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a question for guys (not about design)

Ok so i have a kid, he's one and a half now, a bit more. He's a delicate little soul, very timid and shy around strangers. Recently he's discovered bugs, and while they fascinate him, his natural instinct seems to be to go 'STOMP!' when he's done looking. I tend to prevent the stomp and tell him we should let the bug go on with his little life and not hurt him. But recently my mom has been at me about how boys are different (she's never raised one, she only has me and she grew up with 2 sisters) and they need to be allowed to express that instinctive aggression or they grow up repressed and stuff.


so did you guys feel the compulsion to hurt things when you were little? Do you let your kids do it? I realize i'm about to get a very interesting gamut of answers but i have no idea who else to ask.

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macdoodle
macdoodle profile pic Alumni
2 designs submitted - Score now!

Now that I'm an adult I have such respect for all living creatures. I even catch and release flies in my house. My motto is that they are citizens of this planet and deserve to live their life. When I was a kid however, I would make a game of killing bugs (firecrackers, magnifying glass, pouring salt on slugs, etc). I wouldn't be too concerned about it if I were you. He sounds like a normal boy to me. If you start finding boxes of cat heads in his room later in life, then you may have to seek out help. ;)

[+duracell-]

My little guy (almost 10 months) gently picks up watermelon pieces with his two fingers, turns it over and studies it for a second.. then squeezes it hard until it shoots off and lands somewhere on the kitchen floor.

I dont know. I think boys need a chance to be boys.. explore and break stuff. Myself, I remember stomping on bees. If they stung you then you learned your lesson. Or when I was a little older, throwing lightning bugs against the sidewalk and crushing them and smearing the guts and then pointing and going, "Hey look, Predator blood! :P" That doesn't mean you can't also teach them manners, morals and the proper way to do things.

Morkki
Morkki profile pic Alumni

I don't really buy into that "boys are aggressive / girls are nurturing" stuff. I guess (I don't know anything) it could be related to a child's curiosity about how things work. Life and death are complicated abstract things that won't make sense to him for a while.

Morkki
Morkki profile pic Alumni

That being said, I totally killed and tortured bugs

TheInfamousBaka
TheInfamousBaka profile pic Alumni

I was a tomboy when I was little and unfortunately committed mass murder of bugs on several occasions. I remember getting a butterfly's nest, putting it in one of those plastic aquariums and keeping it until the caterpillar's hatched. I had every intention of feeding them and keeping them alive, but them promptly forgot about them and they all died. :-(

Kids don't really know any better, though I don't see what's wrong about reminding him once in a while that they're living creatures and you should think before you stomp.

melmike
melmike profile pic Alumni

As you no doubt know, kids have no sense of empathy, so while there's nothing to worry about, I don't see there being a problem with letting him know how you feel about it. It might not stop him, but at least he'll know it's not a nice thing to do. At this age, right and wrong is purely what you tell them it is.

I don't remember ever hurting anything more than an ant or fly on purpose, but then I wasn't very aggressive. I do remember trying to burn ants when I was maybe 7, but I ended up feeling bad and stopped. My girl, probably the same age as yours is very quick to rip, tear, stomp, bash.. you name it. If she got hold of a bug, I'm positive it would not be long for this world. So I'm not sure it's a 'boy thing'.

Musarter
Musarter profile pic Alumni
1 design submitted -

Different kids are different, whether boys or girls. I think most very young kids 1-3 go through a smash all bugs phase because they don't understand empathy or that they are even killing something; they don't recognize death is something that comes to all living things including themselves. My son who is seven loves animals and gets very upset when his younger sister kills bugs. I have taught him to respect all life and he has taken a bit to the extreme; he now wants to be a nature conservationist when he grows-up.

I would say go with your instinct of what you think is wrong or right when teaching your son. He will be who he will be and hopefully you can guide him and nurture his talents/interests along the way.

EZFL
EZFL profile pic Alumni

As long as he doesn't STOMP lizards, frogs and the neighbors cat, he'll be fine and grow out of it. I guess you can be glad that he's not trying to eat them.

I had a huge collection of dead bugs with I was 4 or 5.

melmike
melmike profile pic Alumni

Oh shit, I forgot. My friend's mum once paid a bunch of ys $5 each to collect snails from her garden. We ended up with nearly a bucket's full, and with nothing else to do, painted different colours on their shells on some and put them on the road. If your snail lasted longest, you won. In the end we got bored and just dumped the whole lot out there. It was snailocide.

We were 10 I think, 3 boys and 1 girl, and were all fully into it. Not my finest moment.

FoodStampDavis
FoodStampDavis profile pic Alumni

We have a 4 year-old boy. Personally, I'm of the opinion that he's going to have plenty of aggression of life than nobody can control - so I see no need to further nurture any aggressive tendency. "Boys will be boys," sure, but there's nothing sissified or un-boy about teaching him to be measured, gentle, and compassionate.

As it is, we have a little boy that loves to watch his Batman and Ninja Turtles and run around making lazer sounds and punch noises, but also when we find a bug in the house he asks that we just let it go outside.

On the other hand, when I was a little boy I used to feed frogs to ducks and laugh and laugh. I turned out pretty non-violent.

All said, I don't think stomping bugs is a huge deal, but I also don't think it's bad in any way if you'd rather tell him to NOT stomp bugs. Do what feels right. Don't worry about "sissifying."

I have no advice.

BeanePod
BeanePod profile pic Alumni
6 designs submitted - Score now!

I have 2 girls (one 7 and one 18mths) and one son who is 3yrs old. He is a totally, TOTALLY different animal. He couldn't be anymore different from our girls. He will destroy anything if left to his own devices. Sandra and Aiden on the other hand are far easier to contain and play games and such.

I feel like sometimes Colby is like living with a suicidal drunk monkey. You never really know what he's going to jump off of next or what he's going to get stuck in a hole.....any hole.....any place.

They're all pretty good about leaving living things alone at least....so we're doing something right I guess.

FoodStampDavis
FoodStampDavis profile pic Alumni

The other day Ollie dressed himself as Batman (a common occurrence around here.) Later, I walked by the open bathroom door and he was standing there - in cape and cowl and gloves - taking a pee. He looked at me and grinned and said "This is my Super Power Bat-Toilet!"

Kids are so stupid.

celandinestern
celandinestern profile pic Alumni

Lol thanks so much guys :)

yeah i also think it's normal for all kids, especially so tiny. I think i also had an ant squishing phase, followed by an excessively dedicated ant rescuing phase (there was a pool, they'd fall in, i spent hours fishing them out.

so i'm not worrying about him doing it, just trying to decide on my stance. I think telling him he shouldn't hurt things won't repress his nature too much :)

celandinestern
celandinestern profile pic Alumni
[+duracell-] said:

Or when I was a little older, throwing lightning bugs against the sidewalk and crushing them and smearing the guts and then pointing and going, "Hey look, Predator blood! :P"

LOL :D

[Morkki] said:

I don't really buy into that "boys are aggressive / girls are nurturing" stuff. I guess (I don't know anything) it could be related to a child's curiosity about how things work.

Yeah I think it's just down to character. I loved guns and bows and arrows as a kid. I had one barbie doll and pretty much never played with her. Babezilla is a very gentle soul and I'm not at all afraid he'll turn out violent - quite to the contrary, I'm scared he'll be too timid and won't be able to defend himself in social situations.

[TheInfamousBaka] said:

I had every intention of feeding them and keeping them alive, but them promptly forgot about them and they all died. :-(

Awwz. but that's just attention span, not cruelty. I stepped on a frog once by accident and I didn't dare look whether I killed it or not and it haunted me for months afterwards.

[BeanePod] said:

I feel like sometimes Colby is like living with a suicidal drunk monkey. You never really know what he's going to jump off of next or what he's going to get stuck in a hole.....any hole.....any place.

LOL I know those kids :))))) Babezilla is not like that at all, but we have a few friends who are like that. It's like the tasmanian devil mated with Doctor Octopus :)

[foodstampdavis] said:

He looked at me and grinned and said "This is my Super Power Bat-Toilet!"

hahahhaahhah! I genuinely can't wait for the super power bat toilet phase. Babezilla is still too little for those sorts of crazies :)

jaywalkergraphics
jaywalkergraphics profile pic Alumni
Morkki said:

I don't really buy into that "boys are aggressive / girls are nurturing" stuff. I guess (I don't know anything) it could be related to a child's curiosity about how things work. Life and death are complicated abstract things that won't make sense to him for a while.

Badabing.

foodstampdavis said:

We have a 4 year-old boy. Personally, I'm of the opinion that he's going to have plenty of aggression of life than nobody can control - so I see no need to further nurture any aggressive tendency. "Boys will be boys," sure, but there's nothing sissified or un-boy about teaching him to be measured, gentle, and compassionate.

Badaboom.

I don't even know what "Boys will be boys," is supposed to mean, honestly. Orc mischief, if you ask me.

gebe
gebe profile pic Alumni
1 design submitted -

I'm to young to have a child and to understand this kind of stuff, but I'm pretty sure that the rules of nature are the opposite of the human society rules. Nature knows no societies, and no moral or ethical rules. A little child is made by nature for 100%! I would totally let the child does what he does: the first childhood (without consciousness) is the only way a man can be part of the nature.

celandinestern
celandinestern profile pic Alumni

Yeah I don't know what that means either. I mean, girls will be girls is equally true. I have an issue with people using that phrase to mean 'boys will be assholes and it's inevitable', because while partly it is, I think we should still try to influence it a little bit :)

But I very much agree with duracell's point about having to let kids (not just boys mind you) occasionally fall down and make messes and break stuff and just be little idiots in the name of learning and growing. I'm totally down with that :) One thing I'll never understand is all the parents who take their little kids out to the park and then don't let them do ANYTHING. 'Don't touch that! You can't play with other kids' toys!! You'll get dirty if you go in the sand! Put down that stick you'll poke your eye out!' Right, just hand him a set of crocheting needles and then you two can have great fun together. Mine comes back from the park looking like a pig. But a happy pig.

airdeh

Oops late to the party!

Hahaha I love reading all these childhood stories! When I was a kid, my cousins and I went around the neighbourhood to salt snails. Til this day, the image of them melting into a puddle of goo still stays in my mind and I'm terrified of them now. SO FULL OF GUILT. Then there was a phase where my brother and I kept fighting spiders and made them battle like pokemon whenever we felt like it, but they eventually managed to escape somehow. :( Great memories!

ANYHOOS. I'm not sure if kids at that age will fully understand what you're explaining to them about the importance of all life forms. But i think just let nature run its course while gently reminding him along the way. As long as you don't get all forceful about it, i don't think he'll grow up repressed. He'll eventually grow out of it. :)

celandinestern
celandinestern profile pic Alumni
gebe said:

I'm to young to have a child and to understand this kind of stuff, but I'm pretty sure that the rules of nature are the opposite of the human society rules. Nature knows no societies, and no moral or ethical rules. A little child is made by nature for 100%! I would totally let the child does what he does: the first childhood (without consciousness) is the only way a man can be part of the nature.

True that. The trick is to decide when to start the gentle transition from nature to society :)

celandinestern
celandinestern profile pic Alumni

hahah yeah everyone's stories are totally awesome!!! I've never salted a snail or seen it done and it sounds mega grosey!!! I think one of the reasons I never hurt bugs is that I have more of a problem with them when they're dead. A live snail is not gross to me, but a dead snail totally is.

I guess my biggest crimes were against sea creatures, because I coveted them. The number of starfish and sea urchins I dried in the sun with the hope of preserving them and carrying them home is probably in the hundreds. I did feel kinda bad but I also reeeeally wanted them.

Yeah I know he has no idea what I'm explaining, I basically just want to get across the message of 'no-stomp-bug'. If he wants to do bizarre things later on his own I'm ok with that, but I feel it's only right to say something when he's attempting it in front of me.

squintygirl

My daughter is now five, and when she was two I started explaining to her about how humans have to share the Earth with all living things, even the 'gross' things. I'm sure she doesn't remember me specifically talking with her about this but, now when she sees a bug she thinks is gross, she'll want me to get it away from her, but not to hurt it because 'we have to share the Earth'. Even if your son doesn't understand now, or at least give you a sign that he understands, it will become part of him in a way that could express itself a bit later. Just let him know now about the stuff you think is important in language he can follow, and pat yourself on the back later for a job well done, hahaha!

littlem

i haven't read all the comments, but i think i basically taught my kids about respecting life, but that certain critters can be dangerous to have around, etc.

i kind of let them learn, on their own, whilst guiding them, not being demanding and forceful. though, with animals that are pets, it's a different story all together. definitely have to enforce gentleness and nurture with pets.

growing up, i did all the natural things like squishing ants, spiders, putting salt on snails, etc. we used to gather snails from our orange trees and put them in a bucket. then we'd pour them out into the street and watch the cars go by and smoosh them. so gross and cruel! i know! yuck! i don't think my parents realized what we were doing! haaha

anyway, i think that our children will be lucky to have us guiding them between right and wrong, as long as we aren't too, too naggy. but, you know, afterall, it is our jobs to raise responsible, kind human beings. :)

squintygirl

And I was too frightened of bugs, personally, to do much other than accidentally squish them with my bike.

littlem

oh, i've had the pleasure of raising 3 boys and 1 girl. age range: 11- 26 now

Matias Corado

He is just 1 and a half. He is exploring the world and maybe finds funny stomping bugs. I think that every kid did it. It doesn't mean that he will be an agressive guy. When I was a kid I usually kick toads (currently I find toads disgusting). As an adult, I don't.

So, don't worry. It is a learning phase. Kids learns things through experience.

Manupix

Also, I don't remember worse things than painting flies bright colors in the hope they'd pass it down to their kids and all the neighborhood flies would someday be colorful. But it must have been deadly for the flies I'm afraid :S

Twiggyhall

ok, sort of related, so gonna share :)

one of my favorite comedians, Jake Johannsen, does this spiel about how little boys and girls are different and it is absolutely hilarious...he likens little boys to mini vikings, drinking the bubbles and grabbing their mom's boob and winking lol

here's a different clip from the same special...soooooo funny, even if you're like me and don't have kids...although I do have a grand total of 18 nephews & nieces and a great nephew and great niece...so yeah, been around my fair share of kids :)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z4_y3GM1BfA

hellofromthemoon
hellofromthemoon profile pic Alumni

Things like that were so confusing when I was younger! For the longest time I didn't get why some things were alive and not ok to hurt but other things weren't. Like cars, I couldn't understand that they weren't alive because cars could move, and eat gas, and sleep in a garage, and they would 'die' when they got old... I dunno, maybe I was just a weird kid.

I don't have any kids so I don't have any advice, but everyone's stories are really fun to read :)

jaywalkergraphics
jaywalkergraphics profile pic Alumni

Maybe off-topic, but I hope not? At work, we have to keep BBC News on [or some similar variant] 24-7, and I ran across an interview with Gloria Steinem. Super interesting, although a lot of people are probably familiar with her whole spiel. She mentioned some statistic [granted, it was convenient, being that she is such a women's rights advocate]:

SS: So are you saying that the priorities of the women’s movement, if I can loosely call it that, have fundamentally changed, away from the sort of nuts and bolts sort of equal-pay-for-equal-work and, and, control of fertility, to something that is perhaps less tangible?

GS: No, no, no, what I’m saying is that the root of democracy outside the home is democracy inside the home, so it’s even more important. The root of violence elsewhere is the normalization of violence in an intimate way in the home.

It was a really interesting dialogue in which she basically argued that in societies wherein males are "allowed" to dominate women by violence [or aggression], these same societies are proportionately violent outwardly [wars, etc.]. I know very little about the research, but it was a good watch.

littlem

oh, and another thing. i don't believe in the "boys will be boys" attitude. just because boys may have different hormones, personalities, natural instincts etc, doesn't mean that you should let things slide like, out-of-control tantrums and aggressions. i don't like when i see some boy totally acting like an arsehole all over another kid and the mom just laughs and says, "hehe boys will be boys."

i just want to squash her!

Manupix

Also I just squashed a mosquito.

See how bad I am?

Manupix

To be fair, he was after me.

airdeh

@Matias I know right! TOADS/FROGS ARE GROSS. so slimey urghhhghhhh. And countless times, i've been chased by them! it's crazy. Like I'm a frog magnet or something.

celandinestern said:

I guess my biggest crimes were against sea creatures, because I coveted them. The number of starfish and sea urchins I dried in the sun with the hope of preserving them and carrying them home is probably in the hundreds. I did feel kinda bad but I also reeeeally wanted them.

Ooooh so do you have a HUGE collection of old,dried and wrinkly sea creatures now? :D

airdeh
littlem said:

oh, and another thing. i don't believe in the "boys will be boys" attitude. just because boys may have different hormones, personalities, natural instincts etc, doesn't mean that you should let things slide like, out-of-control tantrums and aggressions. i don't like when i see some boy totally acting like an arsehole all over another kid and the mom just laughs and says, "hehe boys will be boys."

i just want to squash her!

SLAP THAT BIIIITCH! ;x

celandinestern
celandinestern profile pic Alumni

I dooo have a huge collection of sea creatures!!! Well, the ones we managed to clean out. I have a big glass jar in my mom's bathroom with a big starfish and a bunch of little ones and a ton of pretty seashells and four or five urchin shells, but those are mostly the ones I found already empty and cleaned up by the fish. But yeah, the starfish died at my hand. And yes, I kept them forever. Maybe they would have wanted it that way. Probably not.

Starfish don't move much so it took me a while to empathise.

