The phrase “Boys Will Be Boys” always makes me cringe. When a young child is punching, biting, and slapping other kids it doesn’t excuse the behavior by saying they’re acting that way because they’re boys and they’ll grow out of it.

But how can they grow out of it if no one is teaching them how far is too far? Play fighting is fine, but punching, biting, and slapping isn’t. If another child is hurt or afraid, that is definitely not fine. If another child’s feelings are hurt, that’s also not okay.

Discipline is Good

The “Boys Will Be Boys” parents are fascinating to me. They want everything to be okay, but they don’t steer their kids in the direction to make good decisions. Being considerate of other people and their feelings has to be taught. Just because they’re boys and they may be innately more physical doesn’t mean that they can do whatever they want.

Children need direction and structure and boys especially need to know where the boundaries are.

Don’t Be That Guy

Having good manners and learning to control one’s body has to be taught. As boys get older, the focus changes from being physical all the time to using their words more. Having good manners can never be taught too early.

How many times have you been at a restaurant and been amazed by how rude the server was? Or seen a boy at your child’s school be rude to a parent?

It’s Up to the Parents

Being kind, polite, and considerate are learned traits. And they must be taught by the parents. The “Boys Will Be Boys” Excuse can on only be used for so long. Teaching boys how to be good people with self control and awareness of other people should be as important as learning to throw a baseball or make a basket.

“Boys Will Be Boys” and that’s wonderful. I love my boys with all of their energy and their interesting opinions. But it’s my job as their mom to make sure that they are the kind of boys that say please and thank you. Who don’t hit and make other kids feel bad. It’s hard work, but it’s worth it in the long run.

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Yvonne Condes DrGreene.com contributor

Read more on: Raising boys