Awhile ago I mentioned that ‘Master J’ had joined Air Force cadets. what I hadn’t mentioned is how it all came about. I find it quite an interesting story…I’d love to hear of your *boy* stories if you’d like to share.
About one year ago, DH and I spoke together about trying to encourage ‘Master J’ to find an interest to pursue – something other than the computer! He was in no hurry to find any interests. Hmmm, we could see he needed a little incentive.
So we truthfully told him that if he could not find an activity to try we would find one for him. This didn’t really bother him, at first, until he realised what we were getting at. we didn’t put too many rules on the activity except I wanted something that was:
1) Physical. I believe it is important for boys (boys entering puberty and growing to be young men) to exercise, build strong muscles and bones, learn to adjust to their growing strength and become comfortable in their developing bodies. It also helps to burn off all that extra energy that comes with being a hormone laden boy.
2) I wanted something that required a little bit of daily practice- whether or not it be physical or mental but he needed to have something to do each day.
All the other wonderful things that I wanted him to learn can happen through many activities so I don’t even bother to list them but I would have been very happy if his chosen activity was not a sport. I think, particularly for boys, a sport can be a very good thing but it can also have some negatives, especially if not dealt with vigilantly. Sport can create an appetite that isn’t conducive to a happy family life later on…it can be very time consuming, a bottomless money pit and can even see a man being away from his wife for extended periods of time so while I thoroughly believe that sport, especially team sport, can be a good thing, it also has many points that need to be carefully weighed and measured.
We gave him 3 months in which to find an activity, and find out all the information needed to join or else we would sign him up to an activity of our choosing- one which he may not like but would be most convenient for us. There was a ballet studio just down the road and ballet would also fulfil my two requirements. (Convenience is not a factor for us usually. If a child desires to do something and pursues it diligently then we will do whatever is necessary to facilitate and support them but if they’re just being slackers then we give them likewise support yet try to be a living example in our own lives).
Well, we have never seen a child run so fast to the Internet and research, research, research! He spent a few hours looking for things to do!!! Anything…to avoid ballet.
However, as is quite typical with our family, we weren’t able to follow through with our plans as within 2 days we had been told that we were moving interstate again! Okay, so that whole plan went down the drain. ‘Master J’ smirked in delight, thinking he had escaped and could quietly sneak back to his favourite position on the computer.
After moving and staying in apartments for a few months, we finally learned what area we’d be staying in and guess what…yup, there was a ballet school not too far away! So, the deal was back on. Postponed a little but back on, nevertheless! Suffice to say that ‘Master J’ quickly found an activity.
He has joined the Air Force Cadets. I think he takes after his father as he seems to have the attitude and makings of an excellent soldier. He is very diligent in all matters relating to cadets. It has even motivated him to be more diligent with his lessons!! Hey, that’s gotta be a good thing eh?
Through cadets I have been able to teach him how to iron his uniforms, which he completely does all by himself now- from washing, drying and ironing, even mending, which his father had to do teach him. He polishes his boots weekly and he practises his drill daily. He even drills ‘Master C’ , who just soaks it all up.
Oh, did I mention table manners and general manners? He’s always been fairly good with manners but he has been a stickler for excellent manners lately- he’s even corrected me at the meal table! Apparently I was passing the salt around the table the wrong way. 😉 (One should pass always to the right, y’know?)
He has done his recruit course and had his first bivouac ( weekend out bush) and loved it! However more than him having fun, I have seen him grow and develop as a male. It’s great! He’s growing in responsibility, manners, work ethic, and all those other character traits that we want to see in our children. He is learning the value of team work – that the world is bigger than him and that the way to achieve is to give of oneself, etc. He’s learning the all important lesson of consequences…and of reaping and sowing.
Ah, I am one happy mama. How about you? Have you found it beneficial or necessary to get boys involved in something phyiscal? What did you do? I’d love to hear of your positive and/or negative stories of life with your boys.