Seriously, my thought process on how little boys behaved was way off. Like WAY off. Which has really made me wonder and draw some conclusions. I am not a boy, but I hang out with boys more than girls and always have and I grew up with brothers so I have a little insight.
Raising boys is competitive. Just as or maybe more competitive than raising girls. I really haven’t come up with a great term for it, but trust me, I will. Just give it a little time. The terms I have tossed around in my brain and with my husband are really not very nice at all, then again, neither is the behavior of these boys.
So, I am wondering if the same thing I think about mean girl culture starting with mean girl mom cult applies to boy culture as well. I am really starting to believe it does. If you are easily offended, please stop reading. Actually, you should not be reading my blog if you are easily offended anyways.
Now, if we have different types of mean moms and mean girls it would make sense that we have the same thing in the dad and son side of the coin. This has been harder for me to nail down since I am not a guy and I don’t live it everyday. I am seeing this as a mom, wife, and sister.
I have come up with four types of negative dad and son relationship after some careful thought. I know that this is not all dad and son relationships, nor is it the only part of any dad and son relationship. I am simply talking about how the relationship relates to competition. I am also very aware that not all dads fit into one of these categories and that moms can absolutely fit into them as well. I know more than my fair share of moms that fit right into them very well. So, again, if you are going to be offended, sorry about your luck.
Dad type 1. “Dude, when I was in high school….” We all know him, he was a super stellar athlete. So now he pushes his little dude into sports and expects him to be the same as he was. He brags about him constantly. By constantly building him up and having his son build himself up, what is he teaching him? On the playground other kiddos hear how great Junior is. Maybe they hear how less than stellar they are. What is really happening here? What happens when Junior loses for the first time or doesn’t live up to the hype or decides he doesn’t like whatever sport he is in? I don’t have an answer for that. I do know from years of coaching that burnout will happen if parents push kids (any kid) too hard. So Junior thinks he is better than everyone and is mean to those who he deems less than him at sports. HMMMM….wait, I did meet those type of guys when I was in high school. I wasn’t a fan.
Dad type 2. “Super smarty pants dad…not so athletic, but my son will be at all costs.” This one is sneakier. He is better at blending into the shadows and acting like he is all about sportsmanship and being a team player. He actually tries to teach his kids to be nice and good sports through his words. His actions on the other hand do the opposite. We all know actions speak louder than words. This dad does things to put his son in a position to one up other kids. The concepts of sportsmanship and team are really lost on him. He is in for himself and his child only. Which in turn creates a little boy that believes that it is alright to do anything to get ahead. Including being nasty to others.
Dad type 3. “Intense then, intense now.” This dad is just too much. Too much for everyone. He expects damn near perfection from his little guy. Think about that for just a second. Kids are kids and they mess up. It is part of life. When kids encounter the push for perfection, bad things happen. This particular type is not limited to sports. It crosses over into academics as well. Problems abound here. What happens when Junior fails? Failure is part of life and part of the learning process. By not allowing for that learning process to occur, this dad is essentially setting everyone up for failure and disappointment.
I am out of dad types. This is the outcome of these. Failure, burnout, distancing of relationships, and so many other possibilities.