74

There is no nickname on God's green earth that will make a person "a real man".* That comes from teaching by example what a real man is every single day for a couple of decades. There's a reason that there are lots of folksy sayings to point this out (e.g. "like father, like son" and "the apple doesn't fall far from the tree.") ...


22

First of all, recognize there is a difference between having a favorite, and engaging in favoritism. I think having a favorite is somewhat unavoidable, unless your children all happen to have personalities that mesh equally well with yours. When having a favorite becomes problematic is when you let it affect your words and actions toward your children. ...


15

Teenagers can be acutely embarrassed by such appellations whether they be male or female. There may come a time, possibly before his teens, that he will start to wince at being called "sweetie". Then is the time to take stock and take pity. Don't wait for him to complain - simply ask how he would like to be addressed. This may differ in public and ...


12

I hate this answer, but: it depends. Mathematics alone won't do anything. In your observation you are correlating mathematics skills with personal behaviour. What you can't see is whether math made them who they are or who they are makes it easy for them to understand math. Focusing on becoming very good at something is character building. Encouraging your ...


11

This is a very distressing problem to encounter. Unfortunately kids can be kind of cruel, and traits like sweet and nice unfortunately don't necessarily make a child popular. Trying to get other kids to play with her I don't think will help. A child who isn't welcome in the game is very likely to be bullied. What I would recommend, would be to try to help ...


11

Terms like sweetie does not devalue his manhood in anyway, and well it's just a motherly thing to call your child. That being said, reduce it to private situations only, so don't call him sweetie when shopping/when his friends are there. Not because it's not manly, but because it is embarrassing even if it were concerning a daughter instead of a son. If you ...


10

Your edit introduces some wiggle room that I didn't notice in your first post, which I'll seize upon to say that, no, I don't think you're on the right track in this ambition. I think that we can't know the particulars of what the masculinity that will prosper in our children's lives will look like, but I have a feeling it will not be exactly what ...


9

I'd say if you have a concern, you should listen to your inner voice. I personally think you are setting up your kids to expect certain things at certain times. We all do it it different ways -- it is up to you to decide. They won't always get a treat, but they often will, perhaps only if you stop for coffee. In my own opinion, I think a treat every once ...


8

Show him Star Trek, the original series (Kirk, Spock, McCoy & c.). From episode 1 on. Seriously, if there's a simple way to communicate optimism, inclusion, love for science and empathy for other beings, it is this sci-fi show. Brilliant as he is, he will surely appreciate the ongoing debate between rationality (Spock) and passion (McCoy), and the ...


8

Life is, indeed, meaningless. There's nothing wrong with your kid. I was just like him - I had zero friends and didn't like talking to anyone. Then I gradually began to become more social, and now, in my mid-thirties, I have friends begging to hang out with me every single day of the week. Life is wonderful - but yeah, still meaningless overall. Don't ...


8

I default just call my kids by their names, ever since they're born. Calling him Albert should be fine. It acknowledges that he is a person, with his own individuality, responsible for his actions.


7

I think Willow's answer is great, but isn't 8.5 months a bit early to start worrying about how outgoing your child is? Gently encourage her, just like Willow says. But I'd ask myself where that wish for her to be more outgoing came from. I mean, at 8.5 months old, she probably doesn't mind at all that she doesn't play while the other kids do. You say she ...


7

Why do some parents have a favorite (or least favorite) child? One possible answer would be that there are parents who want to see a version of themselves in their children - or what they would like to have been. The children that match that view are favored, those who don't are less favored. Imagine a major league football player who has a son who goes ...


7

One very common solution that I don't think anyone has mentioned, is to simply call him "Son". Come on Son, you'll be late for school! Okay Dad! It wasn't used in my family but I've heard it used it the UK and US. This usage is not at all formal, it has the same level of informality as "Dad". It has an affectionate quality about it - an ...


6

If you replace "mathematics" with "hard science" or "engineering" then I think I see where you're going with this. Much like the first answer, I believe that logical thinking and a good understanding of how things work make it easier to be organized -- but it doesn't help with personal character per se. You could be a math genius, or a fantastic engineer, ...


6

About personal character not so much, learning maths won't change who you are. However it will help with logical thinking and problem solving throughout your live, thus it will help with confidence in solving tasks/activities. The good thing about math is passion. With my experience math helped me in this way. Having a passion to solve something gives you ...


6

One of the possible reasons is fear. You are a psychologist, I am probably telling you nothing new with this sentence :) but here is an example of how it can work: My aunt has two children younger than me. The boy is two years older than the girl. My aunt and uncle were always afraid that the older boy might start bullying his defenseless little sister. As ...


6

Congratulations - your son has discovered nihilism at the age of nine. My question is - how would you react if an adult you knew and cared about made such a speech? Personally I'd find it an interesting conversation to have, to which I would probably disagree with their position thoroughly. My answer to the nihilist question is 'Life is to be enjoyed, and ...


5

Oh my GOD! Your son is terrific. He is 1 in a million. Don't push him for anything(at least for now). First delve into his mind and "study" all the things he thinks. If you want to have conversation with him, you are gonna have get into his mindset. First of all, believe what he said is true then question him seriously about the statements and their ...


5

You have an astonishingly bright child for 9 years old. In fact, he appears to be so bright, that my response is not one that I would tell a "normal" 9 year old, but rather one that I would tell to an intelligent adult who can make up their own mind. I went through a similar phase myself, except I only came across it in my late 20s, rather than at 9. I ...


5

From what you say it sounds like there is something your daughter is doing, or not doing, when playing with other children. Whatever this is, it makes the play not fun for the others, and hence they drift away to do something more interesting. Can you try to set up a situation where you can eavesdrop on your daughter playing with others? If so then see if ...


5

One angle you could go for is to point out that his passion and talent for programming opens him a lot of doors for a future career in software development, and that this is a very good opportunity for him. But that his chances to make it in that field also require good grades, so all the work he puts into furthering his programming skills will be useless if ...


5

My son took part in the MIT BatttleCode competition for two years in Years 10 and 12, which were the years that avoided the big exams in the UK. It was a very positive experience. Most learning problems at school or University are small and closed. This was bigger and open-ended. It was also structured to encourage teamwork, including remote collaboration. ...


5

Part 1: let's talk about the decision process for this type of thing First you need to figure out what is your goal as a parent and what is your role in this? Who is making this decision and why? Personally we always defined our role as parents as "we want to help our children to become self-reliant and responsible adults" . That means that ...


4

I think you might consider a smaller, less chaotic group until your child has the opportunity to accustom herself to other children. Invite one or two other children over to your home, and let her play in that group. (Babies this age do not play with each other.) She can become used to being in a small group in a familiar environment. Visit with the same ...


4

I remember many boys in my school making the transition from diminutives, like Danny or Johnny, to using their full names such as Daniel or John around this age. I think in terms of your son feeling like he's growing up, an outward facing change like this one, is probably more important than what he is called at home. If he has a diminutive that he has been ...


4

"Son" is a very traditional term that would be used. It emphasises the father-son relationship but is not a 'kiddie' term and has overtones of warmth without implying disrespect. It also is of course a strongly 'male' term rather than 'sweetie' which is perhaps a little feminine, if you want to instill traditional conservative values (reading ...


4

You should focus less on what nickname will create the desired 'growth' of your son, and more on what nickname you and your son like. This is not just because of regular parental advice to let your son grow as he wants, but because his connection to you is the one thing that will encourage positive growth as a man. Your son will model his behavior after what ...


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