“Boys will be boys” is no excuse for bad behaviour
I know it’s a lurid metaphor, but I taught my daughter the preschool block precursor of “don’t get raped” and Boy #1 did not learn the preschool equivalent of “don’t rape.“
Not once did they talk to him about invading another little person’s space and claiming for his own purposes something that was not his to claim. It was, to them, some kind of XY entitlement. How much of the boy’s behavior in coming years would be excused in these ways, be calibrated to meet these expectations, and enforce the “rules” his parents kept repeating?
There was another boy who, similarly, decided to knock down her castle one day. When he did it his mother took him in hand, explained to him that it was not his to destroy, asked him how he thought my daughter felt after working so hard on her building and walked over with him so he could apologize. That probably wasn’t as much fun for him, but he did not do it again.
There was a third child. He was really smart. He asked if he could knock her building down. She, beneficent ruler of all pre-circle time castle construction, said yes…but only after she was done building it and said it was OK. They worked out a plan together and eventually he started building things with her and they would both knock the thing down.
Take each of these three boys and consider what he might do when he’s older, say, at college, drunk at a party, mad at an ex-girlfriend who rebuffs him and says “No, I don’t want to. Stop. Leave.”