(The following excerpt from 3 Things We Could Learn From Little Boys by Alisa Schindler recently appeared on whattoexpect.com. To view it in its entirety click on the link below.)
I pick up my boys from school and try unsuccessfully to corral them into the car against the lure of playground swings and slides.
“Can we play for a while?” little guy asks.
“No, I’m sorry. Not today,” I say.
“Please!” middle guy begs.
“We’ve got a million things to do.” I hesitate for an eighth of a second to check the time on my cell and when I look up, they are already gone, flying through the fresh air, down slides and around each other, like birds released from their cages.
I pick up their backpacks dropped at my feet, shake my head and glance again at the time. We’re on a schedule, but it really is a beautiful day. I take a deep breath and sit my butt down.
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As I’m trying to appreciate the moment and not stress that we’ve got homework to finish, baseball and a piano lesson, and I still have to make dinner and pick up their brother from a play date, I notice something. The playground is filled with boys.
I turn toward the parking lot and see a few little girls, their pink backpacks bouncing as they dutifully follow their moms to their cars. I wonder whether they don’t want to play or if they’re just better listeners. Either way, I’ve stopped tapping my foot impatiently because I’ve just realized something — we girls could learn a thing or two from the boys.
I know. I know. Please don’t tell anyone I said that. I’m all about girl power and, of course, everyone knows girls are smarter than boys (except my boys of course). But here are three important and surprising ways those rascals sometimes have us beat.
They don’t listen. To them, apparently “no” really just means look at each other mischievously and make a run for it. While I find this frustrating on quite a few levels, I also have to appreciate their ability to break the rules. We girls are rule followers and while that’s important, the boys’ innate confidence to go for what they want despite what others’ say is a quality that will be applauded later on.
They are wild. I love watching my boys zoom around like rockets on lift off. They are joy in motion while the few girls I might see on the playground are much more likely to be huddled in a circle, giggling with their friends. Run girls! Fly! Move! Stop watching and participate. Your mind, your spirit and your body should not be so contained and controlled. Let that wild beautiful energy out. Relax and let go!
They’re assertive. In a five-minute time span, I watched a boy grab a ball from another boy’s hand and another boy dart over to the swings to get his butt in the seat only seconds before someone else reached it. These boys have energy and passion and they put it out there into the world — often inappropriately — but still they don’t hold back.
So, while there’s a laundry list of things boys could learn from girls (laundry not excluded), hard as it is to admit, sometimes it pays to act like a boy and we should encourage a little rule breaking.