Monday, 9 February 2009

Softer Side

I wrote about my son’s adaptability to traditionally more feminine pursuits last week.

Very much a ‘when in Rome’ situation, allowing himself to get lost in a very different world to his usual.

But why shouldn’t a boy play with dolls as opposed to storm troopers, and vice versa?

If there are any child physiologists reading this, do not actually answer that.

I was intrigued, and warmed, by the comments left on that post, and found the general consensus amongst those leaving their two penneth was that this sort of behaviour is to be heralded rather than resisted.

Which is where my opinion actually lies.

Quite the opposite has actually been one of my concerns. I have worried that my son is a bit too boisterous, and as he is not the smallest – 90+ percentile for his age – that someone may come a cropper for one of his ‘friendly’ blows.

We have always messed about, as in, play fought.

I am still the daily wrestling champ, for now.

Lightsabers have taken many forms, and been put into action until destruction, sometimes by being struck upon another person, repeatedly.

And there is my concern.

We are a bit lively together, and up to this point I have allowed my boy to strike me with all the might he can muster.

I have only copped for a minimal number of blows that have actually hurt, and they have generally been because I was not looking the right way, or I have been double-teamed.

My instruction has always been not to do this with anyone else, or certainly not with someone any smaller than me.

This means the grandparents, particularly the granddads have been on the receiving end.

My sister gets grappled quite a lot, as does his other Uncle and a couple of our close friends.

My best friend has always been impressed with how Max changes his savagery dependant upon recipient.

I mean he gets treated like me, and enjoys it, as his two daughters are not quite as robust as my little treasure is.

But he says that he is always very gentle when he plays with the girls.

Which is all pleasing, but I have never really seen the two very different behaviours demonstrated in close proximity to one another.

That toddler adrenaline burst is a tormenting thing, on several levels.

I was concerned that if he went too far, then it was almost inevitable that someone would get hurt.

Yet, when we were out at the soft play centre, with the girls - and the dolls.

Max was in the ‘little kid’ part with the two girls and my best mate.

He was building blocks, knocking them down on my pal, and generally giving him a bit of a bash around.

And while he included the girls in his game, he drastically changed the velocity and ferociousness of his swings whenever they were around.

The first time I had witnessed such impeccable dual conduct, and long may it continue.

He even apologised profusely tonight for the right hook I took to the mush pre-wrestle.

I’ll make a gent of him yet. Share/Save/Bookmark


The Dotterel said...

Subtle skills, and yet kids are often so much better at them then adults, Ironic, isn't it?

T said...

Aw! That's so sweet! Such a little gentleman!

Kids are MUCH more observant than we give them due credit for.

Kori said...

OWen is almost three and he wrestles and punches his brothers; they are teaching him all sorts of awesome (to them, I might add)kicks and hold and moves, and he tackles them with glee. On the other hand, he has only struck me once in anger, and with little force, and at the daycare? He adores and coddles the babies and plays with the other girls his age as gently as possible. It can be done and you are clearly doing it; so is he. Warms my heart.

Bee and Rose said...

And that is why the future ladies of the world will thank you from the bottom of their hearts for your superb guidance of your little gentleman...I don't believe it an accident that "gentle" and "man" come together to form what we know to be the cream of the crop of the male side of our species...the gentleman...character, strength and kindness all rolled into one:) Sounds like your little guy has this in spades!

Zoeyjane said...

If I can please send you my child, it would be appreciated if you'd teach her the gentle aspect. She even beats up the dolls.

Kat said...

He sounds like such a lovely little boy. He is very lucky to have such a playful dad who will let him do a bit of roughhousing but has also taught him when to tone it down. Kudos.

Tawny said...

As has been said above, kudos to you for teaching him well :)

Liz@Violet Posy said...

Bless him, kids love to play fight! Lily is obsessed with jumping and fighting Mummy and Daddy whenever given half a chance. She knows not to do it with anyone else, it's amazing how quickly they get house to behave with others.

I read a really good article about how 'rough-housing' is good for kids it's part of play and learning so carry on as you are :) Have fun!

christina said...

I never understood why it was so much more acceptable for a girl to play with cars and not for a boy to play with dolls. I think that kids of both genders benefit from playing with an array of toys, they learn new skills from the things that represent real things in their daily lives. (I am delurking btw). I have enjoyed reading your blog all the way across from the land from across the pond.)

Mama Nabi said...

Well, you better make a gent out him. One of these years, we'll be making a visit to your good island (my best friend from boarding school is a Brit and now resides there) and I'd expect no less from Max if we pop by.

This is a really sweet post. There's nothing sweeter than a child who shows empathy for others around him.

Penelope said...

My son was always in far more dnager from his younger sister, than the other way around. Having said that, they didn't really ever do much damage.
It looks like your little man is growing up fast huh? :o)

Tismee2 said...

I don't mind a bit of rough and tumble as long as it's not near the new TV!

However I have banned both mine from watching WWF etc as they got really into it and started using household objects and such.

One day he'll be the champ though!

Single Parent Dad said...

The Dotterel - Sure is.

T - I agree.

Kori - Nice to hear of the same traits in Owen.

Bee and Rose - I hope so.

Zoeyjane - Smacking dolls about is OK, unless it's the Pussy Cat variety, that *might* be frowned upon.

Kat - Thank you. And he does do a very good, good.

Tawny - I am not going to bask in credit, for fear of it biting me in the backside at some point.

Violet Posy - Thanks for that.

Christina - Stereotypes are rubbish. Thanks for delurking and for your nice comments.

Mama Nabi - Is that a threat or a promise?

Penelope - Sure is. Way too fast.

Tismee - I think, like you, lids may have to be applied to certain things.

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