There have been more and more cases about sexual harassment or violence we hear about on the news lately. With the #MeToo movement, it can be seen how badly women in this day and age have still got to endure such disrespect and unpleasant treatment. Instead of teaching girls to be more careful and cautious, we should be teaching boys to respect girls and women.
Here are some of the ways parents can teach their sons to respect women.
1. Teach Kindness, Respect and Compassion for Everyone
All individuals deserve kindness, respect and compassion. Your son will view these virtues as common human courtesies not to any specific gender when this value is instilled in him since young. This early lesson will help him treat all people with respect regardless of any differences as he grows up. You can start by showing your son mutual respect through honesty and love and expecting it in return.
2. Surround Him with Positive Role Models
Children follow what they see and hear when they’re at an early age. Having positive male role models who respect women in your son’s life will demonstrate the importance to him. People like his father, grandfathers, teachers, coaches and more should all be good examples of men who respect women. If you find a male being disrespectful to you or other women, discuss the behaviour with them and how it affects the lesson you’re trying to teach your son.
3. Create a Safe Environment for Him to Express His Feelings
It’s important not to hold your son to a traditional macho man stereotype as it may not serve him well. Your son should be free to openly express his feelings, especially to his parents. As parents, you should be receptive and not dismissive of their feelings so that they’ll know they can always go to you whenever they’re feeling down, anxious or frustrated. It is emotionally healthy to talk about feelings as it can make your son more compassionate and relatable to women. It’s good to keep in mind that your child can be sensitive, even boys.
4. Show Him How to be a Caring and Supportive Friend
Friendships with boys and girls are essential for your son. Developing and maintaining friendships can teach children how to enjoy someone else’s company. It is also easier for them to accept others’ likes, dislikes and opinions then compromise. Friendship gives children a chance to be caring and supportive of others, which is vital for future relationships with women.
5. Encourage Considerate Behaviours
Coaching considerate behaviours in your son creates a gentleman. This includes comforting a friend, holding doors open for others and more. These behaviours should be expected of all children and they are especially important when teaching boys to respect women.
6. Engage Him in Universal Skills
Family chores such as cooking, cleaning and laundry should be areas where your son can be involved in. Your child should be able to master these skills and not viewing such tasks as solely a woman’s job.
7. Model and Encourage Affection
When you’re affectionate with your spouse and children, that will open doors for your son to be affectionate, loving and emotionally available to women later in life. It’s healthy to actively express love and affection among family members.
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