How To Raise Respectful Boys

As a parent, your everyday conversations with your son can greatly impact his thinking, as well as his interactions, with the opposite sex. After all, change really and truly does begin at home.

By Team ParentCircle

How To Raise Respectful Boys

We are often guilty of ‘gender stereotypes’ knowingly or unknowingly. To raise respectful boys, we should stop using a list of words and phrases at home. We’re calling it the T-12 rule since it is among the fastest ways to bring about a change.

Boys have emotions too

Wrong: Why are you crying like a girl?
Right: You seem to be upset about something. Do you want to talk about it?

Boys are as much responsible as girls 

Wrong: Boys will be boys (even if the phrase is used for fun).
Right: Children will be children.

Being brave isn't about being 'manly' 

Wrong: In tough situations, behave like a man.
Right: In tough situations, be brave and resolute.

Women can be assertive too

Wrong: She is so aggressive like a man, at work
Right: She is an assertive leader at work.

Household work is not just girls' responsibility 

Wrong: Son, ask your sister to set the table.
Right: Son, it’s your turn to set the table today.

Doing household work doesn't diminish stature

Wrong: He is a henpecked husband. He does household chores.
Right: He lends a helping hand at home.

Girls are not the only ones who complain

Wrong: What are you complaining for, like a girl?
Right: What are you complaining about?

Women can have muscles too

Wrong: She is too muscular, like a man.
Right: She is fit and healthy.

Football can be played by both boys and girls

Wrong: Why does your sister have to play football? It’s a boy's game.
Right: Your sister has a natural talent for the game.

Boys can be as sincere as girls

Wrong: You boys never do your work on time. Only the girls are sincere about their work.
Right: A few of you never do your work on time.

Women shouldn't have to be confined to desk jobs

Wrong: I want her to take up a desk job. Leave the outdoor jobs to the boys.
Right: She can choose what she is most comfortable with.

Boys can feel scared too

Wrong: Don’t be a sissy. It’s only a lizard.
Right: The lizard scared you?

You can take inspiration from these examples to come with your own phrases for other such instances, in your daily conversations. The main idea here is to not divide human qualities, e.g. bravery, sincerity, building muscles, etc. by gender. This will help your son learn that there's nothing wrong with boys being emotional or, girls being assertive. 

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