How to help raise your son to respect women
Raise your son to respect women: Future of a child is determined by the personality and character shaped by his parents.
It is reality that cases of sexual harassment and violence are increasing day by day and mostly the victims are females.
Topics covered in this Blog
- How fathers influence their sons’ attitude towards women
- 20 ways to help raise your son to respect women
- What to do when you spot Disrespect (S-E-E Approach)
- Self-check Questionnaire for Boys…
- A note to Parents
In most of the cases, where there are cases of sexual harassment. The culprits are teenage boys.
This is because the culprits have a lack of knowledge about women rights, their protection and concept of respect.
This attitude of disrespect for girls is not confined to just violence and harassment but it is beyond that and can be seen in various ways.
e.g. your son considering that women are weak, not giving them importance in all important decisions and ignoring their opinion etc.
Children are best imitators and when they see all this happening around them, their personality is destroyed. They also get into it the wrong side of law.
You do not want to see this happening with your baby later.
If you do not want your son to be like this then, the role of parents to help raise your son to respect women becomes very crucial.
As I said before, children are the best imitators and therefore it is our responsibility to give them the best imitation.
As a parent we must set examples of good habits for our son if we want him to be a REAL MAN.
Teaching and to raise your son to respect women is not so easy but you need not to worry. There are few easy steps to follow if you want your son to grow as strong, loving, caring and a real man.
How fathers influence their sons’ attitude towards women
Father play a very important role in bringing about healthy respect for women in their sons. Their role to help raise your son to respect women is pivotal.
Most of the time sons imitated the men that are closely associated with. The look up to and mirror their behaviour. Their attitude towards the opposite sex gets influenced by them.
The best behavior the father must model is to treat older women as a respectable person would treat his mother and younger women as a loving brother would treat his sister.
I have outline below some of the ways in which fathers knowingly or unknowingly influence their sons’ attitude towards women. And that can hamper to raise your son to respect women.
Ways fathers influence..
- Sons always watch the way fathers treat their spouse.
- They also watch how as a father you treat your female siblings and mother.
- The way fathers treat their female children and the expectations they have from them.
- Fathers mannerism, and words they use is observed. (E.g. A father telling a crying son by saying “Don’t cry like a Girl”, or when the father has a “wandering eyes” or when he turns and looks or hoots at a lady.
- How they interact and respond to women they meet in day to day life. (e.g. A cashier at a store, or a waitress etc.)
- The type of movies or serials you as a father choose to watch. Or the magazines or material that you read. (in case it objectifies women)
- The interaction you have with your female boss or colleagues. And what and how you speak about them behind their back.
- The friends that you hang out with and the jokes you make with your friends. Also, when they are close friends. Your son starts watching their attitude towards women.
- How you respond to mistakes or errors committed by a female person. (E.g. You get blocked by a car in front and you spot it is a female driver. You cuss saying “Women” and honk.).
- The type of work or chores you expect the female members of the family to do or do not do. (E.g. When you tell your daughter, she cannot change car tyre because she is a girl. And instead she cannot help in the kitchen)
You might also be interested in reading our article 11 Amazing ways FATHER’S contribute to child’s success and How-To deal with teen sons – A father’s perspective
20 ways to help raise your son to respect women
Our behavior matters:
If your child sees you respect women, he will do the same. If you disrespect, then he will also imitate.
Parents must take care of their attitude. Tell your son that all human beings in this world are equal and they deserve equal love and respect.
How mother is treated:
Children pay attention to how their mothers are treated. So, the behavior of a father with his wife will shape the behavior of his son with women in his life.
Those children who see their mothers are loved by their fathers and are treated well, also love their partners later.
Women are not weak:
When you are raising your son, never instill the idea that women are weak and incompetent beings. Make him a gentleman without degrading women.
Division of labor:
If you have sons and daughters, treat them equally. Never teach your boy that girls in the family are supposed to serve him because the world is entirely changed now.
Your son should not be disappointed afterwards. Teach your son to cook and your daughter to change tires. Teach them that all work can be done equally by both sexes. There is no discrimination or division in labor.
Women are not commodities:
Sometimes parents play with their son’s by asking them hypothetical questions like “Which girl will you choose”. When they are watching a beauty pageant. Or just comparing the girls in your son’s class… etc…
If you promote this idea, then your boy will grow up thinking that women are commodities and can be purchased. He may have a misunderstanding that all the girls out there will be waiting for him and he can get what he wants.
