Raising a son who respects women
We all talk about how this country is not safe enough for our daughters. But are we talking enough on how to raise our sons such that they grow up respecting women?
Thankfully though, the dialogue has at least begun. More and more parents today realize the importance of raising responsible sons. Many fathers are taking a lead and setting the right example. However, there is a lot of negative influence that is perpetuated in the media and it’s difficult to shield your son from it. What can be done, however, is to carry a conscious and positive dialogue to make them aware on what is right and what is wrong.
Be the role model on how to treat women
Practice what you preach is the first golden rule of good parenting. Whether you are a mother or a father, make sure that you are not subconsciously being condescending towards women. Demonstrate to your son that females are equal to males in every field and deserve to be treated with respect and equality.
Also, let’s not encourage stereotypes by using phrases like “only girls play with dolls”..
Encourage sensitivity rather than labeling it as weakness.
Why do we tell our sons not to cry “like a girl”? Also, why do we expect all our boys to be rough and tough. What is wrong with sensitive men? In fact, in a world that is full of insensitivity, we want more boys to be caring, sensitive and considerate of others. It’s time that we shed this stereotype about boys.
Teach your son how to cook and fold laundry.
Our sons have been kept out of the kitchen and the household work for ages. We now raise our daughters to be equals, then why not raise our sons who are self sufficient at home too? Why do we still baby-sit our grown up sons, serving them food and folding their laundry while we expect the daughters to help out at home? A more domesticated son will be able to better appreciate and understand the importance of household work and will turn out a more co-operative husband and a caring father.
Get Fathers to participate in equal parenting
How much the father participates in household tasks sets the benchmark for the son to follow. Many fathers spend less than a couple of hours a day with their children and limit their help to taking the boys to play out on the weekends. Rather, why not be an equal parent helping the kids with homework every day and helping your spouse with serving dinner.
Never say “Boys will be boys”
Let us not label all of our sons as “aggressive” solely based on their gender. Nor should we make aggressive behavior acceptable just because “boys will be boys”. Our sons are definitely worthy of being held accountable for their behavior and setting the expectation right since the formative years is important.
It is time we set the expectations for acceptable behavior for our boys. Raising a son who respects women is not difficult if you are ready to be the role mode setting the right example for your son to follow!