So I have always known that men and women parent their children differently, but as the boy get older, those differences are becoming more pronounced. When I watch my sweet boys relate to each other, I tend to teach them things like learning to talk to each other without yelling even when they are mad at each other. I teach them how to negotiate taking turns or dividing the blocks so that they both have some. You know, cooperative living skills. Important stuff, right?
This morning, my children were playing football all decked out in their Ohio State Buckeye uniforms complete with helmets as they often do. Many times this game results in tears by the three year old, because lets face it, the five year old can hit harder and anticipate his brother's moves better. And the tears are always from the younger child. This morning I noticed that they had been playing football for quite a while with not a single tear as a result. Not even a frustrated, "Aaron!!!" from the younger. Jerry called them over and said, "Show your mother what I taught you." and then told me, "Watch. I taught them how to charge each other!" What?!!? This does not sound like any of the cooperative skills I have been working on with them! But I watched, wondering if this might have something to do with the sudden lack of tears. I watched my two, precious, young boys charge full speed toward the other! What Jerry had taught Ethan to do was duck at the last minute, when they were about to crash (the part that normally brought him to tears) and take Aaron out by grabbing him around the knees! This caused them to both be able to pull the other down fairly - no more "I'm bigger than you advantage"! Although this is not something I would have thought to teach my boys, it was a great thing for them to know! Suddenly, I am seeing more clearly just how wonderful it is that we were created male and female and how much we need both.