Boys Will Be Boys?

Okay. Help me process a few things here. I grew up in hicksville with all boys, I have all boys, I'm very comfortable with boys, and I feel like I know boys pretty well. As much as a girl can - I feel like I somewhat know how little boys are wired, what they like to do, what they are naturally drawn too, etc. Don't get me wrong - I am no expert by any shape of the imagination, but not too much surprises me where little boys are concerned.

So, here is my dilemma. Well, first let me just back up for a minute and explain what I am processing here. Last night, our family - along with one of Kev's friends and his son - went to Tyler State Park to fish and play in the water for the evening. This place is a little boy's paradise - the water is not too high right now, so they could go out as far as they wanted, we caught three baby turtles, Daddy caught a sunfish on his flyrod, and we caught tons of little mini baby black tadpoles. Everything went into buckets, and the boys touched and played with things to their heart's content while we were there.

Okay. So here is where my processing begins. As we are all playing, three other little boys come down to the water and begin to splash around just like we were doing. They are all probably around ten years old - I'm not really sure; I'm quite pathetic with ages, actually - but they were quite a bit older than Kaden. We showed them the turtles and the tadpoles, and then they decided that they wanted to catch some tadpoles for themselves. Instead of catching the tadpoles, however, they began throwing massive rocks onto them and yelling: "Got you sucker!" and "Oh - that one's not dead yet! Get him! Get him!"

Let me just stop right here and say that I realize this is nothing like little boys shooting a puppy or maiming a kitten for sport. However, in my book that is just not cool and it will not be allowed in my home. I talked this over a bit with Kev on the way home, because there is that whole delicate balance and line of letting boys be boys, and where do you draw it? I don't want to be extreme - I have no problems with letting them have guns when they are older. I have no problems with them going hunting with their Daddy. But, in my book this is vastly different. We do not kill for sport. We kill for food. And from the time Kaden has understood speech, he has known that difference.

Anyway, this is a slightly rambly post, but I wanted to see if Kev felt as strongly as I did about not allowing our kids to do things like that. He said that he did agree, and although he didn't do tons of that sort of thing when he was a kid, he did share a few things that he did that he still feels bad about to this day! So, I'm sure it will probably happen at some point in my boy's lives - I'm not naive. But, I am also trying to make a very clear impression on them at a very young age that we take care of little things and treat them with respect. I don't even like Kaden catching bugs and leaving them in his bug box until they die. I'm all about catch and release!

Anyway, that's my philosophy. What do you guys think? Too extreme? Right on?

6 comments:

Pepperpot said...

We are all about catch & release here too - I'm forever saying, ok honey, he's great, let's go set him free now so he won't die. Killing little fishes is heartless and mean with no purpose. So no, not extreme at all - we want our kids to respect EVERY life, no matter how small. :)

Trish D said...

I completely agree - we were given dominion over the earth, animals, etc. but with that comes great responsibility! As the peppery mama has already stated, kids need to respect life, regardless of size

Angie said...

ummmm...well, does squishing an ugly, hairy spider in my house count? ;) just joking...i agree with catch and release and how hunting for sport is vastly different than hunting for food. i also think it reflects the heart somewhat...to kill and destroy life, just for the fun of it. very wise mama, my friend! hope you had a great week! I'll call you next week about the summer..i'm afraid our plans may be changing. :( but we'll see...love you!!! angxoxoxo

Life With My Boys..... said...

Ang - I hear ya! :0) Maybe I'm somewhat hypocritical here, but I tell Kaden that different rules apply to bugs that get into Mama's domain! If spiders are outside, they can live. If they're inside - well, often to the toilet they go! Plus, I don't want Jesse eating them. Hypocritical, much?

meaningfulalbums said...

I think that what those boys were doing was pretty mean. I am totally with you. I am all for respecting animals but also agree that it's okay to hunt for food. I also recall when I was younger, these older kids in my neighborhood were shooting pigeons with bbs. I remember it was so sad, because the pigeons were not dying but they were suffering. Ick, it gives me bad feelings just thinking about it...

Shannie in Maine said...

right on! but I am a girl...and a psych nurse...hurting animals is part of the homicidal triad :)
Once my brother found a dead owl and wanted to cut off the foot for a little souvenir...he ended up in tears...just couldn't do it. I think most boys have those urges at times, but the good ones can't follow through.