Every parent wants their son to grow into someone who is strong, dependable and respectful. Although society today is drastically changing and many parents have bridged the gap between how they raise their boys and girls, one cannot completely discard the fact that there are still different societal expectations enforced on both genders. This is mainly due to the fact that men and women are different and competent in their own ways. However, in the quest to make your son a competent and successful adult, you don’t want to stifle him or his growth in order to fulfill society’s expectations.
For example, boys are always taught to put their own needs aside especially if they are emotional needs in order to do their duty of protecting and taking care of their family. But how can anyone take care of another individual if they are unable to take care of themselves? It’s time to update these outdated rules. Here are a couple of mistaked you may be making and should avoid while raising your son.
1. When You Tell Your Son That Any Situation Can Be Figured Out By Talking
Now just to be clear, we don’t condone violence. But simply talking to someone may not be the best tactic to get out of a tricky situation. Modern people are not ready to live in a completely aggression free society yet. And that’s because sometimes you need aggression in order to defend yourself in a dangerous scenario. For example, if a child who is the same age or older than your child has an aggressive attitude towards your child and it is impossible to avoid a fight with them
They are not going to calm down simply because your child insists on talking it out. And as hard as it may be to digest, your child must learn to defend themselves physically for the sake of their own safety. If you condition your child to never fight back, there may be some terrible repercussions that you didn’t see coming. Instead of teaching them that aggression is bad, teach them what scenarios and circumstances it is allowed in.
2. When Parents Call Any Girl Their Son Communicates With His Girlfriend
It’s time to get rid of the ridiculous notion that your boy can’t have a friend who is a girl. Not a romantic interest or a crush, just his friend. Moms and grannies think it’s cute to label any girl their baby boy interacts with as their girlfriend or future wife or bride. But this can be extremely confusing and awkward for your child and you may end up ruining a great friendship unintentionally. This is done without any bad intentions and, of course, at that moment adults don’t think that this girl will become their son’s bride one day and that’s not okay!
You might even mean it as a joke, but your humor may not translate well to your child. Besides, if you constantly emphasize any contact he makes with women he may start to avoid them in the future. He may feel like he simply cannot interact with them in a platonic and neutral setting.
3. When You Insist That Boys Don’t Cry And Compare Them To Girls When They Do
Everyone cries when they are hurt and upset. It’s natural, just like laughing at a funny joke is. Neither action is reserved for a particular gender. Telling your boys that they can’t cry will only make them feel emotionally restricted. He will slowly view all of his emotions as something he must keep hidden and be ashamed when they are the most normal thing in the world. It may also cause some misconception between him and others. If he doesn’t see his father or other male figures cry, he might think there is something wrong with him for wanting to do so. When you go a step further and tell your boys that they are behaving like girls when they are having an appropriate emotional response, they will start to think of women as lesser beings for being able to express themselves.
4. When Boys Are Always Made To Make Way For Girls
The other extreme would be to raise a “perfect gentleman” who puts his personal needs, desires, and feelings of justice on the back burner. This is going to further confuse your son as they won’t understand why a person of one gender is treated differently than someone of another gender. Especially if we take into account that boys and girls have physically the same strength when they are younger.
Raising boys in this day and age can be difficult. They need to learn to be empathetic but strong. Be sensitive yet competent. But it isn’t an impossible task. As long as you avoid these pitfalls your son will be raised right. Happy parenting!