He aint heavy … bro

October 26, 2012

Bits and Pieces, Parenting

I’m pretty lucky that my Big Boy and my Middle Young Man have managed to spend much of their lives as great mates. As little squirts they were almost inseparable and adored each other’s company and oddly enough they rarely, if ever, fought. True story. It really did surprise me how well they got along and how little they argued or disagreed. I thought I was truly blessed and was on track to have an easy run. It is certainly possible that I jumped the gun a little.

Of late, their relationship has changed. The 27 months between them seems like a deep ravine and now it feels like I am forever building bridges. In typical boy fighting fashion there are only occasional words, an snide insult here, an argument there and the usual amount of dibber-dobbing. Physically though, the continual need to attack each other’s testicles combined with the WWW moves remind me that boy-puberty has settled in for a stay.

I’ve studied  to learn that the nut-grabbing-argy-bargy is completely normal and the urge to rough and tumble with one another is to be expected and developmentally normal. A stage. That doesn’t make it pleasant though and, aside from calling in the big guns like Dr Phil, there are some strategies that can be used to help keep the peace as much as possible thereby minimising such un-brotherly-love behaviours.

1. Encourage meaningful physical activity – organised sport is good, however just getting teen boys off their computers into the yard or park for a good old fashioned run around will help by burning some energy. I also think that this is really important if they are into those shoot-em up games that adolescents like to play.

2. Expect that some wrestle-mania-type-push-and-shove (that is normal) is inevitable however make it perfectly clear that violence is never acceptable and that consistent consequences will always be applied should someone overstep the mark and be sure to clearly define what that mark looks like so everyone’s on the same page.

3. Assist your young men by creating a private and personal place for relaxing when ‘cool off’ time and space is needed. Reinforce to them that knowing when it’s time to walk away is a valuable life skill that will serve them well when it’s practiced.

4. Promote conversation with your young men and practice the skill of discussing feelings. Often this touchy-feely language does not come naturally to boys and needs to be modelled and taught. Use questioning techniques to have them talking about their frustrations  ….. with mouths and not fists.

5. Encourage them to develop great mateships with friends outside of the family. Understand that peer-time is needed just as much as brother-time is for teens and that a balance between the two is healthy.

However it rolls at your place, I  do understand that it can seem like a war zone when brothers are being brothers so pull in the deep breaths, remember it shall pass and drink as many glasses of wine as necessary!

Are your boys frenemies too?

Playing Friday linkup with some fabulous blogs
Bree’s Flash Blog Friday and Grace’s Flog Yo’ Blog Friday where I am so damned excited about being her fifth featured flogger!

I’m also linking up this week again with a US blogger I’ve been following who just cracks me up, so
go check her out at You Know it Happens at Your House Too!



photo credit: siegertmarc via photopin cc


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11 Responses to “He aint heavy … bro”

  1. iSophie Says:

    I feel these tips will come in very handy with my growing 4 young boys. They already love to wrestle, and it already usually ends in tears. They still have to learn their limits.


    • Shari Says:

      Oh Sophie – 4 boys wow – you legend you ;)

      I do hope that they learn their limits – most things can be handled if they are within the rules :)

      Good luck! x


  2. Ai Sakura Says:

    Great tips and congrats on being thr FYBF Featured Blogger! I’ve a friend with 3 little boys now but I think she’d appreciate reading your post today! Will share it with her :)

    Ai @ Sakura Haruka


    • Shari Says:

      Thanks so much Ai! I hope this helps your friend out a bit and yes being Grace’s flogger has been a real honour! :)


  3. Me Says:

    I only have one grown up daughter so all I can say is I sympathise with you !!!!! At least they are friends most of the time !
    Have a great day !
    (PS – popped over from FYBF)


  4. Rachel @ The Kids Are All Right Says:

    Some great tips here – tho with just girls I don’t need to put them into action! Have shared them on Facebook though for all my lucky readers who have these species at home :)


  5. Beck Says:

    I can so relate to this post, as a mother of four boys aged between 12 and 19 I find that even though they are all quite close, they Definately have their moments to. Even though it is only natural that they butt heads occaisionally, it can be very exhausting to deal with. You make some fantastic points for dealing with brothers “wild moments” and I thank you very much. Enjoy your glass of wine(s) you will be having a few I assure you xx


  6. Grace Says:

    I really have no idea how my twinlets will be as they get older – will they be close? Will they be at each other’s throats? As much as I love the idea of them being each other’s best friends, I hope they both find their own circle of friends too.

    Congrats and well done on being such a fab FYBF Featured Flogger, Shari! :) x


  7. Bree @ Twinkle in the Eye Says:

    Nut grabbing argy bargy eh. I must give that a try…


  8. Mum of Adult Kids Says:

    Great post Shari! My boys were similar in that as youngsters they played well together (although they did have the occasional scuffle too) As they hit teenage years, and with only 18 months between them, they fought constantly (felt like that to me anyway) for about six years! I’m not sure they grabbed each other’s nut though, but I think there was a bit of nipple twisting!

    Now they are both in their 20s, they are back to being great mates. There is something so satisfying about seeing your kids hang out together because they want to, rather than they have to.


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