Friday, October 2, 2009

Boys will be Boys

So...apparently I'm here to aid Spencer in this epic journey into the disheveled, inglorious minds of your everyday teen, or so I've been told. From a guys perspective, i hear....Well, sounds like an awfully dangerous mission, but I'll see what I can do :)

Why doesn’t he clean his room? Am I going to go bankrupt buying food at the rate he eats? Is it dangerous when he wrestles with his friends like that? What is he doing with all those girls?! What are his intentions? What do they do when they are alone? That age old cliché, ‘boys will be boys,’ is, if I may point out, cliché for quite a good reason. We brood, we bark, we get angry, we yell, we hoard crap we don’t need, and we do it all…why? Well, allow me to shed a little light on the subject.

No, my room is not clean. It very rarely is. I’m not sure I know a single guy who can regularly keep his room clean. Why is this?....Don’t worry, I don’t know either. It just seems easier at the end of the day to drop everything on my floor, pick out what I need, and later on, whatever I’m looking for will be right there on the floor for me. And before you ask, yes, I know first hand how quickly a habit like that can escalate to the point where you can no longer see the bedroom floor. It’s a bad habit to develop, things get lost, and – especially if food is getting left around – bad things can happen, but parents, a word of advice. No guy will appreciate being demanded to clean his room. If it’s really to the point where you, as a parent, cannot stand it, take it in steps. One day, ask him to clean on particular corner or section. A few days later, choose another. Maybe just incorporate – calmly, with no authoritarian commanding – a light room cleaning into a weekly schedule. Say, they can’t go out Saturday night until they pick up ten things. But parents, whatever you do, don’t go in and clean your son’s room unless you know he’ll be alright with it. Some guys hate it, some guys are happy to have someone else do the work for them, but nothing will piss a guy off more than having an unwelcome visitor move everything in his room. Plus, god knows what you’ll find in there. I’m sure so many of you out there know what I’m talking about. Very recently my mother covertly entered my room, cleaned it, and ended up throwing away two water bottles that had been sitting on my floor for a fairly significant amount of time and had developed a growth of mold. Yuck, yuck. Trust me, though. If a kid is anything like me he will eventually get fed up with his own mess and clean it himself. I can’t promise how long said cleanliness will last, but at least for a brief time you have the pleasure of remembering what his carpet looks like.

Attention everyone: boys eat. A lot. Some guys, even the little ones, just have that unnatural ability to make food disappear, literally. Particularly if you have a son in athletics, I’m sure you experienced the feeling of looking in the refrigerator and thinking, “Didn’t I just go shopping yesterday?” My suggestion, find one particular thing you know he always craves, and – if possible – buy in bulk. For me it’s sandwiches. A great snack for anytime, one that can be made with bread and virtually anything else…and my mom knows it. When she goes out she makes sure to buy a particularly large amount of bread. I’d advise leaning toward something that might be cheaper, for my mother has, on more than occasion, reminded me how quickly my need for groceries can wipe her out. But hey, there’s not much one can do in such a situation. Kids got to eat, don’t they?

And finally, I'm sure at some point every parent dreads it, but it’s bound to happen. Attraction. A very large part of teen life, is teen life with a significant other…or in some cases, many significant others. I’m afraid on this topic I cannot offer too much insight, as I have found throughout my years every guy is different. The best advice I can give: do the best you can to know your son, and talk to him. Basically, a guy is gunna do what a guy is gunna do, but maybe if you talk to him enough, he’ll be smart about what he’s doing. Other than that…good luck!

Who all noticed that what I have said is all pretty basic? Well, it is. These are all pretty general topics and insights - upon which i may elaborate come a later date - but why is that? I’ll tell you. When it comes to the inner workings of a guys mind, we don’t even know what we’re thinking about half the time. And I’m sure many a fellow strays off the beaten path of even the most basic of basics. Basically, no one could use insight into a guys mind more than a guy…if that makes sense.


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