Something happened recently that really upset me.
As I was conversing with my two boys, ages 6 and 9, about Halloween costumes, my 9 year-old informed me he no longer wanted to be a character for Halloween. He said Halloween was about being scary or spooky.
I get a lot of enjoyment out of looking at previous pictures of my sweet boys dressed as Buzz Lightyear, Superman, Batman, Storm troopers, Han Solo, etc. How can my sweet little boy no longer want to be a character for Halloween?
Well, like it or not, my little boy is growing up.
I have tried hard to make him stay little, but I am quickly losing the battle. I think this change happens somewhere between 8, 9, and 10. Your little boy begins to become his own person and is literally growing up right in front of your eyes. Especially his shoe size!
Since he’s my oldest, I am doing some on-the-job training on how to parent a growing boy and these 9 things are the ones I am learning quickly.
9 Things I’m Learning About Parenting a 9 Year-Old Boy
- He is no longer a little boy, but not yet a teen: We are entering that in-between stage. He’s not old enough to do stuff independently, but he no longer wants to be treated like a baby. I’m having to figure out how to increase his independence while also making sure he’s not exposed to things too soon.
- Clothing Choice: A) Less is More: Remember that toddler that loved to run around in his diaper?? Well, they turn into young boys who love hanging out in their boxers. B) When I can get him to wear clothes, he has an opinion on what he wears. I know moms of girls have been dealing with this for years, but boy moms can put them in whatever, usually without much fuss. Well, the day has come where he has an opinion. First, no more character shirts for this little guy. He wants his outfit to be all one color…as simple as possible. Blue shirt, blue shorts, and if possible blue shoes. Good luck future wife!
- Privacy: I’ve seen this change in a few ways. First, he no longer can just get dressed in the living room or use the bathroom with the door open. He refuses to go into the women’s bathroom at stores. I am always searching for the nearest family restroom. He also tells me not to put photos of him on Facebook and Instagram. “Mom, don’t Instagram this,” is a common phrase from him. He is old enough to have a say in what I put out there of him and he doesn’t like me to put him on social media without asking first. As his mom, I am learning boundaries and how to balance respect for his privacy while also knowing what is going on with him.
- No More Bribing: Parenting is about bargaining some days. If you do this, then you can do this. He no longer participates in this parenting ritual. He is at an age where you just have to say, go do it. It is strange when they make this change into actual people who do what they are told without a meltdown, but it happened! Halleluiah!!!! I am creating an actual, real-life responsible person. He makes his bed, takes a shower, and helps his siblings just because I’ve asked!
- No More Dollar Store Excitement: I used to be able to give him a dollar and walk into a dollar store for a reward and he loved whatever he picked out. Those days are gone. The only things he wants to buy are pricey. Really pricey. Like… start an allowance and save your own money pricey.
- Sports are Changing: There was a time that playing sports was more about the snack afterwards than whether or not he won or lost. Those days are gone and I physically dread a loss. He is upset and lets a loss or bad game really get to him. I have to learn how to parent through this and teach life lessons.
- Legos are More Than a Toy: Legos are truly a way of life in this house. The amount of enjoyment and play he gets from Legos is crazy. We have thousands of Legos and he can tell you where the Lego yellow helmet with two black stripes is and go find it in one of the fifteen bins of Legos that we own.
- No More Walking on Water: Mom and Dad no longer know everything or are the best of everything. He recently told my husband that his football coach could outrun him. This was a little shocking because I can remember a time that my husband could do no wrong in his eyes and was basically perfect. He actually questions if I know where I am going all the time. Of course I know where I am going. I’ve driven you around for years without you worrying about that.
- He Still Needs Mom: At the end of the day, when he is sick, sad, tired, lonely, frustrated, embarrassed, etc, I am still the one he looks to for support and guidance. He still needs my hugs, my reassuring words and love every day. Hopefully, that will never change.