Dads need to teach their sons how to treat girls with respect. There will be no best person for your sons to learn it from than their dad. The absence of a father’s positive influence is most often filled by the influence of movies, TV, music, peers and pornography. You don’t want these things teaching your kids.
When fathers fail to step up and teach their sons how to treat women, they might end up treating their future girlfriends, wives, daughters and other women at risk of abuse and violence. Boys who don’t learn how to respect women have high risk for abusing girls and women as objects for sex and violence. The high rates of sexual assault in college campuses and workplace highlights this problem.
Fathers need to start early in teaching their sons how to respect women. If you have missed that opportunity, don’t worry, you can still start even if your son is an adult. This may take extra effort, but you – as a dad – will surely have an impact on your child.
Here’s how you can talk to your son about how to treat girls and women properly:
1. Show respect to your son’s mom
A mom can tell her son how to treat a woman, but only the father can show this through example. If you’ve been a parent for a while, you sure know that kids are big imitators. They love to imitate the world around them. They are always observing, and they get to pick up what they observe. So, to effectively teach your son how to treat women, show it by being nice to your son’s mom. Your words and actions are the greatest influence.
If you are married to your son’s mom and you’re together as a family, let him see you love your bride. Let your kids see that you are happy with her and that you are proud of her. Encourage her with kind words, cheer for her, support her and compliment her in her looks and actions. Touch her affectionately and comfort her. If you do have disagreements, don’t raise your tone on her especially when your sons are around. Forgive her mistakes and apologize for your wrongdoings. The way you treat your wife will be a good example for how your son will treat his own wife in the future.
If you are not married to your son’s mother, be on good terms with her. Support her in whatever ways you can, especially when it comes to being there for your son. If there is conflict and tension in your relationship with her, learn how to keep your buttons from being pushed. Your relationship with her may have ended, but you have to learn how to speak to her with kindness even in the midst of disagreement. It’s for your child’s sake. If your son is living with his mother instead of you, you have to make a good impression with your son by being in an amicable relationship with his mother.
2. Teach your son to respect his mom
Help your son to know the difference between respect and disrespect in words or actions. Observe how your son talks to his mom and how he relates to her. Point out when he says or does something disrespectful and coach him on a better behavior.
Direct your son by telling him what to say or do and help him do it. If he needs to learn how to apologize, it must come from you. A father who can teach his child to be humble enough to accept mistakes and say sorry are great fathers. Coach him by saying what exactly was disrespectful in what he did or said, and ask him to identify a more respectful alternative. Then encourage him to do it.
This is best to do when you two are alone and not in front of others, so as not to embarrass your son. Also, when your son does what you taught him, give him a positive feedback and commend him for his good deed.
3. Teach your son to respect his sister
If your son has a sister, you can help train him to be a better man in the future. Teaching him to respect his sister is best to start young, even if the sister is older. Encourage him to treat her with kindness and courtesy. Teach him some gentlemanly actions like opening doors for her, helping her carry things, offering her his seat when all other seats are taken. A relationship with a boy and girl siblings may be rough most of the times, so it’s better to start teaching these things as young as they are to avoid having to mend rough patches in the future.
If there is already a history of tension and conflict between your son and daughter, encourage your son to make peace with her sister. Teach him to take the first step by apologizing for any wrong behavior and making a commitment to respect and be at peace with her going forward. He should also forgive her sister for any disrespect shown towards him.
4. Tell him to treat everyone with dignity and respect
Men crave respect. Once your son is around nine to 10 years old, it’s time to teach your son the value of respect so that he will receive it from people it as he gets older. Of course, he must first be getting respect from you so that he would easily learn to respect others. Teach him to follow the golden rule – to treat others the same way he likes to be treated. Discuss with him that it’s like putting money in the bank. The more respect he puts in the bank by showing respect to others, the more likely he’s going to get respected in return.
5. Teach him the right attitude towards women
It will be great if your son learns how to treat a woman – any woman right if he learns it from you. Not from his friends, not from the internet, but from his father because it’s very important.
Let him see how you express love for your daughter. Take your son with you to buy flowers or any small gift for mom. Go to the store together and politely talk to the cashier or saleswoman. Always be polite and thankful to any female who serves you – waitresses, nurses, your housekeeper and the like. This will help your son understand how it is to be a good and respectful man.
6. Help him recognize that everyone is unique
Each person is unique. Teach your son to recognize and honor these qualities in other people, whether they are a boy or a girl. Teach him to stay away from stereotypes and labels. Tell him not to be too quick to judge other people and not treat another differently because they have a disability, condition, unusual appearance or whatsoever. Tell him to take his time to get to know others because he may find lifelong friends.
7. Teach him that “no” means “no.”
Talk to your son about respecting the boundaries of others. When girls say no, tell him to respect that. Help them understand that there are things that are okay to say to girls and do around girls, and what are not. Be their ally in upholding their boundaries. And also, establish your own boundaries.
8. Help him learn domestic duties
This is about how to tie his own necktie, how to shave and how to iron his shirts. Your kid can learn it from the internet or from his mom, but admit it, it will be so much better if he learns these from you. Don’t waste this precious opportunity to teach your son these things. Also, show him that men should also do chores around the house like cooking, washing the dishes, washing his clothes, mowing the lawn and things like that. Help him grow up knowing how to take care of himself, so that he won’t be too dependent on his mom. Boys who let their mom do all things for them may end up being a husband who treats his wife like his mom.
9. Have a man-to-man conversation about love and dating
Once your son enters his teenage years, let him learn about this all-powerful feeling of being in love from a masculine heart-to-heart conversation with him. For a teenage boy, it will be a valuable gift if his father tells him about his first love, his first dates, his first girlfriends and all these dating experiences (of course you don’t have to divulge sensitive details) and tell him that he shouldn’t hurry because it’s always better to wait for the right girl. Save your son from heartbreaks and rejections or from being the heartbreaker. Such conversations will be useful for building mutual trust. It may be awkward, but it will be a rewarding experience for you once your son opens up about his crush or the girl he wants to date.
10. Teach him male tricks
Although nowadays, a lot of women can do what men can do, there are still some who rely on men to do “manly” stuff – for instance, starting a fire, fixing a broken item, changing a car tire, hammering nails, cooking on the grill for burgers and barbeque, and things like that. Even if your child is urban, there’s no doubt that having these life skills will be handy for him in the future. There’s no better person for your son to learn all these things but his father, and these skills will surely add 100 points to your son’s reputation in any group of friends or company he is in. This will help women see him as a reliable man.