Respectfulness towards women is an important quality which every boy must imbibe. Parents play an important role in inculcating such qualities in their sons. Read on to find tips for raising a son who truly respects women.
In this world of increasing focus on gender equality and women’s rights numerous articles are being written everyday about how to empower women. However, the unfortunate part of the scenario is that women will not get to be equal unless men stop obstructing their path and start aiding them. Attitudes towards the other sex develop early in childhood so it is a part of your duty to start trying early in order to incorporate respect for women in your son.
Teach Him to Help With Chores
Surprisingly very little has changed in the last 40 years when it comes to distribution of household chores. Many grown up men do not know basic skills like cooking, looking after their own selves and cleaning up and depend upon their partners to do the same. Teach your son that no chore can be labelled as “only for women” and he has to learn all tasks that can make him an efficient member of the household. The sooner you initiate your son into the kitchen and ask him to help you out the easier it will be for you to mould him into a gender unbiased person.
Let Him Learn Through Real Examples
Inculcating respect for women in boys majorly depend on how his parents treat him. It is rightly said that “A man who treats his woman like a princess is proof that he has been raised by a queen.” Although, this proverb highlights role of mothers, it is important for fathers too to treat women with due respect.
Kids learn everything from their immediate environment. So when we expect our sons to respect women, they should be raised in an environment where everyone does the same. He needs to see his father, grandfather, teacher and all male figures around him treat women with dignity. Also he should know that the women around him including his mother, grandmother, sister, teachers etc. expect to be treated with respect and kindness.
Teach Him to Respect Himself
Teach you son to respect his own self first. He needs to learn that it is not easy to get respect; respect needs to be earned through right conduct in the society. Teaching child to respect women is not only about teaching him how to behave with a male or a female. It is also about teaching him to value humans and developing humanity in him. As he expects others to treat him with respect and dignity, similar kind of behaviour should be exhibited by him. He should rise in his own eyes first as good and genuine human and other things which automatically fall in place.
Stop Commenting on Women’s Looks
Each time you openly refuse a piece of chocolate cake because your thighs are looking too fat your kid son learns that it is mom’s priority in life to be slim. Each time your partner openly acknowledges another woman to be hot or “sexy” your kid (who is listening) assumes that it is okay to judge women on the basis of their physical appearance.
When young boys learn that beauty is more about personality and intelligence than about weight and complexion they start looking at women with a more respectful eye. This attitude however has to be first internalized by you and your partner and you need to stop commenting on women’s looks in front of your kids.
Never Use “Girl” as a Degrading Term
Your young son is constantly exposed to phrases, attitudes and words in the environment which use the concept of “girl” as a degrading term. For example you might have unwittingly forbidden him to wear pink as it is a “girlish” colour.
Your spouse might have told him to “stop acting like a girl”. Anytime your little son has been emotional his friends might have told him not to be a “sissy”. All these words and phrases teach your son that being addressed by a feminine phrase such as “girlish”, “sissy” etc mean an insult. In other words through all such things he will learn that it is always better to be a boy.
This kind of exposure will obviously make your son disrespect women and will create narrow gender based perception. Stop the exposure of your son to such phrases and sentences and instead look for gender neutral speech in media and in real life.
Unfortunately even in this modern age men are taught to repress their feelings and all those pent up emotions are sometimes released in the form of rage and violence towards women. The more you teach your little boy to be expressive about his feelings the more easily he will find to break gender based stereotypes. Being open about emotions will also prevent him from looking down upon women in his life who do express their feelings.
Reprimand Degrading Comments
Any time you catch your son looking at degrading pictures or making negative comments about women, take the initiative to reprimand him then and there. The sooner you teach your kids that it is not okay to degrade women in any way the better it is for his moral and social development.
It’s the responsibility of parents to set the right thought in their boy’s mind about girls.
Why is it important for boys to respect women? What are the ways to inculcate respectfulness for women in boys? How to raise a son who truly respects women? Discuss here.
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- The Indiaparenting Team