Thursday, July 25, 2013

Snicker Doodles and Good Sons

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . making Alton Brown's granola recipe (though I used pecans instead of cashews, and only cooked it 45 minutes).  It was delicious, and the smell of anything brown sugary baking in the oven is heaven.

. . . cuddling Anna while I read one of our favorite books to her.

. . . baking snicker doodles with my sweetheart.  And eating them.

And another thing . . .

. . . I recently started reading a book called The Good Son: Shaping the Moral Development of Our Boys and Young Men, which was recommended by a friend (and lots of strangers on Goodreads).  I'm reading it because I want to understand and appreciate Daniel and his new little brother better.  I relate to my daughters pretty well (duh--I'm a girl, too), but I often feel at a loss as I try to understand and effectively raise my son.  I hope this book will provide some clarity and guidance.

This afternoon I read a chapter about the neurological and hormonal contrasts between males and females, and the differences are striking.  Males brains have a larger amygdala (aggression center), testosterone makes males more competitive, they have less serotonin than females and therefore less impulse control, and when they're at rest the brain region that re-engages most readily is the "fight-or-flight" section (as opposed to the region related to emotion and expression, in the case of the female brain).

That certainly meshes with my parenting experience, since Daniel regularly crashes his tricycle into objects and people, cheerfully bumps into family members and even total strangers, and wigs out if he doesn't get the last sandwich or apple slice (i.e. even meals have a competitive component).  I hope this book will provide guidance about directing boyish tendencies in a positive direction.

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