Y’all know the challenge of keeping boys busy. It is a sun-up to sun-down job! It must be done, this is the only way to retain a sense of sanity and peace.
Boys are men in the making….take a look around you at the good, full-grown, income producing, contributing, males in your life…. they are busy by choice! There are many ways to be busy, maybe it is mental and maybe its physical.
I have found for me, as a mom of all boys, that I must encourage them daily to stay busy! There is a lot less time for fighting and bickering and straight-up mischief! Here are three ways I use here at my house.
#1 SCHEDULED RESPONSIBILITY
I know, I know, I am one of the last people you expected that from, but stay with me a minute! I have very very simple schedules for the requirements around the house and the time slots they need to be accomplished in. This is only changed up about once a year.
By having this simple chore schedule there is no question who does what! I require these chores be finished before they are allowed extended screen-time. They are also responsible to empty their lunch bags after school (ice packs back in freezer, dirty dishes in sink, lunch cooler wiped out and stored correctly) as well as putting their own laundry away sometime during the evening.
Example: A simple schedule of the household chores they are responsible for, and who cares for what animals. Glenn does the kitchen on Tue Thur & Fri, The living-room on Mon. & Wed. and feeds the chickens morning and eve, Wyatt Does those same Jobs on the opposing days and he feeds the goats morning and eve. Reese is still in the chore learning stage but I assign him something each day (vacuum a specific area, line up shoes, shake out rugs, empty silverware) and he is responsible to feed & water the dog morning and eve.
#2 Hobbies (an activity that is enjoyed more than once)
Hobbies are very important in any child’s development and should be encouraged. I also see this as a good time for them to work together with other siblings, or this may also be a good time to encourage independent play time!
EXAMPLE: Paper air planes were a big big deal here for Wyatt & Reese for several weeks. They worked together to perfect the craft and make the “best paper airplanes in the state”! Glenn is collecting the supplies right now to make knife and flashlight cases out of Kydex. These hobbies do not require a lot of parental assistance but provide hours of busyness that is productive and skill building.
Some other Ideas: Strategy Games, Puzzles, Lego’s, Good books,
#3 PHYSICAL ACTIVITY
As I mentioned above, boys are men in the making! There are few men who don’t enjoy physical activity of some type. It might be hiking or hunting, sports, weight lifting, running or working around their property. Boys need this as well, and it is a very important developmental issue especially for boys.
EXAMPLE: Put up a hoop so they can shoot baskets, Bikes to ride, a football, a set of 5lb dumbbells, a soccer ball and a net to kick into, the ideas are endless! Right now at TDC, basketball is the activity of choice, although Reese & Wyatt are also in a running challenge, they run around the outside of the house after school and see who can put in the most laps before they give up!
Boys enjoy things like riding their bikes over ramps, maintaining their bikes, working on small engines, Rip sticking in the garage, Throwing softball or football to each other. Here at TDC they like to go and explore/hike the overgrown pasture behind our house.
I also have the boys help me with most of the physical jobs around the house such as mowing, power washing, weed-eating, washing the SUV & truck, animal care (trimming goat hooves, cleaning out the chicken house, fencing issues) trimming bushes, and even mulching & weeding the garden & flower beds.
One thing I will point out tho is, if you don’t have someone for your young man to play with, you may need to go out and catch the football or at least be a spectator/cheerleader. It is a good thing to show them that we value the activity, plus the fact that boys (and men) thrive on competition. Last Sunday the boys were all out together shooting hoops, and they called me out to tell me how far they had shot and made the basket. It doesn’t take much to let them know we value them!
And in the spirit of real life and honesty, these are our goals and they happen regularly but not absolutely always. I do find tho that we function well in this plan.
What are your favorite ways to keep your boys busy?
Go out and parent your children with confidence, this is love in its true form. You can do it!!
Dory ~ The Co-pilot of The Delightful Cottage!