{FAMILY} Why I’ve Decided To Stop Making My Son Wear Pants

In the middle of my son’s Kindergarten year, he decided that he didn’t like pants. He didn’t just dislike them as an item of clothing – he refused to wear them.

For months I fought the daily battle, trying my best to wrangle him into pants. Some days, physically forcing him into the ankle-length garb.

And then one day, I gave up.

I waved my white flag and walked away unscathed (except for maybe a slightly-bruised ego).

I soon realized that my desire for him to wear pants wasn’t just about “dressing for the weather”, it came from my fear of being judged by other parents. I worried that they would look at his bare shins as he strolled through the rain in shorts, and determine that I was an unfit mother.

How could I let my son walk out of the house improperly dressed? 

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But I was fighting a battle that didn’t need to be fought. Sure, his legs would get cold during the cooler months, but he would learn his lesson through natural consequences, not through my incessant nagging. And why did I care so much about the opinions of others? Isn’t our goal as parents to teach our children to think for themselves and not follow the pack when it comes to the opinions of peers?

He’s an active kid – always moving, and always hot. If he feels comfortable wearing shorts all year round – so be it.

Thankfully, Peekaboo Beans offers a great variety of just-below-the-knee thick cotton bottoms, so stubborn shorts lovers can sport their favourite half-pant all year round – without freezing their buns off.

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Parenting experts say to “pick your battles” when it comes to confrontations with kids, and this one just isn’t worth the fight.

Do your kids insist on wearing shorts year-round? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Ask Mama Dina: Raising Boys (Part I)

My first child was a girl, and for almost three years I truly believed that time outs, positive reinforcement, and a set of house rules were all that I needed to maintain a well-behaved child, and a “parent that has it all figured out” status.

And then I had a boy. And while I completely disagree with the negative connotations that tend to coincide with the naming of this gender (from the old nursery rhyme that boys are “made of snips and snails and puppy dog tails”, to the comments I often hear today from parents who insist that boys are wild, destructible and out of control), I truly believe that boys are just made differently, and as a result, they learn differently as well.

Equipped with this thought, I went to an expert – my very own Mama Dina. I asked her: “Is it true that boys need to be parented differently, and if so, why and how can I do this effectively?”

She responded with these quick tips:

1) Boys tend to require more physical activity
2) When it comes to parenting, boys need less words & more showing
3) Despite what we may think, boys need to be given more slack & less rigid type parenting
4) Boys tend to show their feelings through actions as opposed to words; parents need to read their feelings through their actions
5) Boys learn most effectively when moving around (associating lessons with actions)
6) Most of all, boys need to be loved & accepted for who they are

 

She then handed me this book: Raising Boys: Why Boys Are Different – and How to Help Them Become Happy and Well-Balanced Men by Steve Biddulph. She said the book includes some great points on how boys learn and how to parent them effectively based on the knowledge that they learn differently.

I’m going to read the book and write a follow up post on my findings – stay tuned for a Part 2 post!

ABOUT MAMA DINA:

Mama Dina is a consummate mother, adoptive mother, stepmother, foster mother and grandmother. For over 30 years, she worked as an early childhood educator, and is fully trained and experienced in the Montessori educational approach. She has over 15 years of experience as a foster parent to children from all walks of life, many of whom have special needs. She provides emergency respite care for the foster care system, and acts as a ‘baby whisperer’ for preemie twins on a part-time basis. Her educational background includes training in child psychology, ECE, infant-toddler development, and various areas of special needs (ARBD, FASD, ADHD). Mama Dina’s lifelong passion has been children. She understands typical and atypical child development and behaviour, and combines her magic formula of unconditional love and consistency to enhance each child’s potential. She is also my beloved mama, and I am so blessed that she chose me to be her daughter.

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