But when he knows the fact that girls also have desires and emotions then his life becomes very upset.
Parents are real culprits who put such empty expectations in the son’s mind. And this is not the way to raise your son to respect women.
Teach him the meaning of beauty:
Teach your son about the inner beauty and how to appreciate it. As a parent we should tell our son that beauty is not just appearance.
It is better to make them understand this at a very early age. Change beauty standards in a child’s mind and then allow him to play or interact with females as a normal thing.
By doing this, he will not feel awkward or will not treat them differently. He must know that they are just like men, equal humans.
Do not humiliate other women in front of your child and never teach him that women owe beauty to the world.
Be wise with your son:
Everyone makes mistakes in their teenage years. If your son does, do not be harsh on his silly mistakes and handle the situation wisely.
For example, if he starts dating a girl or smoking, let him learn from his mistake first but if he crosses the limit to endanger himself and others or leads to crime then you have to be strict with your son for his good.
Be stern and unyielding. The self-help checklist given below will help you talk sense to your son.
You might be interested in our article smart teen.
When you are together, be present with your child:
Sometimes parents are together with their child, but they are not present with him. This thing also has a very bad impact on his personality, and he does not become your friend.
He starts hiding his feelings and makes friends with those who have nothing to do with character building of your son. For example, a child is trying to tell you something and you are constantly busy on your cell phone.
Be friends with your child to shape his personality and it will help to teach him the importance of family and relationships. And health family relationships help raise your son to respect women.
Do not promote masculinity:
Parents should never infuse this idea of masculinity in boys that it is a sacred thing. A child is a child. Keep him away from such thoughts.
If you glorify masculinity in front of him, he will look down women and consider himself superior. Which will cause disappointment later.
Do not humiliate women:
Do not humiliate women by asking your son not to cry like a girl or do not whine like a woman. Or comments like “women are like this. “Women are useless” etc…
With such words you are promoting violence, he will grow up thinking that wife is a horrible thing. And you will not be helping to raise your son to respect women.
Teach him to apologize:
If you make a mistake then apologize with your son, he will learn to apologize for his mistake. It is important for him to know that a mistake is a mistake and he needs to apologize. Be it to men or women.
It is very important to teach him that he is just like other humans and can make a mistake too.
He will realize that no one is perfect and start treating others in a better way.
Give him understanding:
Tell your boy in a simple way how to respect a woman e.g. start from home and school.
Teach him not to treat his sister or any classmate as a weak creature. Both boys and girls can be leaders in a class.
Also tell him to avoid violence like pulling hair and hitting etc.
Tell him importance of others:
Tell your son that he is not the center of everything. Being a “Boy” does not have any special or extra privileges. All “boys or Girls” deserve love and respect.
He should learn to love, respect, and empathize other because if he thinks he is superior to others then he can never be happy in life.
Make your moments special:
Make each moment special with your son. Which will have a very positive impact on his personality.
For example, a father can ask him to cook something for his mother. The taste of food might not be good, but it will have a long-lasting impact. He will learn to care for women in his life.
Instead of humiliating women, by taunting your child and saying that do not cry like a girl, parents should discuss his problems. Teach him to express all his emotions, his love, anger, and sadness.
Let him cry if he is crying for a strong reason. It is better for his health rather than keeping in heart which becomes a disease.
This is a very important aspect of human personality which should be kept in mind while raising a son.
Say I love you to your son. He wants to hear this just like your daughter. He must know that expressions of feelings do not mean weakness. Women do not cry because they are weak.
It is important to communicate and express your emotions.
Teach him to defend the truth:
Teach your son what is right and what is wrong and give him courage to defend the truth.
He can do it by taking a stand for women in his life and for the protection of their rights.
Tell him stories:
Tell stories to your son where women have great characters. Remember mothers are also role models for a child.
Tell him stories of women who faced adversity and came out successful. Let him read about strong influencers who are women.
Encourage him have women role models also and take the good qualities from them.
When he sees that women are also a force to reckon and they have commendable achievements. It will help you raise your son to respect women
Our trending article Storytelling to kids – Popular Trend these day can give you some more light in this matter.
Show your son the value of respect
Start talking to your son early on and life on how important respected. Do teach that respect is a two-way street. Let him know that the more respect he shows to others the more respect he will get in return.
Explain to him that he needs to earn respect. And respect should be shown to him because of the person he is a not out of fear.
