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How to Raise Two Sons

by Susan Revermann

When it comes to raising two sons, you’re going to need a good sense of humor and patience. Those two boys can be the best of friends or the worst of enemies at any given moment. However, when all is said and done, they are still brothers. There are a few strategies to help keep the household peace the best you can.

Keep in mind that boys, in general, are active and need to participate in physical activities. Give your boys plenty of space and time to run, throw balls, climb and pretend to be super heroes. Boys tend to be more aggressive than girls, so a bit of rough housing and competitive play is normal.

Remember that each son has his own personality, likes and dislikes. Don’t expect them to be the same. One may be loud and aggressive, while the other is quiet and passive. Don’t use phrases like “Why can’t you be like your brother?” That will evoke resentment and hurt a child’s feelings. They are each individuals and should be recognized as such.

Set aside time for each one individually, each day if possible. A 15-minute slot daily for each should be sufficient, although if you can spare more that’s even better. This time will allow you to bond with each son and get to know each one. This mom-and-me time will also make each child feel special and valued. Let the kids pick the activities that you do during this time.

Set general rules and guidelines for the household. Let the boys help brainstorm the household chores that need to be done, as well as rewards, incentives and consequences to go along with compliance and non-compliance. This will outline what is expected of everyone in the household.

Be the referee, when needed. Small sibling squabbles are bound to happen and sooner or later the two boys will need to figure out how to problem solve the small stuff. Bigger things, such as punching, should be addressed between all three of you. Allow both of them to calm down in separate areas before sitting them down to try to get to the bottom of the issue. Allow each child to have his own time to discuss what’s going on. Brainstorm together to find a solution and have each compromise and agree on the outcome.

Keep your sanity through humor. You will have to get used to the fart and booger jokes -- you can’t escape those. Crack your own boy-friendly jokes, as long as they are something that you all will laugh at and won’t make either child feel embarrassed or sensitive. Give them a handful of O-shaped cereal and ask if that will help with the aiming into the toilet.

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