Ok, parents – go ahead and let your son tackle the neighbor kid. Let him get out that toy uzi and act like he is shooting up the world. If you don’t, he may have problems when he gets older. Yeah, that is the latest news about boys… http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/38882665/ns/health-kids_and_parenting/
They need to exert that aggressive behavior in order to learn more appropriate behavior like controlling impulses and considering the perspectives of others. Kinda like saying you need to shoot somebody in order to learn empathy.
I am so glad that when Mario tackles me or stabs me with his plastic sword that I am promoting these appropriate behaviors in him. Maybe in 25 years his live-in girlfriend will thank me when she reaps the benefits of my stiff necks and stab wounds?
The article did not surprise me and I understand where numerous of the quoted authors are coming from and preaching. However, I was taken aback by one of the quoted authors, Michael Thompson (a psychologist who wrote a book about raising boys) who asserted that “boys are innately wired for dominance and that is going to affect the kinds of stories they like and the kind of games they play.”
Not sure I agree with that assertion. Does that mean that if a boy is not aggressive and dominant that something is innately wrong with him? And does it infer that girls are innately wired for submissiveness and house work? Now, that being said, I have known a few boys who have grown up with parents who were adamant about no guns in the house, no aggressive play, no violence. Yet, those boys found someway to create a gun or a sword or a club. And all of those boys went through a phase where they were destructive and played aggressively with each other or their older female siblings (who certainly seemed to be innately wired for dominance when they pushed them down on the ground with one hand and laughed hysterically).
When I was young, I loved to show aggression with my girlfriends – we still harbor the scars on our arms from our scratching fights and they still remember with fond disdain me dragging them across my attic floor. I am now an attorney who loves a good fight so maybe “innate” dominance is not in boys or girls anymore than it is in genes you inherit from your parents and their parents and their parents. Both sets of my grandparents could get scrappy. And on the theme of “scrappy.” Ms. Maria could take most adults down. She is a scrapper and regularly “dominates” her little brother with her aggression.
It was Maria this weekend who wrapped toilet paper around her feet and taped the paper firmly so it would not fall off when she walked. She had heard that girls in China wrap their feet in paper when they go off to fight (never found out where that fact came from). It was Maria that dared me to a karate fight downstairs. It was Maria that came after me with a karate chop to the arm and the stomach and the thigh. All the while, Mario was in the corner with the play kitchen set making soup for me and Maria.