For many parents, the challenge of raising a son can be a difficult one. For other parents, raising a son may be much easier than raising a daughter. Far too often boys and girls are thrown into “gender roles” and raised in a society of what was considered masculine and feminine. Some of the common misconceptions about boys and girls are as follows:
•Boys are tough and unable to cry
•Girls are emotional and timid
•Boys are stronger than girls and are the dominant sex
•Girls should obey boys
Sadly, many parents still believe in these misconceptions and are raising their children with this mindset. Unfortunately these children sometimes grow up to be the abuse, drug, and murder cases we see on the nightly news. Our society needs to understand the differences and similarities between boys and girls if we expect to raise our sons to be respectable men.
As parents we should teach our sons how to get along with girls. We should promote equality between our sons and daughters by allowing both children ample time to express their feelings. Teach your son that is ok to express their feelings to you. The feelings of anger, sadness, happiness, and affection should all be welcomed by you as a parent and discussed with your son.
By making time to talk to your son you can teach them to be respectful, patient, and sensitive. As a father, the greatest thing you can do for your son is respect women. Even if you and your son’s mother are divorced, it is still important to treat her with respect and never say mean things about her in front of your son. When a father shows that he respects women and appreciates them, his son will notice this example and will strive to be like his father.
As parents we need to understand that boys require as much emotional and physical support as girls. As you know, being a parent is a challenge. What works one day may not work the next, so you are constantly questioning your parenting skills. It is important for you to examine the rules you have set for your son and for your daughter. Be sure that you are treating them equally and that you do not have a different set of rules for your son than your daughter. It is never too late to make a change in your parenting style.
Boys tend to learn by example. By nature, many boys do not open up quickly about their emotional or physical problems. By establishing an environment where you show your son it is safe to talk about their problems, they won’t feel as inclined to bottle their emotions. If you set a good example at home, your son will learn respect for others, principles of responsibility, education, and how to have a good self esteem.
For teenage boys, having a positive self esteem is very important. Those teenage years are some of the hardest times your son will have to experience. By teaching him how to have a positive self-esteem, you will be doing him a great favor. Sadly, many parents don’t take the time to teach their son about sports. While some parents view sports as a “gender role”, it is important for your son to learn how to shoot a basketball, throw a football, and hit a baseball. During his teenage years, he will run into other boys his age who use sports as a way to make friends and pass their spare time. With just five minutes a day, you can help your son feel accepted into the crowd of the other boys his age.