Earlier this week, my oldest son was instructed to get dressed. This is something that he is quite capable of doing with no help from me. However, it was taking him forever. There were sounds of explosions, gun-fire, etc coming from the bedroom. I told him to stay on task. The behavior continued. Now, let it be said that he was not exactly disobeying, but he wasn’t exactly obeying. I began envisioning the rest of the day: My standing there trying to be heard over the boyish noises and giving repeated instructions.
Then it occurred to me that he had an excessive amount of energy that desperately needed to be focused before it got him in trouble. Once he got dressed, I called him to me. I told him to run down the hallway and back five times. Then I told him to do some push-ups. Then I told him to do some sit-ups. He was giggling the whole time, and it was amusing for me to watch. What’s more, he didn’t seem to have any more trouble with his bottled-up energy.
I have heard other moms say that they have to provide ways for their boys to expend energy; so I did not exactly have an epiphany. I just came to realize that my son is moving from babyhood into boyhood and that it is time for me to start making opportunities for him to be a boy. As the boys get older, I am thinking about investing in weights, pull-up bars, punching bags, etc. and building their workout times into our schedule. They will need far less correction if they are able to focus their energy.