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I suppose it is a given that we want our little girls to be polite, kind and respectful, but don't we want the same for our sons?
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Did they finally realize what I've been telling them all along: that they are brothers and brothers have to get along? Did they just want to make me happy and realize getting along would be the only way to accomplish this all-important task? Do they see my siblings, friends, parents and our family doing kind things for one another? Have they seen their dad and I do kind things for each other despite our divorce? Despite being a single mom, they are seeing a lot of love from a lot of sources and it makes me so grateful and proud.
My son is not a "man's man." He's soft-spoken, creative, warm, demonstrative and sensitive teen. He's not rugged or tough and he doesn't excel at sports. He is extraordinarily artistic with an amazing flare for fashion and design. He is very demonstrative, a great listener and a wonderful friend.
The true measure of a man is in his heart and his character. The character defined by his generosity of spirit, by what he makes of the lot life hands him, and by the maturity with which he faces adversity and accepts misfortune.
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Parenting is, of course, the most consuming, challenging and exhausting task that I have ever involved myself in. Some days I ask: "What were we thinking???" And on the other days, I just don't ask. Speaking of "we," I readily admit that marriage is a very close second in this listing of difficult things known to humankind.
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Blink my eyes, and you are five years old. Blink again and now you're a fine young man waiting to start the final chapter of your last three years at home. Do you know how proud we are of who you are? Proud of who you have been and proud of who you are becoming?
I was never the "good job" kind of mom. My two sons didn't get standing ovations for doing ordinary party tricks like learning to use the potty, eating broccoli or making their beds. Nope, I never subscribed to the theory that "good job" parenting would minimize their risk of becoming future psychopaths.
Talk to your son about his body. Give him the vocabulary that he needs to communicate how he feels about himself. Teach him that it's normal to think about his appearance. Teach him that being a boy doesn't take away his right to have feelings about his body. Don't assume that you can talk about your son's body any differently than you talk about your daughter's.
A marriage for many years, if it will involve children, is an extremely complex partnership and here are some nuggets that I have gleaned over the years from experiences, my therapist sister and the hundreds of self-help books that I have devoured as a frustrated shrink myself.
I sometimes wonder if I was properly prepared for having five kids, four of whom are little boys. After all, no one handed me the instructions manual that explained what makes boys tick! So, I've decided to write the Cole's Notes version, just for you! Share it if you know someone who also never received the manual!
Arab nations that succeed in overthrowing their dictators have to ensure that any future presidents, whether civilian or military, are never allowed to appoint their sons to vital positions, especially any military or police or security ones.