1] Teach your son that he should never, ever strike a girl, no matter what the provocation. If he has a sister who he constantly fights with and they regularly exchange blows, he may not easily grasp the concept that boys don't hit girls. However, as your children grow, they will outgrow the phase of fistfights, so it is important that you inculcate this value in him.
2]Teach your son to question sexism by teaching him to respect his sister as his equal. By doing this, you will be teaching him to respect all women as equals.
3] Make sure your son contributes equally in the household chores. If your daughter lays the table, your son can clear it after the meal. Chores should be rotated, so no child feels that they've got the raw end of the deal.
4] Don't expect your daughter to serve your son, or your son will expect the same of his wife. And if she does not meet his expectations, there will be marital discord. Similarly, teach your daughter to respect herself and her gender by not asking her to iron your son's clothes, or to prepare lunch for him when you or your cook are not available. They can order food from out, or the two off them can scramble some eggs together.
5] Teach your son cooking. Most chefs are men, and many of the world's best cooks are men. You will be doing him a service, not a disservice, by teaching him how to cook. If he's got a sweet tooth, start off by teaching him how to bake a cake… and take it from there. There's nothing effeminate about entering the kitchen. Some of the most macho men I know love to cook, so break out of this old school of thought. You could start off by asking him to watch you bake a cake, and to help you out by whipping the eggs, passing you the sugar, etc. Get him involved, and his interest will rise.
6] Teach your son chess, teach him how to use a computer or teach him a subject at school. Don't expect only your husband to teach him things that require him to use his brains. If you teach him how to, say, use a computer, his respect for you, and consequently, his respect for women, will increase tremendously. The fact that you may be a stay-at-home mother has nothing to do with it. If your son sees you as intelligent, you've done very well! But if he thinks that 'only papa is intelligent' or 'boys are much cleverer than girls', you've got some serious catching up to do.
7] Be a good role model for your child as a father. Respect your wife, and respect her opinions. Avoid cracking sexist jokes with your son, and if you do, make sure that your son knows that they are just jokes. Seek your wife's opinion. As a mother, strengthen your child's opinion of you by not nagging your husband constantly in front of your child, by not losing control of yourself or your emotions in front of the children, and by appearing strong and balanced in their eyes.
You may also be interested in:
- The Indiaparenting Team