Boys will be boys, part 2

Finally home. I feel like I have run a long distance course and have crossed the finish line. What fun we have had speaking so so many precious moms in the past 4 months, but now I am going to try to get through the next month, and then I will take a deep breath.
4 Birthdays (Nathan, Clay--his 60th! Sarah and Joy and Joel's graduation from college in Boston and Joy's here in Monument from high school--whew--that is a lot of celebrating and cooking!)
So, today, I give you the last of my boy post and hope it will encourage you. Have a grand day!
Nathan and Joel--last summer posing for a "boy" shot, on a hike and family picnic!
Today is part 2 of Boys will be boys and you can read the last bit of the post on MOB Society's great blog.
A strong loving hand (acceptance and grace)
When I could see that Nathan's larger than life personality was becoming agitated, I would pull him aside, sit him on my lap, softly tickle his back and find out what was wrong. He loved to talk and when I heard what was going on in his mind, he would obey me, just for having listened. It took more time, but I came to understand this little darling boy and he responded to my patient love.
Both of my boys, Nathan and Joel, melted when I looked at them through a grid of love and chose to respond to the boys that God had made them to be. I sought to understand both boys and to find ways to communicate love to them and acceptance of their unique personalities. Joel loved affection and back rubs and I could really teach him a lot and influence him a lot if I rubbed his back--lots of little boys respond to touch.
Nathan wanted to talk and talk and talk and when I was available to listen or to play, he always became more obedient.
When I understood that in Nathan's and Joel's hearts, that they  were not out to thwart me, and that both boys  were often in his own little worlds, and with "add" Nate was not even able to respond to my strong demands, I could be more patient--and when I was patient and consistent in my training of them, they were willing to respond to me. They really always loved their "mama" so much and had a heart to please me because they knew I was on their team.
I invested words of love, admiration, encouragement and validation of their "boyish" feats, and both of my boys seemed to melt in my hands.

A strong gentle hand (kindness and gentleness)

I noticed that when I was treated my boys in a gentle way, with respect and spoke directly to them, at eye level, and touched their little backs or shoulders, they were much more attentive.
I chose not to discipline them in front of others but took them aside and sometimes just made them sit still by themselves or with me if they chose not to control their behavior.
"A gentle answer turns away wrath," from Proverbs became the pattern for my speech to my boys. Treating them with gentleness and patience created a desire in them to become civil with me. I was firm and consistent, but honored their desire for kindness.
A strong patient hand (understanding and longsuffering)
Learning not to react to the noise of my boys, but to understand the "glory of man" and need to show off at times, made me a cheerleader for them, and gave me the right to speak into their lives.
Giving them time to mature took years of patience and practice of self-control for me. I learned to try to see into their hearts and motivations from a boy's point of view before I used harsh words and became frustrated. Even as men want to be respected, so I learned to respect them as little boys who would grow into fine, strong men, and they responded.
I learned that if I trained them before a situation, (This is the place we need to use our quiet voices. Mommy wants you to be really strong inside today, because we are taking you to a big boy place,) then they were much more likely to behave.
I always took them a little bag of their own, to help them to learn to be quiet and self-controlled. Their bags had legos, paper airplane sheets, puzzle books, colored pencils, car books, etc. and when I planned to take care of their felt needs, they learned early to behave and to control their behavior.