When you become parents, you have many plans up in your sleeves for your darling babies. You work relentlessly to provide them comforts, emotional security, nutritious food, good education and what not!
But your children are more than the fruit of your labour. They are a growing system of their own, with their own set of likes, dislikes, fears and insecurities. When they are small, they blindly follow you, but as they start to grow older, they try to understand things according to their point of view. It is same for boys and girls, but the way things manifest for both the genders may vary according to the age, environment and society they live in.
If you are the parent of a boy child, you would surely know how the kid feels when you kiss him without a warning in the public, or hold his hand while walking. He is no longer a little boy whom you could just hold and cuddle at any point in time.
So, as parents, you need to accept it and adapt to his growing age. You have to take his opinion on decisions pertaining to him. If you are wondering how to go about it, some of the pointers given below might help you:
To have a circumcision is an extremely personal choice and you shouldn’t decide on behalf of your son. It is his body and his choice to make when he grows up.
2. To not ask
It may seem down-right ridiculous, but ask him before you want to kiss or hug him. In all likelihood, you will always have an ‘yes’ for an answer, but if you do so, you are instilling the concept and importance of ‘consent’, and it will save him from taking others for granted or getting trapped into undue advances as he grows up.
3. Undue comparison
You might compare your boy with others of his age, telling him to be like them because they are bigger, stronger or more athletic. It is a subtle form of body-shaming, and you should not do it at any cost. You will only make him feel deprived and lacking in confidence.
4. Force him to pose for photos
It is a common practice to force our kids to pose with relatives, statues, life-size animation characters and so on, but if they aren’t interested, don’t be pushy. Respect their choice. Sometimes they just don’t want to fake that grin when they are not in the mood to do so.
5. Depriving him of those little choices
Give him a choice to decide what he wants to wear to play or to go for an outing. Let him decide his looks. If you let him make small decisions now, he will be more confident in taking bigger decisions later. It will make him more independent.
6. Long or short
Instead of going by gender rules, why not let your boy decide if he wants to have longer hair or chop it off? In fact, many times they look quite smart in their tresses.
7. Embarrass him
As your boy grows, he will try his own ways to cope with his body changes and sexuality. If you find him in an awkward state, don’t embarrass him with parental rebukes. Rather, talk to him directly, and make him understand about these changes. An open mind leads to an open relationship.
8. Force feed
Often too much of coercion just does the opposite. Don’t force him too much if he doesn’t want to eat something. Try a different recipe or another occasion to make him eat it. If you force a lot, he may develop issues like permanent aversion.
9. Make him play a certain sport
You as parents may want your son to take up your favourite sport. But if he is not inclined, don’t pressurize him. He may have other choices, so motivate him to excel in what he likes.
These were a few things that you may keep in mind during your interactions with your son. We are sure that being respectful towards his identity will make your relationship a more affectionate and harmonious one.