Parenting

MPF 276: Why are Boys so Aggressive?

"It's our experience that parents who don't allow their children to play with weapons have little boys who will chew their toast into the shape of a gun"

“Hello, I wanted to ask a question in regard to violent play for a toddler. My 4 year old boy is obsessed with all types of toy swords, lasers, etc. Any suggestions on how to manage it in a way that lets him explore but also places limits on it?”  

This question came from a listener who is a mom of a normal boy!  But often this type of behavior catches parents unaware.  Our culture gives so many confusing messages to boys in the world.  Sometimes the behavior of little boys can be surprising or even shocking to moms who aren’t used to rough and tumble play.  But the beauty of boys is that they are made for this!  And playing is how they learn to make sense of the world around them, handle conflicting emotions and learn to relate in a healthy way to other boys.  In this podcast, we tackle the issue head on with some funny stories and practical advice.  We also discuss some of the psychology behind the emotional life of boys and what parents need to do to keep their boys well-adjusted and loved.  In the end we have tips for you on how to teach your boy to use his body in a way that respects himself and others.

 

Key Takeaways

  • Violent play in young boys is natural and when it comes from within their own mind (not from images introduced to them) it is not just harmless, but important to allow. 

  • Boys work out their emotions physically. The verbal and emotional parts of their brain are not hard wired as girls’ are. 

  • Getting your boys comfortable and confident in their bodies is essential for their emotional and mental health.

  • Boy’s emotions are just as present and as deep as girls are. They are just expressed differently and need to be responded to differently.

 

Couple Discussion Questions

  1. What do I find hardest about my boys?

  2. How can we respect the way they are made?

 

Resources