Coping with your boys: a guide

By December 11, 2013Notes from Alexis

Do you ever wake up in the morning and think, “Who is this alien in my kitchen who ever-so- much resembles my son, and is eating all the cereal?” You might also add maudlin thoughts like “The son who has been replaced by the alien used to be nice to me, used to talk to me, and who used to hug me and say I love you spontaneously.” These thoughts are all about how sorry we parents feel for ourselves and the loss of our formerly sweet and un-smelly boys. On these days, like today, when I literally said to my son, “I know your brain is not working right because you are 13, but SERIOUSLY…???”, you might wish for a spirit guide, a stiff drink or a shoulder to cry on. You might also want a MANUAL. Yes! A manual! Wouldn’t that be just the ticket? You could look up mysterious behaviors and understand them deeply. You could respond with compassion and good humor to your teenager’s sudden loss of brain power and verbal skills. Sometimes I think I might need medication to get through the parenting years (which never end, of course). So I am going to tell you about 2 things; homeopathy (what it can do to make your life and the life of your son easier) and a manual that they forgot to give you (and me) on the day your son was born. Read on.

There are all different types of boys of course, but it can help to see that there are also some broad categories that they fall into. More on this in the manual. As you know now, homeopathy seeks to bring about a balance from the deepest part of a person’s being. Since people in general act according to patterns that keep them safe, these deeply ingrained patterns can be hard to see in oneself, and even harder to change. Homeopathy can help free your son from some of the patterns that may rule his life. These patterns can be destructive, rigid, slovenly, controlling, or just plain annoying to live with. It can be a matter of life and death to your family to change your son’s pattern. Below you will find some broad pictures of different types of boys, and remedies that can represent that type. For this type of chronic homeopathic treatment, please seek out the help of a qualified homeopath.

Perfectionist son: He has to do everything right. Spends hours and hours on homework, way beyond the call of duty. A responsible person, perhaps a little too responsible. Is he balancing the family checkbook and getting all A’s in AP courses? Your son may need Carcinosin, a fantastic remedy that brings a little balance to young men who worry too much about everything being just right, even perfect.

Slob son: He has an aversion to bathing, especially hair washing. Seems not to notice clothes are dirty or food-encrusted. Wears the same thing every day. A bit of a boss with his friends, more the leader than the follower. Tends to theorize, meaning he has a lot of ideas about things and likes to talk about it. Pretty into himself and his ideas. But enough about me, what do you think of me? Your son may be a candidate for Sulphur, especially if he is hot, itchy, and prone to skin rashes.

(Hyper)Active son: If this is your son, you will know exactly what I mean when I say that you may have a groove worn in a path around your living room and kitchen from your son scootering, riding any vehicle, or dragging his (sometimes willing) sibling round and round the house on the same path. He is restless and jumpy. He may break things, but always by accident from jumping around so much on everything. As he gets bigger, the damage increases, of course. He may have a hard time focusing or paying close attention to things that are boring (which is everything that is not fascinating). Your son could benefit from Tarentula, a wonderful calming and centering remedy for such active types.

Timid or Anxious son: He is worried about a lot of things. Cautious. Doesn’t feel that great about himself. May be bossy with younger kids, and more deferential to older children or adults. May not like to play rough games outside, preferring to be inside with a friendly computer. This child could use some Lycopodium, especially if he is also pretty gassy, and tends to have gastro-intestinal issues.

The manual I am referring to is an incredible book that I wish everyone would run out and buy right this minute. It is called Masterminds and Wingmen by Rosalind Wiseman. [For those with only daughters in the family, I am amazed you made it this far, and your reward for that is to know that this same author has a well- received book about girls called Queen Bees and Wannabees.]

I loved this book so much, when I finished it I felt like I needed to start again immediately. Like the never-ending painting of the Golden Gate Bridge, parenting is a job with never-ending continuing education opportunities.

This book/manual will tell you everything you need to know about not asking your son a million questions when he gets in the car after school (Guilty!), understanding how boys relate to each other and the fundamental belief system that is the backbone of boy culture (Mystery!), and how they get hurt and don’t know how to share it with us (Why?!). This is only scratching the surface of how helpful this book is in understanding why your son does what he does. Having greater understanding will, I hope, allow me (and you) to have compassion for him while maintaining the boundaries of respect and independence that are essential for boys to grow and thrive. I also really need to keep my sense of humor. The brief descriptions above can fall into some of the types of boys she names in her book; such as the Conscience, the Entertainer, the Mastermind, or the Champion. Read it and find out what kind of boy you have, and how to help support and love him through this time of growth and change.