I have two boys (ages 7 & 2) and two girls (5 & 3).
To keep with the spirit of a boy themed post, I thought I'd tell you a bit about my boys. Our oldest is Hayden. He's very much boy! He loves to fish, wear boots, play in the mud, and pick up worms, but he's got this amazingly sweet sensitive side. He loves taking care of people, he picks me all kinds of flowers from the yard, he gets his feelings hurt easily, and he generally stays out of trouble. Austin is the baby. He's got a big personality and can be louder than all the other three kids combined. He's a bruiser and everyone knows not to pick on him. He's the best hugger and tells everyone he's "Mommys boy". And he is. They both are.
(This photo was taken about a year ago when the kids all still wrestled together)
Today I wanted to talk about one of my boys favorite things to do.... Wrestle! Because of all the violence in society, in video games, in movies, I know there are moms that have strong feelings against letting their little boys wrestle. But at our house, we wrestle. I say "we" meaning the kids wrestle their dad. Every now and then the kids will call for backup and I'll come tickle daddy so the kids can pin him down.
Here's 3 reasons why we encourage this:
1. Bonding time with their dad.
Dads are just naturally good at wrestling. I actually enjoy watching them interact like this. Most nights when my husband gets home from work, the kids first question is, "When can we wrestle?" Of course my husband does other activities with them too (fishing, washing cars, measuring/building/fixing things) but this is their favorite way to bond with their dad!
2. The boys love it.
When our youngest was about 6 months old, he understood wrestling. When the other kids were piling on daddy, he'd crawl over and slobber my husband! Boys naturally have aggression in them. They have competitiveness in them. Wrestling is a positive way for them to practice both. My boys get so much enjoyment from this time with their dad and they are usually all smiles and giggles.
3. Teaches confidence.
Our boys are bookends (meaning they were born first and last and we've got two girls in the middle). I expect my boys to look out for my girls when they go to school and as they get older. I want them to stand up for my girls (really, any girl) and I don't want them afraid of being bullied. My boys are confident. They aren't the strongest or the most athletic, but they are confident.
As with most things in our house, wrestling does have some rules and guidelines the boys (and girls) have to follow. Here's a run down of the wrestling rules we've come up with over the years:
1. No biting/scratching/pinching
2. No hits to the face or private areas
3. Girls wrestle separate from the boys (mostly because he boys are more aggressive, and the girls end up hurt).
4. Ask if you can wrestle, don't just start tackling.
5. When daddy says, "We're done", then it's time to stop.
If you allow wrestling at your house you may also end up with some great stories like this: Hayden had a very loose front tooth that he wouldn't let us pull. One evening when the boys were wrestling Hayden got a hand to the mouth and realized it knocked his front tooth out. When people would say, "Oh you lost your tooth!" Hayden would say, "Yeah my dad knocked it out!" Hayden told that to a group of strangers and they thought we practiced having him say that to be funny, but we told them no it was the truth, they were wrestling though.
So what are your thoughts on this subject?
To wrestle or not to wrestle?
I respect other moms opinions; this is just our stance on the subject :)