Written by Team ParentCircle and published on 23 January 2022.
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
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.
Wrong: Why are you crying like a girl?
Right: You seem to be upset about something. Do you want to talk about it?
Wrong: Boys will be boys (even if the phrase is used for fun).
Right: Children will be children.
Wrong: In tough situations, behave like a man.
Right: In tough situations, be brave and resilient.
Wrong: She is so aggressive like a man, at work
Right: She is an assertive leader at work.
Wrong: Son, ask your sister to set the table.
Right: Son, it's your turn to set the table today.
Wrong: He is a henpecked husband. He does household chores.
Right: He lends a helping hand at home.
Wrong: What are you complaining for, like a girl?
Right: What are you complaining about?
Wrong: She is too muscular, like a man.
Right: She is fit and healthy.
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.
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.
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.
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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