Learning to Live with Boys (w Katy Rank Lev)

Katy Rank Lev has 3 feral sons. (Her words, not ours!)

And up until her first son was born nine years ago, Katy had zero experience living with boys. She recently sent us this message :

 I just had to write in and tell you all how meaningful your podcast is for me. I have all sisters and 12 female cousins…I never spent time w boys until I had 3! Your podcast is both validating and practical for me.

Today, my oldest son asked if he could dismantle the dresser he broke before we hauled it out to the trash. I paused. And then said yes. All of my sons spent several peaceful hours dismantling the broken dresser, categorizing the metal bits they pulled out, splintering the paperboard into evenly sized stakes to hunt vampires. It was the most imaginative and wonderful morning we’ve had in weeks. Thank you for teaching me it’s ok to say yes to that!!

As a “boy mom,” Katy is not alone. It’s so hard for moms of boys to figure out what’s OK. We desperately want to raise boys who become decent, respectful men, but we aren’t exactly sure if allowing fart jokes at the table will hinder that process. We want our boys to be active, strong and creative, but when they want to take apart furniture or wrestle at the playground, we’re not sure if our job is to encourage them or rein them in. And through it all, we feel the weight of other parents’ expectations.

Learning to live with (and parent) boys is a skill. As Katy discovered, the more you know about boys, the better you can meet their needs — and the more peaceful and joyful your home will be.

In this episode, Janet, Jen & Katy discuss:
  • The value of free play
  • The benefits of saying YES
  • Why you should let your kids use real tools
  • Parenting “firecracker boys”
  • How letting go of your expectations can create a happier home
  • The stupid comments people make when they see an all-boy family
  • Dealing with judgments from moms of girls
  • The importance of connecting with other parents of boys
  • Learning to listen to your instincts
Links we mentioned (or should have) in Episode 156:

katyranklev.com — Katy’s website (includes lots of links to her articles!)

Comments From Strangers Upon Seeing My 3 Sons Out in Public This Week: An Annotated List — Katy’s Brain,Child article

Step Lively: When Baby’s Cries Are Cries for Help — Katy’s article about discovering her oldest son has autism

Episode 102: Disappointments and Helping Boys Deal with Them — all about Sam getting his 4-wheel license

Savage Park – BuildingBoys blog post about a free-range playground in Japan

11 Tips for Surviving — & Thriving — With Boys in the HouseParade article by Jen

4 Ways to Make Your House Movement-Friendly — article by Jen