We adore boys! They deserve some extra attention, especially in the woman-dominated environment of childcare and education. Since roughly half of the children at Op Stoom are boys and around 90% of the childminders are female, this provides an interesting opportunity to see what we can offer boys regarding games, role models and expectations towards each other.
From Venus to Mars
Whether they are rascals, mechanical talents, rambunctious, perfectionistic, boisterous or serene boys, every type of boy exist and all of them are loved at Op Stoom. The most important thing is that they can be themselves. Every day we see that boys and girls find their own path in their own way. Apart from the shared desire for security and fun we see fundamental differences between boys and girls. Boys develop in a different manner to girls and often have a bigger desire to experiment and discover the world in an exuberant way. When you consciously pay attention to how this unfolds, it’s an absolute joy to see. The eagerness to discover, which boys display during activities like taking apart an old radio or computer, is fantastic.
You can already see the differences when the children are small. Wanting to climb and clamber and not wanting to sit still is apparent in every child, but this intrinsic desire is even more apparent in boys compared to girls. This is alright of course, wobbling is okay, and climbing and clambering is possible. We don’t sit still for too long, because it’s a lot to ask and not necessary. Primarily the boys like boisterous play, like rough and tumble play, or play fighting, which is even cooler with sticks! Playing and taking risks, that’s what they want. Preferably at a height, in high tempo and surrounded by dangerous elements like fire or sharp objects. The male hormone testosterone helps in part with this.
Men are important in the rearing of boys and girls, but especially for boys their presence is essential. Boys naturally recognize themselves a lot quicker in males, and vice versa. Conflicts are experienced differently by boys and subsequently get solved differently too. Girls tend to be more verbal and tend to solve conflict through language. Whereas boys often don’t, and it’s important to keep this in mind. Let them solve it themselves and pay attention. Don’t directly interfere, and if you do, make it short and strong. Relating to this, and trying not to endlessly communicate when something naughty happens, works for boys. When a childcare team exist out of men and women, this can offer a new and fresh outlook on the children. At Op Stoom we have a lot of males working, still the biggest proportion is female. Sweet, cool, and tough ladies that each immerse themselves in how boys develop and what they enjoy. They offer a lot of room for movement, offer challenging activities, and try not to communicate endlessly. Cause, boys will be boys!
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