Raising a Boy to Become a Man

Some people were shocked when at two months old (he was born a month premature), I held my son only by his two hands and let him stand up on his own. Yes, his head was a bit wobbly and it took a lot of energy for him, but I let him do it.

One principle that I am going to continue to keep as I raise my son (and my possible future children – daughters as well) is to treat him older than he is, especially older than our culture think he should be.
So far this has meant letting him hold his head up on his own at two months old. There are a few other things that I think will be true in the near future:
  • I will not speak to him like he speaks, whether it’s 9 months or 16 years. I will speak to him like I speak as an adult. I think this helps them with grammar, speech, and understanding how to communicate like an adult. Of course I’ll speak with more inflection when they’re under 1 year, because that helps them understand language.
  • I will expect him to use ‘words’ as soon as he can, and get anything out of the way that is in the way of him speaking. This includes pacifiers, letting them grunt as they point for something they want (I guess I did this when I was a kid), and crying. Of course I won’t be harsh with this, but want to give them an opportunity to communicate what they really want, rather than make me guess.
Have you thought about this principle? Do you think I’m wrong or maybe idealistic? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

2 Replies to “Raising a Boy to Become a Man”

  1. Hi Jason! I totally agree with this. Our twins are 2 and we've always spoken to them like we would speak to adults. The result is two children that can speak well above average for their age and they also have a vocabulary that amazes most people. We used simple signs with them before they could speak and I really think this helped. They were able to communicate with us even before they were able to speak. When we signed to them we always used the words and the signs at the same time. When they started talking they continued to sign so even if we had trouble understanding them verbally we were able to reinforce them using their words because we knew what they were asking for by their signs. Eventually they stopped signing and just used their words. Now they are talking in paragraphs!

  2. Hey Gina! It's great to hear from you! I'm sure you have some crazy stories with twins. I've seen a lot of parents signing to their kids, and it seems to work well!

    Right now, Jocelyn is going the extra mile with our 4 month old and reading to him in English and Spanish! She just checks out some Spanish children's books from the library. Mrs. Wagner would be so proud!

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