne — February 17, 2010 @ 9:04 am

  3. Gorgeous…and so true.
    The clothes are seriously disappointing, but the other “stuff” makes up for it in a BIIIIIIG way!

    Comment by Heather — February 17, 2010 @ 10:54 am

  4. to be honest, I’m pretty sure my darling daughter peed on us during almost every diaper change, up until she was 9mos old (yes, we tried to prevent. Always. Failed.)
    My son has peed on my 2x in his 2.5 years. One of which was on the toilet. It was aimed down-ish, but not quite down enough. lol

    Comment by thepsychobabble — February 17, 2010 @ 1:38 pm

  5. ”Point that thing down, son. Down! I SAID DOWN!!”

    The same words left my mouth not more than three hours ago… right along with “Please PAY ATTENTION to where you are AIMING!”

    And congratulations, Renee and Scott!

    Comment by Deanna — February 17, 2010 @ 7:18 pm

  6. As I said the first time my boy peed on me, “NOW it’s officially a father-son relationship!” Good advice.

    Comment by Not For Profit Dad — February 17, 2010 @ 8:31 pm

  7. Hah! why do you keep saying shhhh.

    Comment by Surfer Jay — February 18, 2010 @ 8:17 am

  8. I love this Matthew. Hey, in another year or so, I’m going to expect potty training a boy advice from you, okay?

    Comment by Issa — February 18, 2010 @ 8:49 am

  9. Believe me, ”Point that thing down, son. Down! I SAID DOWN!!” is not the only advice you’ll be giving him about that “thing”. Just wait until he turns 16!

    Comment by Aunt Raina — February 18, 2010 @ 10:17 am

  10. My little boy is only 8 months old but definitely have to agree with the lack of choice in the clothing department and the wee. I would also add try not to laugh when a stream of wee hits your darling child on the face.

    Comment by Jane — February 18, 2010 @ 12:49 pm

  11. Sons will always tell you, you look great, no matter what your wearing. They say this to get you out the door faster.

    Boys jeans come in slim, regular and husky. Jeans go well with anything.

    Later, though he may be swayed by other’s who are more fashion forward and ask for certain logos or brands on their t-shirts, shoes or shorts.

    You’ll become and expert on tuxedo fittings.

    Still, I remember going to the home of a friend who had 3 girls, the day after Christmas. The youngest proudly showed me her My Little Pony, and I remember thinking how odd it was that she would find it so appealing. My world was filled with Hot Wheels, swords, fire helmets. It opened up a whole new world for me.

    Now my horizons have opened up completely. Thank you Swee’Pea and The Bug/Crazy Girl

    Comment by Grandmother — February 18, 2010 @ 5:27 pm

  12. Sorry for all the mistakes in the previous comment.

    Comment by Grandmother — February 18, 2010 @ 5:30 pm

  13. Beautiful advice, and I especially enjoyed it since my second boy should be here about any day now. Thank you. I will def. link to this on my blog.

    Oh, and BTW if you stop by Atomic Mom within the next week or so, I’ve had a breach of security and had to password protect. (username : reader password : atomic) Not that you’re going to stop by, but just in case you do.

    Love love love this post.

    Comment by Katherine — February 18, 2010 @ 8:19 pm

  14. Ya know, I’ve heard that little boys turn into little fountains when you try to change their diapers but I haven’t found that to be true…yet.
    I’ve also heard that cheerios in the toilet are supposed to help them by giving them something to aim at. Think I might try that. …or make my husband try it with him when the time comes.

    Comment by Momma Love — March 5, 2010 @ 12:13 am

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.


Get every new post on this blog delivered to your Inbox.

Join other followers: