To wonder what the hell happens to boys at birthday parties(241 Posts)
I've had this before. Boys that behave perfectly reasonably at all other times seem to morph into crazy creatures as soon as they enter a party.
Dd2's 6th party this afternoon. Invited a mix of boys and girls, but several of the boys couldn't come so only had 3. The boy who lives a few houses down, plays round regularly, so I know he usually behaves fine. A very small quiet mouse of a boy, renowned for being a complete sweetie. And a boy I didn't know well, but had heard was lively.
Now I expect a bit of daft and rowdy behaviour since they're excited, but honestly it was ridiculous. Literally, the second they charged through the door it turned into the scene of a crazy OTT kids film. Just hurling everything they could get their hands on at each other, jumping off stuff etc.
The girls were fine, a couple excitable, but behaved fine and joined in. But the boys? They said they wanted to play pass the parcel. So they all sat in a circle nicely, but as soon as it got to one of the boys, it just got hurled across the room. Anything involving music, just turned into fighting, not just play fighting, properly kicking each other in the head.
They went in dd's room, and they literally just pulled everything out and started smashing it against the walls, and each other. Had to bring everyone downstairs again because they were trying to smash the computer. This is a boy who plays on it perfectly nicely, when he comes round to play.
So I got the food out, and they made no attempt to eat at all, just smearing it all over each other, throwing it, pouring drinks around. I really don't like telling other people's kids off, especially at a party, but I had no choice. Spent the whole afternoon having to separate, and 'have a word', whereas my 16yo ds could manage all 8 girls no problem while I was talking to boys who seemed in a zombified crazed state.
The boy I know best, on an average day I might say 'no, we don't do that' and he'll stop, no probs. Today spent the whole of musical chairs having to hold onto him on the sofa, because if I let go, he charged into the middle of the room and knocked all the chairs over and tried to throw them. This was all before any food, so I can't blame junk.
This sort of divide has been obvious at every party I've ever done, so why do boys get SOOO hyper, while the girls just get a bit excited?
They're just more physical
They need exercise every day , a bit like dogs!
Jus have girls from now on
not if the people in charge take charge and act as an adult
<opens wine >
I don't believe you. I don't know any boys who routinely behave like this at parties, and if there was even a hint of them getting close to over excited, their parents are down on them like a ton of bricks.
Just showing off their alpha maleness to the girls
Don't invite boys next time.
I'm assuming the parents had dropped off & left?
What you describe sounds pretty bad. I have a 3yo boy and 5 nephews ranging from 4 to 13. Yes, they get excited but they know their manners in other people's homes. I might be flamed but I blame the parents! Even my slightly out of control nephew (4yo) wouldn't do this in someone else's house.
Is it worth saying anything?
As the mother of two boys myself I can only say your ridiculous generalisation is just that - a generalisation. My boys have never behaved like that at a party and most of the parties I've been to (one only a couple of weeks ago) have loads of boys who behave perfectly well. Excitable yes? But the vandalism you describe? No.
But thanks for smearing all boys with the tag of thug - it really helps in a world that largely condems them at the best of times .
if it helps Pirates my 3 girls are vile
Yes Thank you for the dauber MIL stole mine
Don't have any boys OP? Shocker.
PS, Over-dramatic much? I don't at all believe it was as you state.
It is just plain old over excitement. I am a childminder and one of the 7 year old girsl in particular gets VERY excited sometimes. But I do agree: some boys seem to become far more over excitable that some girls.
It seems to be taboo to comment on the differences between girls and boys / men and women. Boys and girls, on the whole, play differently from each other and react differently from each other. On the whole. Not always. Usually, though.
I stupidly took 6 seven year old boys for a birthday tea for my 7yr old DS. It was hell on earth. I have NO doubt that had it been 6 girls, it would have been a completely different outing!
i always thought it was spelt dobber...see you learn something new everyday
Me too OMF - I just googled the dobber and was corrected
So did I but I copied common and uses a pen
I do agree that OP's description sounds a bit OTT and I would certainly NEVER tolerate my DS behaving that way, nor would I have any hesitation in ensureing that boys (or girls) in my home conducted themselves properly.
Still, OP, on the whole : YANBU.
And I bet all the girls wore pink and all the boys had trains on their tops?
Honestly, not all boys act like that, what you have described is quite extreme. Smearing food and smashing up your dds room? I'd have called the parents or told the parents about he behaviour at the end of the party.
I have three boys and would be horrified if they had behaved like that.
Are some posters saying this doesnt happen ?
I think it's the generalisation that all boys are like that
So take your back or give it to OP
I'm saying it doesn't happen. I've never seen boys behave as the op describes. Ever. And I grew up in a house full of boys (two elder brothers only daughter) and have a six year old son whose class is 3/4 boys.
I'm just trying to play bingo
without knowing what a dauber is
I don't think this happens - I think some DC are vile, some are lovely. I think some parents are hot on discipline, some aren't. On the whole my DC get attacked by boys more often than girls - I still don't think all boys are attack dogs.
It will happen if you let them get away with it. It may be a party but you have to be tough from the start- tell them they behave or you phone the parents and send them home. Boys will wrestle for fun - girls don't, in general.
You do know I have a second diplomacy bingo card right?
<cheats and steaks kids felt tips>
amillion, I have been to a fair few parties in my time and seen some boisterous behaviour but never boys smashing up a computer and smearing food everywhere .
I'm sick to the back teeth of this total "boys are so shit girls are so fab shite". It's no bloody surprise that the conception boards have endless "sob, i'm having a boy" threads.
These boys were utterly out of control and badly behaved - my kids would simply never behave like that because they know there would be hell to pay.
Oh and gordy, !
I'll add my experience to the mix.
About 7 boys invited to my Ds 7th birthday at our house.We didnt know any better.
Luckily DH arrived early on. We locked the doors of the house.
Moved furniture/valuables/our own younger children out the way.
Everyone then had a lovely time
except for possibly 1 boy who was on the bottom of the pile more often than the others it seemed to us.
Obviously didnt repeat the experience.But did take most of them out the following year to the cinema.All perfectly well behaved.
Oh Autocorrect - I bet you are a boy, getting all overexcited like that
As a Mother of 3 boys I can honestly say this sounds like a total lack of adult supervision.
Nothing to do with what they have between their legs....
pats pirates I was the opposite. I would love a boy
DS2 got hit and knocked to the ground by a girl at a soft play place the other day. He's 2 and tiny, she was about 5.
Maybe I should have started a thread saying don't go to soft play places if there are any girls there because they are all violent thugs ?
I've been to seven 5 and 6 year old boys' birthday parties in the last year and never seen anything like this.
On the other hand, my friend's DD is the only child I don't allow to play upstairs with my DS unsupervised because the house gets absolutely trashed.
So, in conclusion ... fuck all
kayano - sorry, it's a sore point as you can probably tell. My boys are utterly adorable and I won't have idiots painting the whole of one gender as marauding yobs.
Never happened at any boys parties we've been to. And I have all boys, so that's quite a few. I'd have called the parents to come fetch any child that behaved like that at my house.
So anyhow, you sound as though it was a stressful day though. At least it will be another year before you have to face the like again.
In conclusion - some DC behave badly sometimes <shocker>
Has anyone got a line???
<Given up the bingo and in search of hard drugs>
I have 3 boys, 5 6 & 7. The last part we had, in our small house, had 7 7 yr olds, 2 x6 and 2 x 5. We went to the cinema where they behaved beautifully then back to ours for birthday tea. Admittedly they did go a bit nuts for half an hour but once they'd let off steam (and we'd confiscated a small armoury of toy swords) they settled down. I'd be appalled if my children behaved like this and would not tolerate such behaviour - smashing things and throwing food is just awful. Yes, boys in general are more lively than girls and seem to have a compulsion to run and climb etc, but then again my DSD is definitely the liveliest of my bunch and a real ring leader!
drugs?! But... But.... You are a girl!
Pirates,yes I am like you in that respect.I have not seen or heard of that sort of behaviour,and yes it looks like in the ops example, they were badly behaved and out of control.
I am not saying the boys in my example were violent or even badly behaved.
They were all actually the best of friends.We had picked them up from school,brought them back,and they then proceeded to have a whale of a time.
Most of the time
But I like to run/climb so may be part boy
Oh please, OP.
Sorry. But what a load of old shite. I have never seen what you describe. Never seen it even as a one-off, let alone repeatedly.
I know small girls who are - repeatedly - way more trouble and a handful at get-togethers than boys - but I'm not going to draw any ludicrous conclusions around that.
Tut tut Kayano, girls don't take drugs. That is for those awful yobbish boys don't you know?
Yes, my boys have bags of energy - they're utterly fab, they turn everything into an adventure and a story and a game! But, they also have manners, respect others property, share, and certainly would never vandalise someone's house .
I guess I have something to look forward to. My DS1's 4th birthday with 5 little boys was a delight, the children were so well behaved I thought they'd been sedated.
The most shocking moment was when one child ask if he could have sweets from a bowl in front of him on the table, I said sure, (lots of plates/bowls on the table containing unlimited amounts of food/treats for all) he then asked "how many?". I was shocked, and repled "2", which was a ridiculously low number for the size of these tiny sweets. He took 2 and put them on his plate, he then passed the bowl to the next child. Each boy only took two each and the bowl landed back basically full on the table! Bizarre.
And I have one of each, so say this as neither a SMOG nor a DMOB.
Sounds like a hell of a party
You are all very strange! I am the mother of 3 boys, love boys and have been a Beaver leader - I know boys! They wrestle for fun, they wrestle if bored. Girls don't - especially not at parties. I know a fair few boys who would behave like that if allowed to. Perfectly nice boys decided to throw food at one of my DS's parties and you do have to lay the law down. I can quite see that it happened and she was too nice with them.
OP I totally agree. i had a party for my 7year old ds a few months ago and the boys all behaved in this mad crazy way, even the ones who are normally good as gold. We had plenty of supervision, so some of you posters can unpurse your lips and unfold your arms. The OP is not being sexist, this is just her observation and i have had the same experience. I was shocked at the behaviour and it has put me off having a party for ds again for a very long time.
Sounds like a load of guff to me. I want to say it sounds like b*llocks but frankly b*llocks has nothing to do with it. My two beautiful, boisterous, slightly barmy and very physical boys can go a bit bananas at times, but behave like cocaine-crazed out of control rock stars? Completely lose any sense of social boundaries that I have spent years drumming into them? Throw stuff around and try to smash computers? Spoil party games by trashing the props? No. And shock they play really nicely with GIRLS. I know, can you believe it??!
Been to a few 4 yo parties and the girls are the same as the boys, some are excited some shy some quiet some loud of either sex.
I was banned from having parties aged 7 (in the '70's) because we had a massive food fight- all girls iirc.
I really must read Cordelia Fines book about gender.
exotic, I don't deny for one minute that a lot of boys are more physical than a lot of girls (exceptions on both sides of course). What I don't recognise for one minute is the utter pointless vandalism and mindless destruction mentioned in the OP. "Hurling" the pass the parcel across the room - never seen it, the boys are too busy trying to open it to see if they've won! A bit of messing about with food yes, smearing it all over the place - no.
And as for ripping everything out, smashing it against the wall and smashing the computer - that is utterly mindless. Have never seen any of my friends' boys or mine do that, none of them.
irish, I feel sad that your DS will miss out.
I ran birthday parties for 6-12 year olds for about 6 years - one every week.
I saw parties that were all girls, and parties that were all boys, and parties that were mixed.
There are differences between the genders, without doubt.
The trends I observed were that boys do indeed tend to fight and wrestle more if given an opportunity. It doesn't mean they won't do anything else though, and most do calm down really fast if dealt with quickly.
If there's a disagreement, boys tend to punch each other and then forget,
Girls tend to be much more snipey in their dealings with each other - you were far more likely to find a child sobbing quietly in a corner because 'they won't let me be on their team' at a girl's party. They also tended to nit-pick over the rules of games more, and complain more about fairness.
That said, I never expected any individual boy or girl to behave that way - these were just general trends I noticed after running 46 parties a year for 6 years!
I liked a mixture of the two - generally much the easiest!
Stereotyping? I don't think so. I think if you took a sample of 3,000 boys and 3,000 girls you would see trends developing in each group - a tendency to like dolls vs cars, for example.
It does not follow that no-one in the girls group will like cars, or whatever - it just means there's a slight swing in that direction for the group as a whole.
Babies of different genders have slightly different balances of hormones floating round their systems before they are even born, and we know hormones affect behaviour - I don't see why it's an issue to acknowledge that, as for me that is part of recognising their individual personality - acknowledging that gender is part of it. I guess the problem arises when you start to think that gender dictates the rest of their personality, rather than as being a component of it.
baby, as said above I'm not denying a difference between the genders - it's the ridiculous stereotyping of boys (even the "good" ones) as mindless hooligans that makes me so angry.
I see boys and girls play together every day within my social circle and also did so as a teacher - yes, there are definite differences, but the Girls Good, Boys Bad crap is tedious, offensive and just plain crap.
That is my experience, babybythesea, and you just make sure that they don't get the opportunity!
Oh, and I did once see the level of destruction the OP talked about, including throwing icing off the luridly coloured cake around the room we were in, covering each other, and the room, in it.
It was a mixed party though.
I was renowned for being strict but I just couldn't not get that party under control - my basic problem was that there was one of me, and apparently the three other adults (all party parents/grandparents) figured that since they were paying me, I could deal with it. And there were 26 children, and as fast as I told one off, others behind me caused more chaos. I just couldn't get round the little buggers fast enough. Only once, though, did I ever have that level of trouble.
Most times, if trouble broke out, I came down fairly heavily on the ring leaders and it got sorted fast.
I did not demonise boys. I said I have boys over to play, who play perfectly well. I take groups of boys out for the day, they behave fine.
I have a teenage ds, who frankly has been easier than either of my girls to parent, and has fantastic male friends. I often have a house full of 15/16 yo lads. A couple of them came and helped at the party.
I asked what the hell it is about PARTIES that sends then over the edge, not the boys themselves.
And I'm not surprised some don't believe my account, I'd never seen anything that bad. If my own children had done that, I would have gone mental, but you can't really do that so I was having to sit on the sofa most of the time with one on each side until they'd calmed down and assured me they could behave. Which lasted about 1.5 seconds each time. They started headbutting each other at one point!
Pirates - absolutely. That wasn't directed at anyone particularly, just an observation. I think we probably agree - as I said in my last sentence in that post, acknowledging the differences between genders is not the same thing as then trying to fit all children into one box or the other.
For what it's worth, I'd far rather deal with the boys thumping each other when they argued - you could see it, it was obvious, and there was little or none of the 'he said/she said' to go with it. The girls stuff was always harder to manage because it tended to slip under the radar right up until one child started sobbing!
I am not saying that boys are bad! I wouldn't have given up my spare time to be a Beaver leader if I thought that! There are differences however. I could find you 15 girls for a party and 15 boys and you could run it the same and it would be a totally different experience. You can't have much experience if you think they would be the same. Personally I prefer the boys but you will have to keep them busy and involved at all times!
yep, last party we had for DS1 and the boys on the whole behaved like this. Some more than others. They are lovely boys and very well behaved generally, but once their parents were gone they were hideous.
Suffice to say this year it's 3 close friends at the cinema.
Oh and my own son flipped out completely at his own party once, I had never seen him quite so crazed.
I've never seen boys behave as bad as that ever. and I've had and been to loads of boys parties.
Oh, and I used to volunteer at a cub group. Never had any problem with crowd control there.
But the 3 parties I have done involving boys have been awful. This one the worst.
DS's 8th birthday was a bit like this. No computers smashed or anything but just a bunch of normally individually nice boys acting like loons. I was videoing when a bunch if them jumped onto the table during the birthday song, and them tried to grab stuff off the icing as I was cutting. Their parents were when they saw it.
A friend of mine hosted a sleep over for a similar age group and was traumatised by it.
The difference with the cub party is that they would have a proper adult/ child ratio. If you have a party at home you need it properly planned, lots of helpers and never a spare moment- e.g make sure you have an activity as soon as the first ones have finished eating - don't expect them to wait nicely for the slow ones. You can take it a bit more easily with girls they will sit and chat in a way that boys never will and they won't wrestle on the floor.
We had this issue with the boys at DD's last party, and a couple of other parties. It confused and surprised me as I never had this issue with DS's parties, so there must be something different but I am blowed if I can work out what.
You won't have it all the time- it depends on the mix. We had one particular DS who set them off.
Many, many years ago, (ie back in the seventies) I vividly remember my mum announcing after my fifth birthday party that that was the last one with boys as they had been too boisterous. Girls only from then on in!
I was the youngest of a large family including brothers so it wasn't that she wasn't used to it either.
It's not new
I have three daughters and one son. At home my daughters gave me much more trouble with arguing etc. than my son. He was very placid and laid back. A joy to have in the house.
However, I was a Youth Worker for several years and run clubs for boys and girls from aged 8 up to age 17. (Different clubs of course). Boys were definitely wilder than girls at the clubs. Don't get me wrong, girls weren't angels either, but the boys could get outrageously out of control at times.
I do think children can act totally different with strangers than they do in front of their parents.
Just my experience!
This happened with the girls in DS' 7th birthday party. Seriously. Not smashing stuff up- I would have intervened before that point- But four little girls in a destructive mood, in party dresses, yielding chairs.
This does not mean that girls go mad in parties. This means that some groups of friends go mad in parties, and their sex is irrelevant.
I would love to give you 10 excitable boys, a small house and no help TudorJess! You could then repeat with 10 excited girls and the same conditions and it would be different. Anyone is living in cloud cuckoo land if they think it is the same! Either that or they have little experience or just very young DCs.
I am not saying it to demonise boys- I prefer them!
Having been a teacher, mother, Brownie leader, Beaver leader - and quite old- boys wrestle and girls do not.
Tudor, love the way that making observations and mentioning gender is sexist. I have never had problems with boys apart from parties.
I don't understand why the boy who comes round to play most nights after school suddenly became like this.
Tudorjess - it's the group dynamics, not the gender. A group of truly lovely girls had a food fight at one of DS's parties. The
generally nice little boys at DD's last party were a bloody nightmare - rugby tackles in the middle of games and all sorts. A lot of the girls have since had girls only parties, but I really don't want to do that - I will be recruiting large male helpers, though..
Oh, and no-one did manage to actually smash anything. Our old computer is quite sturdy and although it received a big clonk to the back with a guitar, and the keyboard was on the floor, as soon as I realised I ushered them back into the main room.
I thought they were maybe not liking the organised games, so when they asked to play with the toys I let them go in the bedroom. At other times I have groups up there, who make a mess but no more. (boys and girls)
i have four biys and have had and been to lots if parties. yes boys can be boisterous and yes they like wrestling (tho so does my dd)
my boys would not behave like that tho and had i beem hosting a party and the children were getting that out of control i would have had no qualms in saying to the children that if they didnt cut it out i WOULD call their parents to come and get them and the party would be over.
boisterous and excitable us fine. willful bad and destructive behaviour us not ok and i wouldnt put up with it from any child regardless of gender.
To say that anyone who disagrees with your opinion or has different experiences to you is "living in cloud cuckoo land" is more than a little patronizing, exoticfruits.
OP, change "making observations and mentioning gender" to "making observations and mentioning race".
How does "AIBU to wonder what the hell happens to black children at parties" sound?
By the way, I'd love it if you would consider a namechange.
pouffepants (love the name) given what you've said since your OP - cub scout helper, mother of a DS, have had parties with boys before etc - surely you are in the best position to explain this out of control behaviour, ie you understand boys and their testosterone levels when they are allowed to let go.
Is it that they felt too at home, but without parents, so let themselves go? Was there a structure to the party that they were made to understand? Oh, I don't know. I feel for you cos what you describe sounds like a nightmare, but I really don't think I would allow this to happen in my house (I'm probably being really naive here as DS is 3.8yo and DD is 5mo!)
If something peculiar happened to black children's behaviour at parties then I might query it. But to my knowledge it doesn't.
What if another Mumsnetter had had that experience though. Would it be helpful to start a thread about it? Based on her knowledge...
Larks, that's why I'm so confused. It is completely at odds with all other situations that I experience.
PuffPants fgs, making observations about gender in children is so very different to making observations about race. And wrt the similarity of your names get over yourself! Pouffepants is a better name than puffpants imo.
I guess it would. Apart from anything else it would be fascinating if we found different behaviours totally based on race.
I'm sure there must be observable differences to some children's behaviour depending on cultural upbringing. I would not be surprised if a child from another culture behaved differently at a traditional british party, because they may not have experienced it. I'd be most surprised if the difference was that they were disruptive though.
But the 3 parties I have done involving boys have been awful. This one the worst
Then (again) as a Mum of 3 boys and very experienced in boys parties over my 20yrs as a parent...I really think this is down to the lack of supervision at the '3 parties you have done'.
I have never experience this in my life and if any one of my boys came home from a party where children were wrecking a bedroom or try to smash a computer up, I would never allow them to attend a party thrown by that parent again.
Sorry about the name by the way, I didn't know you existed.
exactly worra i simply wouldnt tolerate that kind of behaviour!
Live and learn OP, if you are going to host another party in your house. Lay down the ground rules on arrival, whether it is all boys, all girls or a mix (have those rules clear in your head). Make sure no activity lasts longer than 20-30mins (boredom encourages silliness). Warn any bad behaviour and if it persists, sanction it, even if that means calling the parents.
Blimey, it's a bit like teaching really.
I have had tons of girl boy party and i have found the boys extra lively suddenly. The party girls are mostly calm, creative and orderly. The boys turn crazy bonkers though - not trashing furniture though. I strongly advise you choose activities where the children can be completely worm out and tear around madly so that they sit in a calm state whilst eating. A great party would be swimming or a treasure hunt which requires lots of running around with simple paper instructions. Avoid anything where you have to organise hypo kids. Also you must send kids home if trashing the computer etc Totally unacceptable what ever the sex.
Your naughty neighbor boy - I'd have a word with his mum but also tell him he must behave next time or he won't be invited. Then remind him closer to the next party.
At no point did anyone behave well enough to actually lay down the ground rules. I tried for the first 5 mins, but couldn't get them on a chair, or to even look at me, so I just started the music in the hope they'd join in, but it went downhill from there.
The one who lives round the corner's mum leaves him here so often, that she was confident enough to go to work, so I didn't want to phone her. And another one's mum is a teacher, who'd had to come quite far to bring him so had gone into school to do some work, so again I felt bad disturbing her. So I persevered.
I often supervise whole groups of kids, but I have no idea how to deal with children rampaging blindly. There was no let up AT ALL. And I had to have much harsher words then I ever have to have when kids come to play.
I clearly didn't handle it well, but I don't know what else I could have done. I just literally had to hold onto them on the sofa, which to be fair, they co-operated with fine. But hell, they're supposed to be having good time, so after a few minutes I'd let them go and they'd just run headlong into each other or a wall. (And then came back crying)
Perhaps you could try letting someone else take charge next time?
You know like a soft play/sports hall/bowling party?
They would have a clearer idea of how to handle children.
Please don't be 'that Mum' who has parties she can't handle and the kids come home with various injuries.
I've seen this too many times over the years and eventually the kids stop attending because their parents won't let them.
I stopped doing parties at home years ago. But the local soft play places have both closed down, and someone I knew had dreadful problems hiring the local hall recently, so I was a bit out of ideas.
For the record I've never actually managed to send anyone home injured. Not sure how though.
My friend has sworn not to have a tea party again after taking out boys and girls to eat at pizza hut. The girls sat there colouring in and chatting, the boys wanted to run round madly.
But who/what is it in a group that causes this? I have done very involved activities with DS's male-dominated year group with no problems at all. I can't imagine doing that with DD's class, and there is actually a higher proportion of girls .
bribing enlisting some more adult help next time?
Probably should have done, it just seems crazy to do so, when other times I have half the neighbourhood kids in with no problems. One warning that things are getting out of hand, and things get sorted.
It was handy when ds turned up though, the girls LOVED him, so I could try and sort out the chaos.
As somebody who has 2 boys I find your thread title an offensive generalisation.
Maybe if you had titled your thread "To wonder what the hell happens to SOME boys at parties" it might not have been so bad!
OK, point taken, agree that would have been better.
I'm just fecking baffled at how any party could end up in that sort of chaos
I could understand teenagers when no parents are at home but not young children!
And if I think hard, I can remember some who haven't been a nightmare. But all 3 today were. I was especially surprised by the little lad, as he usually comes across as extremely effeminate, so it was bizarre seeing him headbutting.
That was the thing though, it didn't end up in chaos, it started there.
One boy walked through the door, took his shoes of and flung them at the girl in front of him. His mum must have still been on our path.
"extremely effeminate". Please explain what you mean by that?
You know damn well what I meant. Softly spoken and gentle, usually plays with girls, creative. Someone will be offended but I didn't mean it offensively, it's just the first description that came to mind.
Why so aggressive? You are right though I don't think it's a particularly appropriate description for a young boy tbh.
I understood what you meant by it OP.
As well as my 2 boys I have 3 girls.
I can assure you that girls can misbehave just as much as boys can on any day of the week.
You've obviously been lucky so far and just seen one side.
A quiet, gentle creative boy must be like a girl if he's like that?
I guess I'm being defensive because I realise it's not the best description, but don't know how else to say what I want to say succinctly.
At no point did the OP say the boy was like a girl.
Not all girls are effeminate/feminine, but I'm pretty sure you know the gist of what I'm describing with the word effeminate.
Ok, got you. Actually your description in the first post reminded me of how I have witnessed my ds behave at times, but he does have ASD.
No but she was saying displaying those qualities, gentle and creative etc make him effeminate, so like a female.
Sounds a bit like DS2's 8th birthday party. I had 6 boys for videos and a sleepover. Goodness knows what possessed me. Thankfully only two of them went totally bananas, and the other 4 were the rational side of crazy, generally gentle
and geeky souls, and susceptible to -threats and shame reason.
I also thank goodness that I had DS1, aged almost 15, to help me. After they'd eaten
and when only two pieces of crockery had been broken, we put the clocks forward an hour (seriously!), and took them out to the local park in the pitch dark for a 'ghost hunt' where they could use up some of that adrenaline and surplus sugar/E numbers ... Then we brought them back to sleeping bags etc already set up in the sitting room, and they watched Wall-E... The wildest ones were asleep by 10pm! >Awards self medal< But I never, ever, ever had a party with more than 3 kids again!
I haven't read the whole thread but I am astounded.
I have a ds and 2 dds. My ds is pretty full on, and so is dd2. We have had at home parties for all birthdays, I am pretty traditional so it is games, treasure hunt, pass the parcel, etc etc and then tea. All dds parties so far are co-ed. Ds has had 3 boy only parties.
Last 2 years I had 7-8 boys aged 8 and 9 we had table football competition one year and last year dh took the boys to the rec ground in the dark to play glow in the dark football, then pizza, dvd and sleep over.
I have never, ever had any of the behaviour you suggested. I would not tolerate it. I would be astounded to hear of it happening at anyone elses house either. I have no idea what goes on in your neck of the woods, but the boys round here don't do it. Neither do the girls. And we have kids from big variety of backgrounds at school, so can't blame that either.
Only thing I can suggest - I always do a physical outdoor game to start. (birthday months are dec, nov and march) make them run around, usually a treasure hunt. I always have a plan that is packed full of activities, so we go from one to another, very little free play time, and usually not upstairs and I always make them sit down at table for tea.
I also always limit the number to fewer than 10.
Haven't heard this from other mums either. Sorry, don't get it.
Personally, I put it down to inexperience. My own DS2 is a gentle, well-behaved soul. His best couple of friends are too. I was therefore unused to having to'lay down the law'. But at his b'day party, we
foolishly widened the circle of people invited, and there were a couple of 'wild' boys. Once they started, the calmer boys became less calm, and I just wasn't ready for it. I tried to treat them the way I had always previously treated DS2 and friends, but distraction and asking nicely and rationalising just didn't work with the others .
I agree that it's a good idea to exhaust them with outdoor physical activities and fill every available minute
I ended up supervising my niece's 5th birthday party recently, mostly on my own (once entirely on my own for almost an hour) which was attended by another 5 year old girl and then the rest boys, aged 4, 5, 5, 7, 7, 8, 9 and 9. (Three of those were her brothers.) I brought an inflatable slide with me which was excellent for keeping them busy, but when anyone broke the rules I treated them exactly the same. Some of those kids I'd only met on that day, but I did warnings and time outs and ten minute bans with them exactly as I did with my niece and nephews and it bloody worked to keep things under control.
But then I can't be doing with this 'too scared to tell off other people's kids' stuff. If I'm in loco parentis then I'm parenting, and if the parent is there but not being effective, I'm not doing the kid any favours by letting them get away with the behaviour. I have yet to have a parent tell me to feck off - my sister and her mates have actually thanked me before.
We took 20 5/6 year olds to soft play for ds3's 6th birthday. Fortunately we had 2 adults and three teenagers to supervise them.
The boys did a fair bit of wrestling and bashing each other but all sat nicely to eat their tea.
The girls spent the whole time in tears, moaning and whining, "she won't be my friend, hold my hand, she's playing with x and she should be playing with me" etc. to be fair they did sit and eat their tea but several wanted "butter sandwiches" when it was cheese, ham or jam on offer. The soft play were very obliging!
I found the boys a lot easier, but then I only have boys and am not used to girls.
I've told ds that from now on it's 3 children to the cinema!
I couldn't bear to continue to read the rest of the thread after a couple of YANBUs. OP what a thoughtless and exaggerated post. I have three sons and constantly get "oh poor you" comments, usually from those with girls. Your post is just another example of the assumption from society that boys are wild undisciplined monsters. The ONLY sadness I feel at having three boys is that they have to grow up with attitudes like yours around.
To conclude YABVU
I apologise if I was patronising but as someone who has had a lot to do with parties I get irritated by people who say there is no difference between boys and girls. There is a big difference when you get them with a group -( we can all find exceptions - I am talking about generally)- what I don't understand is why this equates with preferring boys. I have 3 of them, am quite happy to have 3, and am not in the least bothered that I didn't have a girl - but I am realistic.
I can quite see that OP had problems but she was taken totally unawares and was inexperienced and too nice to be an old dragon at the start.
I could say with DS1 and DS2 that I had never seen anything like it but DS3 had friends who need to be kept in firmer check. One boy started them all off and we refused to have him again. We had quite an argument with DS as in 'it is my party and I should choose my friends'- my DH and I both put our foot down and said we were sorry but that particular boy made the whole experience unpleasant and hard work. A friend had the same combination for a sleepover, I saw it as a recipe for disaster as she had a film that some of them had seen. She had a terrible time. I said to DS 'I hope that you were well behaved' but of course he would have joined in - at 9yrs you are not going to sit there saying 'you are all being naughty!'
You do have to be very well planned, never have games where anyone is out, always have an activity for the first one who finishes eating and never let them have a spare moment- keep them engaged all the time. Wear them out! With girls you can afford moments of rest- they will chat and you don't need to tire them out.
If people won't accept a difference between boys and girls I wonder why they have a preference at birth.
Sorry - completely the opposite of what I mean- should have been 'equates with preferring girls'.
Well I've only read the OP. We've done two boy-parties. The first was very quiet, very calm, lovely. Maybe it had something to do with my parents being there? I don't know. They were all 7 or 8. It was great so we decided to do it again the following year.
They went MENTAL. I don't know why - like you say, climbing things, opening cupboards, showing off, hurting each other - the pouring rain didn't help, they wrecked the trampoline and the only girl that was invited ended up crying.
This was only a year later.
I'm not prepared to have them here again, unless it is one at a time and even then I'm cautious.
It was awful.
Regardless of all the boy/girl stuff, I'm just amazed that you restrained a child on the sofa!!
I don't think that she had much choice BitOutOfPractice-she wanted to send them all home in one piece!
Again -inexperience -if you work with children you can't do it so you have to stop it long before that stage.
I have never come across a party like the one described. The closest was my youngest DDs almost all girls party, and that just involved them running around a bit searching for items to extend their game.
But if I knew a group of boys was likely to act like this I would : not invite them all, or have an externally run physical activity (football, trampolining etc.). If it came unexpected I would turn into a dragon, and definitely exclude them from most of the house. But we would not be having any more parties with thiarticular group of boys.
Boys are lively, as are some girls, but they don't need to act like hooligans.
but they don't need to act like hooligans.
Of course they don't! However they often will if they get over excited and get away with it. A birthday party is supposed to be fun and not somewhere that the host parent threatens them with being sent home in the first 5 minutes.
We had 7 boys here for DS's 9th birthday yesterday for DVD and Dominoes pizza - exactly what his 13 year of sister did earlier in the year.
The boys started out and finished off in the garden having pillow fights but did actually watch the film. To be fair it seemed to involve some wrestling and a bit of popcorn on the floor but when I said I wanted to pause the film near tend to do the cake, thy didn't like that idea as it was a good bit apparently. I managed to spend a quiet half an hour with a cuppa and paper at one point.
DD's party, nightmare. More popcorn on the floor, loud shrieking, marching round the house, didn't watch the film, two wouldn't talk to the others then stormed off in a huff in the end. Given the choice I'd definitely rather go through DS's than DD's.
One thing I will never be doing though is a sleepover with more than one guest per child, anymore and they just don't sleep, well not in this house.
It really breaks my heart that you would, based on sex, judge my children.
I really do think it depends on individual children, not gender.
My son's an angel. My dd is a maniac.
Saying that, I agree there can be more physical argy bargy and over exuberance from some boys.
The party sounds horrendous and I sympathise but I'm sorry I do think it sounds like it was inadequately policed - lesson learned!
I've never had a girl or held a party with girls, so my experience is circumstantial.
No one is saying that IawnCont! I can't for the life of me see why boys being a bit boisterous if over excited means that you prefer girls-give me a boy any day!
I just get fed up with not allowing for the difference -it does boys a huge disservice. I have been a Brownie leader and a Beaver leader-there is a difference-otherwise you wouldn't get girls wanting to be Beavers, Cubs and Scouts-other girls -like me- would hate it. For what it is worth I preferred being a Beaver leader. Like Wynken I would rather have a heap of wrestling boys that girls getting in a huff.
I live in an all male house and there is a difference-I constantly have to tell them that I am not odd-it is what women do-the girl friend stage is like a breath of fresh air. This doesn't mean that I would change things. Rejoice in having boys-they are lovely!
I really do think it depends on individual children, not gender
Not as a group. There is a huge difference between a Beaver meeting and a Rainbow meeting-just watch them at the start as they are still arriving.
Even more obvious when you get to Cubs and Brownies.
You are reading my posts aren't you all?
You know the bits that say
a) I have a son
b) He's easiest of my children
c) My daughters have male friends, who play around, and behave perfectly
d) I look after boys in other settings and they behave
e) My teenage son was the main, and most useful helper at the party.
My method of restraint was just to have them on the sofa next to me, they did not resist to this, and didn't attempt to escape. When they told me they could join in sensibly I let them go, and within seconds we were back to chaos.
That wasn't to you exotic. Just the people who still insist I demonise boys.
I don't understand how you let it get to the stage where they are pulling everything out and trying to smash the computer.
Party or no party, it is not acceptable for any child to start destroying stuff.
I have a ds 13 and we have had parties of up to 8 boys at home. Boys we know, not random boys from his class...boys who regularly came to tea.
Never had a problem. Yes, high spirits and fun, but not running amok.
Maybe because I was never averse to discipling them in my own house, telling them we don't do that such as jumping on sofas and emptying out every jigsaw puzzle at once
i did once tell a boy that if he would be sent home from the party if he deliberately made a mess again with food. He stopped.
I didn't say anyone was showing a preference- I said that it breaks my heart that my children would be judged because of sex. Of course, I know there are differences between the sexes, but I have honestly never heard of boys trying to smash someone's home at a birthday party, and I do find it a bit that anyone would think that that's as a result of their sex and not pack mentality/ lack of discipline.
"I was especially surprised by the little lad, as he usually comes across as extremely effeminate, so it was bizarre seeing him headbutting."
I'm sorry, but this suggests to me that you see headbutting as "male" behaviour.
Look, I am most certainly biased here, because of my own experiences. When we have had parties, children do wind each other up- At DS' last party, there was a girl who started routinely hitting children and stealing their toys, and her friends started joining in. I took them to one side and told them off, and it just kind of dispersed. But I'd never come on here and say girls were a PITA at parties.
I can quite see how your party turned out like that puffepants-you were entirely unprepared because none of your previous experience with the DCs led you to believe that a small party would turn out that way. On hindsight you would have behaved differently-but we can all say that on hindsight.
I think it far more likely that a boy would headbutt than a girl. I haven't seen much of it at all, but never a girl.
And I have never seen girls wrestle at every opportunity. Mine loved wrestling-I was the one who had a problem with it so I used to go into another room and leave them to it.
I think the problem comes from the use of 'effeminate'.
The point is though, his behaviour was out of character - whether boy-like or girl-like in different opinions - it doesn't matter.
OK, well I am happy to concede that we all have different experiences. I try to steer away from making blanket judgements, that's all.
Blanket judgements are quite handy when you are planning a party-if you are wrong it doesn't matter-but if you are right you have control from the start.
When I was a Brownie leader the first few minutes when they arrive were not important-they liked a bit of freedom to greet friends, chat etc, but when I was a Beaver leader you needed someone to start an activity as they came through the door!
With all parties aim to leave no time where they don't know what to do and definitely avoid games where anyone is out.
op,am I right in thinking you were the only adult with a number of girls and three boys?
At the party I described,when DH arrived,we got to the point of 8 kids and 4 adults,which tipped the adult/kid ratio in our favour.
If you ever have another one....
"Blanket judgements are quite handy when you are planning a party"
Take that to its logical conclusion, and boys won't be invited next time.
Your experience at Beavers/Brownies is quite different to my experience as a drama teacher of primary age children.
Nope, me, dh, another mum and teenage ds.
OP I have experienced parties/play dates/parks like this.
In my experience boys do generally behave differently in groups to girls.
I have seen my own DS and his pals go absolutely wild in certain circumstances and almost look like they are possessed - play-fighting, climbing, running around. I have always blamed the pack-mentality and too much sugar!
Girls in groups behave differently. They can quietly and subtly exclude and torture other girls from the group. I was shocked, after having just had a son for 11 years the first time I heard a 4 year old girl whisper in my 2 year old DD's ear "we hate you, you can't play with us" and then smile sweetly at me .
In my experience, and allowing for wild generalisations, boys energy and aggression needs to be carefully managed and girls nasty, hurtful behaviour needs to be recognised and managed.
Oh goodness daintynuts, you just brought back some dreadful memories! Now I remember why I was so glad to get to the end of my all-girls school and start to hang out with boys!
I have experienced this too, I was shocked the first time I helped out at Beavers at just how rowdy it was. And I stopped doing whole class parties very early as ds' year are particularly bad, the school admitted as much.
The difference isn't inherent though I think it is learnt. Round here people tend to leave their boys earlier at parties than girls and girls get disciplined more for rowdy behaviour as it is seen as worse and so the cycle continues.
OP -couldn't agree more. Stopped DS having parties at home after his 7th where I spent my time trying to get them off the furniture and to stop them breaking all DS's presents. It's been bowling/ karting/ laserquest all the way since. (DS has a winter b'day -might be easier in summer if you can chuck them in the garden!)
And sorry to stereotype but DD's parties are always an absolute pleasure and in total contrast. We've had them all at home, in winter, and even sleepovers are always great fun.
Think it must be down to group dynamics of that particular mix of kids. Saying that my dd and ds went to a boys 7th birthday party at a softplay. I was honestly shocked by the behaviour at the table of some of the boys. They were climbing everywhere and smearing ketchup and licking it off the table. My DD (6) and the other girls were sat there po-faced. My ds (4) on the other hand was sat there with a look of wonder on his face. You could tell that he thought it was the most exciting party ever.
You seem to have a real down on boisterous boys, IawnCont, why on earth would you not invite boys next time?! I can't see that as any logical conclusion. The logical conclusion is be well prepared and enjoy it. Exhaust them, be well planned, have plenty of help and don't leave time to be bored.
You will have problems if you don't accept that there is any difference between a group of girls and a group of boys - this doesn't mean girls are 'better' or preferable or that you wouldn't invite boys.
I don't think that we give boys enough of an outlet sometimes. Beavers tend to be women led and I remember one Christmas party where I was doing traditional games - the Cub leader turned up and asked if he could help so I suggested he did a couple of games while we did the food. His games were rough and exciting- one of my helpers asked if I was going to stop him 'before someone got hurt' I didn't because they loved it- even the couple who just decided to watch had eyes sparkling. It is such a shame that all this is thought 'undesirable' and a reason to prefer girls. Some girls prefer it, which is why they join scouting.
I agree with you exotic. I remember my son saying to me (later than this, around year 8) "I feel like I'm in trouble all the time, just for being me"
"You will have problems if you don't accept that there is any difference between a group of girls and a group of boys"
If you read what I've said on this thread, you'll see that I agree that there is a difference between the sexes.
Once again, I find that you're being patronizing towards me simply because I have a different experience to you.
My point was, if you give a blanket judgement that all boys will be boisterous, hard work, and destructive at a party, you're going to think it'd be easier without them. I don't think boys are more boisterous, personally. I think some boys are, and some girls are.
"You seem to have a real down on boisterous boys"
As is utterly obvious from my comments, the only thing I have a down on is the sweeping generalizations made about boys.
Grrr, as a mum of two girls I HATE all this gender stereotyping about girls being nastier to one another than boys. It was the boys at secondary school who called me names & were bitchy. DD1 has had a group of boys on the street being weird & nasty to her, verbally, not physically.
I get fed up with people not admitting that boys and girls are different. I would still rather do a boys party and can't why you would want to exclude them. You make it sound as if there is something wrong with boys.
They are different. DS1 spent a whole week on a play scheme- always teaming up with the same boy because they had the same interest and they got on well. At the end of the week I was astounded, he didn't know his name - 'it wasn't necessary' to quote. A girl would not only have known the name but the whole life history, the name of the best friend, what they had for breakfast etc! (speaking generalities)
I don't know, dd2 banned boys from her birthday parties for pushing her friends about when she was 3 or 4
Not as bad as the OP, but we had a party for DD at around that age. We had around 10 girls and 3 boys. Until everyone had arrived we let them run around a bit - until we round the 3 boys trampolining on my/DH's bed . When everyone was there we started party games - but the 3 boys refused, they were way too cool to play pass the parcel . The girls all joined in and had a great time, but the boys just seemed to think parties were a licence to race about madly in someone else's house.
The next time we had a party in the house we locked some rooms to contain them a bit so we could supervise better!
When I was a kid we all sat meekly waiting to be told what to do! (Or maybe my memory is failing me...)
They tend to be both sexes while little, single sex and then back to mixed.We had several years of boys only parties.
No exotic fruits DD2 would know all that stuff, DD1 wouldn't
Exotic, you know full well I'm not saying there's anything wrong with boys. I'm denying that they're more boisterous. That's a really upsetting thing for you to accuse me of, when everything I've said points to the fact that I think boys are no more trouble than girls.
daintynuts has raised a memory out of nowhere - a radio documentary I caught, years ago, about boys and girls, with a lot of kids talking in it -
A couple of boys primary school age were being interviewed, and asked whether they played with girls in breaks - they said no and were asked why not. There was a silence and then one said - 'they sit at the side and whisper, and it's nasty'.
And like a flash, my own school days came back to me. I felt trapped between boys who (nice on their own!) turned every group game into punching and yelling - and girls whose 'your my friend/your not my friend' whispering campaigns made life so anxious.
nevermind, I expect centuries of sexism and gender conformity have been overturned by now and it's all different.
They are no more trouble but they are different in a group and you need to be prepared if you want it to go smoothly.
So where do I sound as if there's something wrong with boys?
And they are more boisterous. Boys wrestlle on all occasions for fun and girls do not!
You seem to think that people are judging your boys and feeling sorry for you. I have 3 boys and am quite happy with them. I don't think people think I would be. Enter off with girls.
"Boys wrestle on all occasions for fun"
"You seem to think that people are judging your boys and feeling sorry for you. I have 3 boys and am quite happy with them. I don't think people think I would be. Enter off with girls."
I am very very happy with my children and it really upsets me to the core that you are suggesting otherwise.
I do think some people expect boys to be a certain way, yes, and quite often they are not. I don't think people would be better off with one sex or the other.
I agree boys do turn into hyperactive whirlwinds. I think age 6 is the key, they start to calm down a bit after this age. I remember my sister who has two DDs, saying she had never seen such naughty boys at one of my DSs party. And at one, several parents stayed but still did nothing to reprimand them. My blood pressure by the end of it must have been sky high. I used to invite girls just to even it out a little.
I LOVED doing rowdy games at cubs. The one where you drag each other into a box, the one swinging the rope round and all jumping into each other. I'm perfectly capable of supervising, and although they all end up in a heap, they are capable of following the rules and sitting out when necessary and playing by the rules at least to a degree.
Yesterday, intelligent boys who I can talk to normally, would listen to an adult normally, will line up at school and walk fairly sensibly were throwing themselves at each other constantly. During one of the 'timeout' type sessions on the sofa, they agreed they'd like to do a relay type thing with balloons. But as soon as they stood up, do you think I could get all 3 to one end of the room to start? And when we did eventually get there, they just became crazed again and were too busy rolling on the ground to join in. If 2 were running at the same time they were utterly incapable of getting to the end of the room and back without abandoning the game and fighting. And the other kids were disappointed that we couldn't finish the game. The balloons were long gone.
Of course they wouldn't be better off! They are however different! I grew up with brothers.I have had a lot to do with Scouting and I have 3 DS who are all very different. My 2 who are close in age re adults and will still wrestle- they do it to wind me up - it is a family joke and they then shout 'mum, mum, he is hurting me'!!! Why would we have all the fuss about people wanting a certain sex if there was no difference?
I've said upthread, twice, that there are differences. I just dislike the fact that huge generalizations are made, that's all. I don't for a second doubt your experiences, and I agree with some of the things you say.
Of course it is a generalisation - but useful if planning parties. My planning for Beavers was very different from my planning for Brownies. I have boys so have never done a girls party at home - there would be differences e.g I may well have games with prizes and DCs being out. I would never have that sort of game with boys because they wouldn't watch and take an interest- they would wrestle (maybe they wouldn't, but it isn't something I would risk)
Boys do get rowdy when in a crowd, mine included. We are off to a party this afternoon and I know he will charge around like a mental thing but I also know he will play pass the parcel and eat the food provided (because he's a gannet!) It's unfortunate that the boys at your party got too wild, their parents probably would be horrified! I don't know, its what most of the boys I know do. Sorry!
YABU to say boys rather than 'kids'. I have 3DSs and 2 DDs and have had shedloads of parties over the years. Trust me girls can be as rowdy! I really don't think it is a sex specific thing as so many girls are boistrous. My DD2 climbed everything and was a bolter etc whereas DS2 is very quiet. It is more personality. Any kids in a group can get rowdy. I once had ten kids round to my house-it was carnage and the girls were as rowdy as the boys.
Put it down to experience op
I usually find that it's the dynamic of the particular child rather than if it's a girl or boy. My two ds can be playing quietly but if a certain child comes over they feel they have to show off. It's not necessarily a boy that changes the atmosphere either!
I recently had 10 nine and ten year old boys for DTs party (not at home but it involved them having to concentrate in an activity etc. most the time and listen). I was abit nervous but they were all fantastically behaved-even one who is well known to be 'hyper' and 'wild' by majority of parents inc his mum. I had no probs at all. I think the secret is keeping them busy; boys and girls. Sleepovers with groups of girls though..nightmare! (Haven't done a boy one yet but I am sure will be as noisy!)
I'm sure it's proven that statistically, on average, in a large enough sample, boys have poorer impulse control than girls. Sounds like a horrible afternoon for OP, though. Stick to soft play in future, methinks.
This is exactly why we haven't had any parties at home for DS since he was 3 (now 11!)
Book a party somewhere they can do something active and have the food. Even better if they run it for you
It is just a fact of life that if you have a group of 6 yr old boys in a small house and try to play musical bumps they will grab each other as they dance, if not that, at least one will grab another as they go down and roll around. If they are out they will take no further interest in the game. The only way to get around it is to have lots of helpers or someone fairly charismatic, ideally a man, who will make it funny in some way-funny enough to do it properly and funny enough to watch if out. With a similar group of girls you stand a fairly good chance of playing it properly-enough will want to-and they will watch when out and advise -the main problem will be someone trying to cheat (generally shopped by someone else).
There will be exceptions, but if I was planning a party I would plan games that keep them all involved and keep them alert at all times. I would probably do the same for girls, but it would be less vital.
Once they get past about 5yrs you are better getting them in a hall or outside. My best ones were swimming-with lots of floats so they could throw themselves around, use up masses of energy and they actually worked up an appetite so they ate everything and concentrated on the food. Eating as a picnic was best with space to run around as soon as they finished.
Firstly I have never had such dreadful behaviour from any child like that in my house,smashing up bedrooms-really?
Secondly I have lively twin boys 8 and a lively dd 7 so have done a fair few parties with large numbers of boys.Maybe I've been lucky in the friends my boys have but we've never had any behaviour like you describe(but we do do active parties such as cycling,bowling etc).
The worst behaviour I ever had was at an all girl party for dd in my house prior to going off on an activity)but it was shrieking(god the shrieking),showing off at the table etc.
So there you go yabu. Maybe it was your supervision,your party or you had bad luck but ime what you have described isn't the norm.
my DS would run round and wrestle at a party given a chance.
The best parties have lots of organised games, and lots of time to run off energy. We've had lots of parties in our small home and it comes down to setting the rules at the start so they know you are in charge and not expecting them to sit still and be engaged in any one activity for more than 20mins.
I've seen some parents invite 15 7yo boys to a hall and expect them to sit and draw/paint for ages and it never ends well.
I think my problem this year, was that I'm the only idiot that's tried to do a house party. Last year there were loads of whole class parties, being reception year, but because dd's birthday falls so early in September I didn't do one before.
The school year is split by age, so literally all of the kids birthdays fall between Sept and Jan. So virtually everyone held parties in halls and soft play, and let the kids run wild almost every weekend, and then the parties stopped. Because everyone had had their birthday.
So being the first this year, the boys had memories of these wildfests eight months ago, and had never done a games-type party. I had LOADS of games planned, to occupy them every second, but frankly couldn't do half of them because I couldn't get them up together for long enough. I'm not even certain that they knew that I was trying to get them to play games at some points, their eyes were literally glazed over, straining for their next opportunity to fling themselves. My attempts at calming down, I don't think even entered their consciousness.
IME, games parties work fantastically well with girls. Even with a couple of boys thrown in
I think they'd have loved it, if they'd had any idea what was going on, but I'm under the impression that all 3 just thought 'wahey, party, we're gonna go MENTAL' and took no notice of anyone or anything.
I guess all you could have done was pick 'em off one by one to another place to calm down, but that doesn't feel very in the spirit of a party, does it?!
Pouffe, you might be right there
I mostly lurk and hardly ever post, but I feel I have to stick up for my two boys! My 11 year old was the only boy in my post-natal group (we met up for years after they were born) and was far quieter and more placid than all of the girls put together! I have a daughter as well, and have had far more trouble with her falling out with friends, bitchiness etc, whereas I have never had any of that with my boys. Don't get me wrong, having a daughter is great, but I'm fed up of the boy-bashing that goes on on here.
I have one of each and love them both dearly. I am also a teacher (primary-aged children) in a specialist SEBD setting. I am not bashing boys at all, they are great
It is the last time I am posting-I am not bashing boys-I love boys-have 3 myself and would choose to volunteer in Scouting rather than Guiding. Where ever did boisterous become unacceptable? I am quite happy not having had a DD.
Of course you can have parties with girls that go horribly wrong, of course girls can be boisterous and/or badly behaved, of course you can have boys where the party is a doddle.
There is only one point-*on the whole* boys will need to expend a lot of energy and you need to be very well prepared and lay down the ground rules. Why this is 'boy bashing' beats me! For those of you who won't accept that a houseful of boys may be a handful - I would love to send you a half a dozen to entertain for 2 hours on a wet afternoon!
Someone who goes from a Rainbow meeting on one day to a Beaver meeting the next will soon see the difference! (if they were not different you wouldn't get DDs joining Beavers)
I have younger brothers (and no sisters), 4 nephews (and no nieces)and have always grown up with boys. They wrestle for fun-girls do not. (At least boys will always find other boys to wrestle with and if a girl wants to wrestle she won't find other girls who are always happy to do it)
I have 2 boys and they have both had parties most years and whilst they get excited I would have thrown the whole lot out if they had done half of the things you describe. Fact.
I've seen this behaviour, and only in boys.
And I was so determined that it's nurture not nature, never had any war toys, etc. Didn't praise my son for behaviour I wouldn't also praise a girl, etc.
I think that it's herd mentality and once a few start acting ridiculously without consequences, the rest follow.
Unfortunately for my kids I was a teacher, so I just treat them like a naughty class. Other children don't seem to mind being told off, but my DCs hate it.
It's age specific as well. The worse behaviour I've hosted was at DSs 6th birthday- mostly boys and DDs 14th- all girls. The best was the DS's 12th and DDs 16th.
I have one of each. And after the age of three I NEVER had a boys party at home - I always took them to somehwere like the local leisure centre where they had a football party/swimming party and they could expend loads of energy and run around. I also was not afraid to bring into line anyone misbehaving beyond the pail.
I do think that it is nature and that girls and boys are very differntly wired.
I can't finish reading the thread without commenting on this so apologies if it has been said.
boys wrestle and girls do not
I spent the majority of my youth with my best friend in a head lock yelling "It doesn't matter Jabroni!"
Of course girls wrestle.
<goes back to reading the thread>
At least boys will always find other boys to wrestle with and if a girl wants to wrestle she won't find other girls who are always happy to do it
That's simply not true.
I wasn't going to comment again but I did say they might well do if they could find a girl to wrestle with-many will look as if you are mad. Boys will always oblige (with the odd exception-before someone tells me they have a boy who never wrestles).
Having taught more children than I could possible count-it is generally true that it is a boy thing.
I really don't know why people are remotely bothered about whether they give birth to a boy or girl since everyone is at such pains to point out that there is no difference!
I would love to know the size of sample that people are basing it on and the number of years.
Sorry-I see I missed out the word 'always' -a girl won't always find other girls who want to whereas boys will nearly always find another boy to join in.
I have one of each and have observed this behaviour though by no means generically.
It is the reason though why my ds, 9 in a couple of weeks, is having a Laser Quest party
I am sceptical that 'that's how boys are wired'. Yes there are biological sex differences but much of 'gender' is socially constructed.
I thought that until I had a DS as a single parent and he simply didn't have any role models, or know any older children-was exposed to very little TV and yet he made a gun with Duplo at 2 yrs and could make a very realistic noise at the back of his throat that I can't possibly do. He also loved wrestling-despite me hating it and not taking part. I loathe football and he got very little chance and yet he loved it and joined a team as soon as he was able.
I can't see why any of it is wrong.
I have also taught countless classes and girls simply don't wrestle-the odd one might -but they will be looked on oddly by the rest-especially as they get older.
(I had meant to keep out of the debate-I can't help myself)
Before I had children I thought that it was socially constructed-but not since having my own. My big eye opener as a parent was that you make very little difference-which rather makes me cringe when I think of some of my opinions as a young teacher.
I have both too and don't think that way. If it was universal surely all boys would be like that and they're not. Also they are exposed to masses of images about gender appropriate behaviour from an early age. My DDs were just as likely to make guns with duplo. One of my DS likes football, other doesn't etc etc.
Mum of 3 boys here (although one is only 11 weeks so I'm not sure if he counts....). In case anyone is soon to give a party for boys and is feeling nervous, what I find works quite well is contrasting high energy games with more passive ones.
A few months ago I had ten 6 year olds in my house. First I let the boys play with the toys I had left out then I gave each boy a bowl of lego and told them that they had to build a vehicle and there would be a prize for the best one. it was the competitive element which really gripped them. I set a kitchen timer for 10 minutes (could have pushed it to 15) and off they went. They were really intent on the task. Each bowl contained similar pieces and you could have heard a pin drop as they tried to construct the best vehicle.
We then got each child to stand up for 30 seconds, introduce their vehicle and we took a picture of it. This held the boys' attention.
When we judged the lego models we wimped out a bit by awarding them all eg best car, best creative use of lego, best weird vehicle, most symmetrical vehicle, etc so each kid got a prize.
After that nice calm exercise, I then lined the boys up in the corridor and in our living room (at the time we had a garden the size of a postage stamp) and gave each of them a very large rectangle of enlarged bubble wrap. I told them they had to wait for the signal 3-2-1 and then they had to jump up and down on the bubble wrap. They absolutely adored this activity. It was incredibly loud and such good fun. They were jumping up and down like demented loons. When they finished popping their bubbles they were given a second piece of bubble wrap and off they went again. This bubble wrap was much bigger than usual so the bubbles were like fire crackers going off.
After this we all hung out in the corridor/living room catching our breath and calming down. Once they were calm we went into the dining room to eat. I told them that I'd be videoing them and looking for who had great table manners, etc. This worked really well too. I did lots of positive reinforcement so that they got attention for doing the right thing.
The next activity involved an enormous block of ice which held inside it a toy that all the boys wanted. I lined up the boys and one by one they had to tip warm water on the ice; whoever uncovered the toy would get it. The boys didn't muck around with the water because they wanted to use it on the ice in order to get the toy.
Anyhow, I tried to use this technique of calm activity/manic activity throughout the party and it worked really well at allowing boys the space to work off energy but to also engage in calmer pursuits.
It does help I'm sure that I was a teacher in a previous life so am quite good at crowd control!
Er... went to a party of all boys on Saturday. None of what you describe happened. So, I don't really know what you are on about OP.
At dd,s last bday party, aged four, we had about 22 kids, half and half and the boys did basically charge around, shout, let off steam and had trouble focusing on the entertainer. They weren,t terrible tho
I never get these kind of threads, maybe since I grew up with many brothers, and was probably an energetic, tree climbing girl, and have brothers, and a son, who love quiet drawing/making stuff/ reading easily as much as they love running around.
But then there was never any gender stereotyping in my family. Literally, none. It just never occurred to me, or my parents, to differentiate between boys and girls, so we all acted about the same.
Having said that, I find prissy misses weird, because I wasn't one, and neither was my sister, so maybe I am just more of a "boy"!
Assuming you're actually telling the truth OP (and I have my doubts) then I would advise that you supervise it a little better next time.
I have three brothers and mostly played with boys as a child and never saw anything like this happen. I also have three boys and have held and supervised many parties as well as many play sessions with a few of their buddies and nothing like this has ever happened!
I really will make this my last, promise.
The next time someone starts a post about how disappointed they are about the gender of their baby -I will say 'don't be so utterly ridiculous-it is just social conditioning and it really doesn't matter which gender-they are the same'!
I agree with you op.
I have got 2 ds's and have probably done about 15 parties over the years, some with all boys, some with a mix. My ds's and their friends are quiet and well behaved but you only need one or two more boisterous boys at the party to completely change the atmosphere and the behaviour of the other boys. I too have had a party at my house with things being thrown around the room, punching the walls etc, and the party was really well organised with lots of activities.
I know that girls can also be naughty and fight, but they are different to boys when in a group and both my nieces have all their parties at home with no major problems with fighting, food fights etc.
I hate criticism of boys as I have 2 lovely ds's but it is true that young boys can "feed off" each other and get over excited on occasion.
Exotic, who is pointing out there are no differences? Of course there are differences. I am also an experienced teacher and youth leader and yes there are differences - what I HATE is the ludicrous generalisations.
FWIW, DS1 has not once mentioned guns or role played guns until last week. 2 days after starting school suddenly guns are introduced. That's nothing to do with genetics and everything to do with his peers.
It's hard to overestimate just how much peer pressure has to do with gender traits. There is one boy in particular in ds's class who relentlessly scoffs at anything "feminine". Everything that isn't obviously macho is "for girls", and the other boys respond by also rejecting anything "feminine" because they fear the scorn of this alpha boy.
It's all bullshit. If ds doesn't know something is supposed to be feminine, he likes it, or doesn't, based on his genuine preferences.
It is sad to see.
Exactly, NowThen. I have a friend who's son is totally into dolls, barbies, dressing up as a princess. His mum and dad are totally cool about it so no one has told him he should be playing with guns/cars/wrestling etc. I'm sure a few weeks of school will knock it out of him though .
I know that researchers have done experiments where they dress boy babies and girl babies in the "opposite gender" clothes and have found adults interact with them in a completely different way. I wonder what would happen if they were able to bring up a boy/girl as the opposite gender - how much of this so-called genetics would be proved to be no such thing.
I don't for one minute disagree that there are differences between the genders, but I for one think the jury is still out on how much of the differences are social conditioning and how much genetic.
I had two boys. Lively, quite capable of getting over-excited and very fond of rushing around in the garden sort of play. But.... despite years of having parties (at which boys tended to outnumber girls until girls suddenly turned into fascinating creatures!) I never experienced anything like you describe, OP. Actually, I lie. At ds2's 4th birthday party, an older sibling of one of the guests turned up, uninvited. He did cause chaos and was unprepared to be diverted away from chaotic pursuits. So I did, in the end, have to ask his mother to take him home. But that was because he was that particular boy, not merely a boy.
If I'd have been you, OP, I'd have made it clear that the behaviour of the boys at your child's party was unacceptable.
Are people seriously negating the influence of testosterone? That's not a social construct!
Surely it is beyond any argument that boys have more of a propensity to be physical and to wrestle/ play fight? Why is this so fucking taboo now? And surely it should go without saying that propensity means exactly that, it's not a given that every boy will be more physical or that every girl will be less physical?
Drives me batshit when someone pops up to say, for example, that they or their dd love wrestling. The plural of anecdote is not fucking data!
No one should be strictured by their gender but to deny that we have different hormonal influences ON THE WHOLE is bonkers. Stark raving bonkers. <awaits knock on door from the thought police>
And especially bonkers when we have another simultaneous thread where women are lining up to say they love being 'feminine' and 'womanly' and in 'traditional roles', where their DH drives, pays and looks after them.
WTAF? How does that square with this thread?
Noone is saying there are no differences. But the fact that society still has certain expectations of gender roles amplify and sometimes falsely create those differences.
I have 3 DSs. Eldest is 18 today
Not read the whole thread
as I like to keep my blood pressure low
In not one of their parties has there ever been behaviour like this and I've had all 15 boys in the class to some parties when they were younger.
I am one of those mothers who won't be crossed, though. It's very much a case of 'Not on my watch, sonny Jim'.
And it's certainly not taboo. IRL people still use traditional gender stereotyping a great deal, as the other thread demonstrates.
Googly, didn't say that for one second but feel free to misread my post in order to trot out tired MN cliches .
Actually, there was a book recently (sorry can't link-cooking) by an anthropologist which concluded that while there are differences, there are far more similarities between the sexes than differences.
In other words, the differences are magnified by societal pressures to the point of distortion.
I can't help but notice that I, my siblings, and everyone I know who was raised to not put much emphasis on gender differences, all have strong traits that would often be associated with the opposite gender.
Because we didn't know we shouldn't.
Kids growing up now are so parcelled out into gender.
Thought police? Christ. I wish there was a gender thought police that would arrest the manufacturer that makes "boys" word fridge magnets and "girls" word fridge magnets.
The girls words are all things like "fluffy" and "sparkly" and "cupcakes"
I have an 11 year old ds and none of his parties have ever been like this. However since about 4 I have always organised parties such as swimming, bowling, laser quest etc and most recently go-karting. The kids burn off loads of energy that way and have always been well-behaved. I wouldn't attempt one at home.
No, I haven't noticed any thought police IRL on this issue. But then MN increasingly seems to be a big bubble, unconnected to the real world! A bubble where, as I said, most women state that they are happy to be different to men, love and celebrate those differences, and would not self-identify as feminists because they feel that women and men are equal but different.
Yet when they talk about their children, suddenly gender is a social construct and little else
FWIW I do identify as a feminist. Very strongly. And I have always been very far from a girly girl. Despite my family trying to 'construct' me into one from birth! My sister OTOH is the original pink princess. So how did that work?
I have ended up with DD who is incredibly pink and girly, and DS1 and DS2 who live for their trains and cars. And I'm happy with that, just as I would have been happy if they were 'atypical', because they are happy being the way they are. But after growing up with the ultimate chauvinist pig father and weak, submissive mother, who were both very unhappy in these 'traditional' roles, I am very keen to encourage my DC to not be constrained by their gender and to break out of male/ female stereotyping whenever the hell they like. For each gender to take on traits of the other can be incredibly positive.
And I know the Cordelia Fine book is always brought into threads like this, but there are many, many books that present the opposite POV, so I don't know why her views are given much more weight. It's like her book is the accepted text on MN
"since about 4 I have always organised parties such as swimming, bowling, laser quest etc and most recently go-karting"
I wonder if this is part of the problem - not blaming you personally Poppy! But many parties now are very physical and maybe the kids (especially the boys) don't understand how to behave at more sedate parties.
But boys parties are so much easier. Open the back door, out they run, feed them, open the back door again. Girls just sit back waiting to be entertained.
Some small children flip out at parties. It doesn't matter what sex they are.
Hands up here as a Beaver leader and have three 'boisterous' boys plus an older girl.
IMHO you lost it from the point you didn't challenge the boy who threw his shoes. I can put up with any amount of 'reasonable' child rough and tumble but I won't stand for behaviour like that. Why on earth would you put up with that without challenging it?
With 4 dcs I've held any number of parties over the years for any number of combinations of boys and girls but have never experienced anything similar.
Who the hell said I didn't challenge him??
Blimey. I'd take 3 rowdy boys over a chat-room full of indignant MN mums, any day!
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.