Jay that is totally relevant and interesting. A friend of mine was telling me how her friends' three boys had spent the whole day playing with her baby daughter, they were totally thrilled with her until she changed her diaper, at which point one of them said in a totally disappointed voice 'Aw man, she's actually female???' They come from a Montenegrin home, and the traditional Montenegrin family is all about 'sons come first, sons are the only children that matter'. To the point where they'll tell you they have 'Two sons!!!' and not mention their three girls. And the boys obey their father without a word and they totally ignore their mom - that's what they're learning from everyone around them.

No mercy for mosquitoes. Muthafuckas can all die. Only species I'd wipe off the earth.

celandinestern
celandinestern profile pic Alumni

3 boys one girl, wooow!!!! Wish I could have that many! Don't have the guts though. One more and I'm done!! I agree with the gentle guidance approach. Babezilla is a sweet soul, all it takes with him is gentle guidance.

on comedians and kids, I adore Louis CK describing the difference between boys and girls, it's the funniest thing in the world!!! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZpW3orlfp7E

Best line - 'Boys fuck things up. Girls are fucked up.'

Hahah it's curious, Eleanor, I was really wondering how come Baby seems to instinctively know what's alive and what's not. Maybe the weirdness and strange perceptions will come later, he is only little.

jaywalkergraphics
jaywalkergraphics profile pic Alumni

Haha, I think anti-spam filter won't let us do that, anymore?

Manupix
jaywalkergraphics said:

Haha, I think anti-spam filter won't let us do that, anymore?

Do what, squash bugs?

jaywalkergraphics
jaywalkergraphics profile pic Alumni

Let me see if this works.

LOUIS CK ON KIDS
CK ON KIDS
K ON KIDS
KIDS
kids.
celandinestern
celandinestern profile pic Alumni
jaywalkergraphics said:

Let me see if this works.

LOUIS CK ON KIDS
CK ON KIDS
K ON KIDS
KIDS
kids.

whut is dat? I haz teh dumb.

celandinestern
celandinestern profile pic Alumni

Jake Johannsen is hilarious by the way, I'm listening to a full length show now and it's soooo funny.

Joe Conde
Joe Conde profile pic Alumni

He'll outgrow it, he's just curious. I used to kill bugs and those gigantic ants he we had on fruit-bearing trees when i was little. I also used to electrocute leeches and spiders on the broken wiring on my neighbor's doorbell or lights. One time it blew on my hand, so that kinda put a stop to my electrocuting things. In our country when I was growing up we would make spiders fight to the death and beetles wrestle. And you know what the prizes are from the bets?....more spiders and beetles! But I never harmed cats or dogs. Today I'd only squish a bug on instinct if it bit me or it won't let go.

If you want him to stop, maybe tell him a sad story like the baby bug would cry if you killed it's mommy :-)

jaywalkergraphics
jaywalkergraphics profile pic Alumni

Haha, jeez, I guess it was longer ago than I thought. It's a Threadthing that came from a fatheed/DICK FIRESTORM sub a few years ago. Over 200 comments—basically a home run that caught fire in mid-air and then exploded. Scroll down a bit, and you'll see the poem catch fire in the comments.

Twiggyhall
celandinestern said:

Jake Johannsen is hilarious by the way, I'm listening to a full length show now and it's soooo funny.

AWESOME!!!! :D

he is one of my absolute faves :) Got to see him live about a year ago, soooo hysterical :)

Twiggyhall

Oh and I need to watch that Louis clip after work :)

jaywalkergraphics
jaywalkergraphics profile pic Alumni
Twiggyhall said:

Oh and I need to watch that Louis clip after work :)

You need to watch ALL OF THEM.

Twiggyhall
littlem said:

growing up, i did all the natural things like squishing ants, spiders, putting salt on snails, etc. we used to gather snails from our orange trees and put them in a bucket. then we'd pour them out into the street and watch the cars go by and smoosh them. so gross and cruel! i know! yuck! i don't think my parents realized what we were doing! haaha

I can only imagine the things that you & Dom could've come up with to do with bugs, lolololol

your folks must've had their hands full with you rascals! ;)

Twiggyhall
jaywalkergraphics said:
Twiggyhall said:

Oh and I need to watch that Louis clip after work :)

You need to watch ALL OF THEM.

hahahaha YESSIR!!!

jaywalkergraphics
jaywalkergraphics profile pic Alumni
Twiggyhall said:
jaywalkergraphics said:
Twiggyhall said:

Oh and I need to watch that Louis clip after work :)

You need to watch ALL OF THEM.

hahahaha YESSIR!!!

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