I have to be very intentional in my efforts to keep the masculine side of things at the forefront for him. Of course I just don't 'get him' on many occasions and I will never be able to relate to him like Dad does, but I can do my part to not let the hormonal female majority at our house overwhelm him. These are some of the things I try to do:
- Have plenty of boys over to play. The three girls rarely have guests over to play - they have each other. He has nobody! Just having another boy in the house eases many of the tensions among the little people.
- Let him choose the entertainment. He can only watch Barbie: The Island Princess so many times. We have a nice selection of boy movies, dinosaur puzzles, monster books, war games, and more.
- Don't worry about his clothes matching. I have to admit that I struggle with this one. I want all the girls in matching outfits with cute bows, so of course the boy should at least have on a shirt and shorts that match each other. I have had to learn to let it go......let him wear mesh shorts 6 out of 7 days, let him have on plaid shorts and striped shirt, wear tennis shoes with everything. I still make him look presentable for church and certain family outings, but I am getting much better about this one.
- Let him get dirty. Being the oldest, I was naturally a bit cautious with him as an infant/toddler when outside. With age, came dirt, sweat, sticks, rocks, and more sweat. He smells like a boy in no time.
- No pink or purple allowed. Strong masculine colors only - clothes, blankets, toys, bikes, plastic plates/silverware, etc. All the princess dress - up clothes are for girls only.
- Never object to Father/Son time. We call it 'guy time'. Nathan is very good about spending time with him and being intentional about building masculine traits in him. I am so thankful for that significant influence! I do my best to never discourage or detract from that time they have together even if it means planning 'boring' things for the girls and I to do so that Toads is not interested in them.
- Limit the girly activities. If at all possible, I make alternative arrangements for Toads when it's time for me to hit the mall or nail salon. This also means the little girls cannot make him play girly games all day in the playroom.