You treat your son with respect. It shows that no matter what the authority you hold on him you are humble to give another human respect.
These things would form an imprint in his mind. And you will indirectly raise your son to respect women.
Do not trivialize disrespect
Disrespect is disrespect. There is nothing called a slight disrespect or a big disrespect. Hooting or whistling on a girl who passes by is as much disrespect as a person trying to grope a woman.
Both are not lawful, and both need to be treated with stern hand.
So, do not let this type of respect slip by under the radar as harmless fun. Be it staring inappropriately on a woman. Or passing a sly remark.
Have Sex Ed talks with your kid
Make sure that you personally have sex educational talk with your children. Why nowadays most of the schools do have sex educational classes to educate their students.
It is still best that you do it yourself also and not totally rely on the school or the school counsellor.
In this way you have better control of the message that you are driving home to your child.
It can be a bit uncomfortable, but it is a need and a necessity.
Read our article on How-To have constructive sex talk with your teenager to help you with it.
What to do when you spot Disrespect
Do you do when you spot your son disrespecting a woman or a girl. Say for example you spot them teasing their sister or their female friend. It might be considered as harmless fun. But it all starts as a harmless fun activity stop
Below is the S-E-E Approach that I learnt from the article (https://ifstudies.org/blog/teaching-boys-to-respect-women) I find it very apt and easy to remember because of the acronym S-E-E. And I like our readers to know about it.
STOP: When you spot disrespect stop it then and there. Correct your kid immediately so they know what the reason was they are being corrected. Disrespect is not be tolerated.
EMPATHISE – Make them feel empathy. You can do it by asking them questions like “Do you think your sister will feel good about your comment / teasing?”. “Would you like it if you were teased so if you were a girl?”. Etc… Make them see the probable effects of their action.
EDUCATE – Understand from your son the reason for their comment or teasing. Was it purely for fun? Or were there triggers that lead to your son reacting in this way.
Teach them triggers or no triggers there is a proper way to behave and disrespect is not acceptable. However, also empathize with your son if he has been led to such reaction and educate him the right way to respond or act in the situation.
Use the S-E-E Approach wen ever you spot disrespected. Start these conversations early in life and slowly but steadily your son will get the right message that will last his lifetime.
Self-check Questionnaire for Boys
Below is a small checklist that I have given to my boys. To do a self-assessment if they are in doubt…
They must run through these 5 easy yes / no questions to judge what they are about to do.
A ‘NO’ to any of these answers means that they should not do it…
And if they have slipped, they should immediately accept and apologies.
Self-check Questionnaire …
- If the act they are engaging is recorded and slipped to social media will they feel proud.
- Will their parents feel proud when they get to know of their act?
- Do they like their loved ones (mother, sister, or girlfriend) be subjected to such an act?
- Do you think your act will make the lady feel comfortable and happy?
- Will they be proud of their act when they think about it later?
As you raise your son to respect women. When you talk to them. Ask them to use this checklist every single time.
Teach them that this is a good prevention tool. And will help them no do something they will regret later.
A note to Parents
If you gossip or talk cheap about other women. Remember your child is watching. Do not transfer this idea of jealousy to your child.
If you think you are in a race with other women, your son will learn the same from you and will treat the women same way in future.
Keep highlighting the good qualities that are displayed. Irrespective of the gender. E.g. if you son was empathetic highlight that and when your girl is bold and courageous highlight that.
Support the interest of your boys and girls equally. Do not do it as per their gender. E.g. if you girl says that she likes to join Karate class and your son says he likes to learn pottery. Encourage them.
Make it a house rule that there is zero-tolerance for discrimination, disrespect, or sexism.
And at the cost of repeating… Model respectful, kind behaviors. Nothing beats this.
Time flies. Our young babies become teenagers in no time. And they will be out on their own to face the world.
When I had my daughter, I was worried as any other concerned parent will be when it comes to a female child. Concerns such as abuse, Objectification, disrespect etc.
While yes, I do educate my little girl. I soon realized that all these can be tacked well for the society if I have my son’s display the right behavior and attitude.
Be cautious and give proper attention to your son if you want him to become a real man who respects women and treats them right.
So, give time to your children at all stages of life. Enjoy this time with them. Model the behavior that you like your son to show to others. And soon you will have a son who will make you one proud parent.
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Let us know techniques you used to help your son respect women. Leave your replies in the comments below…