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 • 5 min read
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 up with your own phrases in such 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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