Sunday, September 19, 2010

Got Boys? I Have a Question for You!

For those of you with boys . . .

When your husband leaves for a few days, whether business or pleasure, do your sons join the Dark Side soon after Dad's departure and continue down it's path until his return?

This is a pattern in our home, and I'm wondering if it's just what they do, or if this is a by product of a history of neglect, no parents for years, etc.

Of course, either way the situation is unacceptable, but it would be nice to know more of the background of the problem before figuring out what to do about it.

And yes, Mr Perfect returns home this afternoon, and yes, I have a plan to get through the morning - and it doesn't even involve duct tape! :)


  1. I have two boys--one bio, one adopted. My bio son is 10 and rises to the challenge of Daddy being away. He empties the trash, he makes sure the cat is fed, he checks that the doors are locked and gives me extra hugs. My adopted son is 6 and he does not handle it well. After 18 months of being with us, could he still be afraid that his beloved Daddy won't come back? Can he sense my heightened tension because I need to be responsible for everything? Is he taking advantage of my distraction? The only thing that has helped is i-chat--they can see each other and talk to each other. My son is deaf so using the phone is difficult for him.

  2. Yes, they frequently drop their brains out of their heads and see how they can torment their mothers. Our son was notorious for getting into trouble when Dad was gone. So I think it's the lack of that parental unit in the house that makes the little dears act up. Don't have a solution for you...just a sympathetic shoulder.


  3. Sometimes my plans do involve duct tape, however I never follow through on them :) My husband leaves each and every week Sunday afternoon. Most weeks he returns on Friday evening, however once every 2 months he doesn't return for 2 weeks on a Sunday morning, just to leave again Sunday afternoon. My boys ALWAYS throw a massive day long tantrum on Mondays. I have to re-discipline them every Monday. Actually I have a post kind-of on this topic on my blog about discipline today, and now that I think about it, it happened just after my husband left.
    Basically they are testing us. I just step it up a bit with my 4 yo. I was "letting it ride" with my 2 yo, but I decided that stops today, if he walks over me now, imagine what he will do when he's 12. Anyway, HUGS to you, it will get better!
    God Bless.
    Shellie :)

  4. I only have one boy... I can't imagine handling more. (I gladly will though if given the chance.)

    Can you bribe them with the title "men of the house" while their Dad is gone or are they too old for that one?

    On another note: I still see "no-reply" for your email so I'm not sure which setting it is that has to be changed.

  5. Yes, it's normal but the good news is that they will grow out of it. They are just testing the boundaries.
    My husband has always "traveled" and when the boys were young, they'd tend to lose their minds while dad was gone. Now, they are just very protective of me and try to help me out any way they can when dad's gone. You just gotta love 'em through it. (And don't let them get away with ANYTHING) ;)

  6. I'm no help because we usually have the opposite effect - my boys often behave better for me when my husband is away. Not sure what that means, but it is what it is. Might be that I'm more right-on-top-of-things because I know I'm alone.

    But this is just a thought in response to Jessica's comment of them being "the men of the house" when Dad is away...

    On the one hand, encouraging them to rise to the challenge of more responsibility when Dad is away is a good idea, but with kids who have been in unstable environments and probably neglected calling them "the men of the house" might not be such a good strategy.

    For one reason - they may have had all too much experience at having to be the "adult" in the house when they should've been able to be kids.

    Also - setting them up as the men of the house can falsely encourage them to not respect Mom's authority.

    Oh boy... if my husband is away, the last thing I want is someone encouraging my boys to try to take his place!!

    I'm sure that's not what was meant. I'm assuming Jessica was thinking in terms of them stepping up with maturity :D

    That said, when I'm parenting alone for any length of time I do tend to be really, really structured and to let the boys know what the schedule is going to be. And we often have a special activity, like going out for one meal or doing a project together.

    But I'm thinking you're a pretty organized, structured person, so that's probably not anything new.

    Hang in there :D


  7. I have no doubt that's what Jessica meant. Julie - your thoughts are brilliant and dead on, not to mention here in the nick of time. So right. They've been there and done that and it didn't work out well. Thank you so much! All of you - have helped my sanity!


Please . . . Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. Eph 4:29