Raising kids is no easy job because how you parent entirely determines the kind of person your child will grow up to be. How you treat them, the extracurricular activities you choose for them, and the moral lessons you give them shape their view of the world. Add to it all the fact that we live in the 21st century, and as social structures change, we find ourselves moving away from the idea of gender roles.
The truth is that boys and girls are going to coexist in the society and while a lot has been said about how to raise girls with more freedom, authority and a sense of self, we’re ignoring the fact that to sustain such a society, we need to also raise boys who are respectful, more receptive to emotions, less aggressive and can take ‘no’ for an answer. We’re going towards a society where it is extremely important to raise boys who are honest about their emotions, deterred from violence and view all individuals as equals.
9. Show Them How They Can Take Care Of Others
Girls are taught to be nurturing from the very beginning. Do the same with your boys.From giving them the responsibility of taking care of you when you’re sick to something as simple as taking the pets out for a walk can teach them how to care for others around them. Make sure they grow up to be men who actively take care of people around them, are aware about the needs of others and are compassionate. These tasks may seem small but will go a long way in lending a more nurturing streak to your boy’s personality.
8. Break Stereotypes between boy kid and girl kid
Teaching boys to move away from gender stereotypes as vehemently as you teach the girls this is extremely important for a balanced society.
Allow your boys to wear colors according to their own preference, not the assumed preference based on their gender. Offer them a variety of toys, instead of the toy guns and miniature trucks you find in the ‘boys section’ of a play store. Let them know that their behavior or preferences are not dictated by the societal perception of how a boy should be. Give them the confidence to challenge gender stereotypes without feeling the need to assert their masculinity. And if pink happens to be their favorite color, don’t deter them from wearing it.
7. Let Them Be What They Want To Be
Often, we force our kids to change themselves for society. We force our sons to not discover certain activities, appearance choices and toys so that they stick to the masculine stereotype; however, we need to let them choose for themselves.
Don’t freak out if your son likes to play with dollhouses, have long hair or chooses painting instead of sports. Encourage that behavior because you need to let your boys know that you accept them no matter what. Just like we keep reinstating for our girls that they can do whatever they want, we need to do the same for our boys.
6. Teach Them About Good Touch And Bad Touch
Given the environment today, this is the most important part of parenting boys for two reasons.
For one, boys do get sexually assaulted and those who are forced to suppress this trauma go through a tormenting psychological situation. Teaching boys about bad touch can help them communicate abuse and you, as a parent, can take remedial steps. For two, teach boys that they cannot touch anybody without their permission. It is important that boys know about consent and the fact that unwanted touch makes all genders uncomfortable. They should know that something as simple as even patting the cheek is not alright if it doesn’t involve consent.
5. Boys Are Not Aggressive
We keep pushing our boys into the boundary of what an ideal man is supposed to be like and often convey to them that boys usually show aggression to get what they want.
You can teach them different and you need to teach them different. Violence is not the only (or even last) resort in any situation. And to think we encourage this characteristic in almost half of the population is a scary trend. Teach your boys to reason out things, communicate through words and not fall into the trap of being a ‘macho’ man who can use aggression, verbal or physical.
4. Like A Girl’ Is Not An Abuse
We’ll find boys as young as six-years-old throwing around phrases like, ‘don’t be a sissy’ or ‘don’t behave like a girl’. This probably makes boys feel like they’re superior than girls, something we need to counter.
Very early on, boys look around them and learn that girls are considered inferior and are often insulted. Hence, you’ll find even young boys using anything related to girls as something ‘bad’. However, teach young boys about all the women role models, make sure that you teach them that girls are no less and don’t put them in situations where they see a strong male figure disrespecting women on a regular basis.
3. Teach Them The Basics Of Surviving (And Cleaning Their Own Mess)
While most girls are taught how to cook, do laundry and take care of the house from a young age, most boys are kept away from household chores.
Once they grow up and move away from home, these boys might find it difficult to deal with basic household chores because no one taught them about these. f you start teaching boys how to do household chores, it won’t just make them capable of surviving on their own but will also instill a sense of responsibility towards their house, teach them about dividing work to maintain their abode and also help them develop a caring attitude.
2. Allow Them To Cry
Telling your sons that good boys don’t cry is telling them to not keep in touch with their emotions.
Tony Porter, co-founder of A Call To Men, which is an advocacy group, has been quoted saying, “Our daughters are allowed to be human beings, and our sons are taught to be robotic.” Crying always helps one deal with emotions, something we often don’t teach the boys. Also, pushing our boys within the border of the ‘macho man’ stereotype is also unfair. Let them know they can cry and be hurt from time to time so that they are always in touch with their emotions.
1.Teach Them To Take ‘No’ For An Answer
Stalking, harassment, attacks by jilted lovers are all a result of boys who think that the world will be served to them on a platter and they are not raised to be at the rejecting end of relationships, be it friendships or romantic relationships.
Teach boys to take ‘no’ for an answer and cope with the rejection. It will help your son to deal with not just romantic rejection but also any other adversities in life better. It will help them understand that you can’t always have what you want and also to respect other people’s decisions, be it a girlfriend or friend or boss.