by gillian claire: raising boys.

2.03.2015

raising boys.

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     i must say that having boys has been one of the biggest blessings in my life. i grew up as one of 3 girls and really had no idea what little boys were like. having the opportunity to raise two boys has opened my eyes to this secret little world that i knew nothing about and it has been so rewarding and so, so much fun. my boys are sweet and tender and loving and they are also filled with a crazy rambunctious energy that can be incredibly entertaining and of course majorly tiring as well.
     we have tried our best to raise these little boys without over-powering them with gender stereotypes. it has always been a huge aggravation to me that boys are labeled as little men and wear khaki pants and play with trucks from birth and that's that. our little boys have been raised with dolls and kitchen toys. they've worn leggings from the girl's section of target and my blog has received hits from google searches for "boys wearing nail polish". they have tea parties and have fallen in love with cute little stuffed animals babies.
    having said that, it has equally been a joy to see the gender differences that i do believe exist in my sons emerge and i love embracing those qualities as well. these boys bounce of the walls like nobody's business. they jump off the dressers and do complete flips onto the bed like they've been studying gymnastics for years. i don't ever remember a kind of high energy like that growing up with sisters. it's hard on one hand because i'm a grown up and my natural disposition is not to want to run around like a crazy person all day. but man when these boys pull it out of me, we have so much fun together. we have dance parties on the bed and i chase them around the house being "kissy monster." and gosh, that joy on their faces and their fit of erupting giggles when i (literally i do this) pile them up under couch cushions and then fall with all of my weight on top... it reminds me that i'm raising boys and i couldn't be happier.
     it's a tricky world we live in right now, sorting through stereotypes and differences and figuring out what is and isn't okay to say and think. we're evolving as a culture and as with each evolution there is good and there is bad. of course i do not believe that as a whole girls are one way and boys are another. everyone is different and unique and there are exceptions to every "rule". i also feel strongly about not wanting to completely lose sight of embracing the uniqueness of gender differences and the beauty of being able to appreciate them for what they are.
     so one one hand i'll continue to teach my boys that no matter what the other kids at school say, it's ok to have a monster high notebook and watch my little pony - but on the other hand i'll spend an evening lying on my back flinging them off my legs as far as i can and i might think to myself, "they are such boys," because they are, and it's absolutely wonderful. :)
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8 comments:

  1. i grew up in a house of mostly girls too (4:1) so having a boy of my own now has really been eye opening. like you, we have been wary of imposing any kind of gender stereotypes and try to model in our own ways how mama can be strong and how dada can be tender. essentially, how traditionally gender-specific traits are actually present in both men and women. i think it's the best thing that we can do for our children: showing them a world of possibilities not restrictions.
    p.s. i LOVE that you've received hits based on the nail polish search, to me that just proves what an awesome relationship you have with your boys. xo

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    1. Yes, I love that - showing them a world of possibilities not restrictions, perfect! Thanks for your compliment about my relationship with my boys. <3 <3

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  2. I grew up with 4 other girls, so I was frightened to have boys-so afraid I wouldn't know what to do with them! But I admit it does look fun, there is a different energy in boys than girls. Maybe a mix of the two would be just perfect... :)

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    1. It's so interesting how gender plays such a role on the dynamic of a family! I'm wondering what would change if there was a girl in the mix as well!

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  3. such incredibly beautiful photographs. the light in their bedroom is just perfect. and the way that you capture motion, spot on! i agree with everything you've written about gender, as well. it's difficult to be a parent today. all of the lines are blurred and there is so much gray -- as opposed to the rigidness of the past. in many ways, we have come so far -- but the freedom of decision isn't easy for a parent either.

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    1. Yes, sometimes I think it would have been easier to parent in a time when there were less choices - there wouldn't be as much of a heavy responsibility to believe in your convictions! Today there is so much blame to be felt as a parent. Also, I love the lighting in the boys' room as well - it's definitely the best in the house. :)

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  4. your images are always so fun and bright! I love this!

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