Bringing up a child, no matter if it is a boy or a girl, costs a lot of effort, patience, will and personal example. If have a son, though, surely there is one more important mission to be accomplished – creating enough strength and confidence and at the same time enough attention and respect to the other gender. Here are some steps that will help you along the way:
1. Do not underestimate the example given in the family
If want your boy to be calm, collected, confident, independent and respectful to others, it is of dire importance that he grows up in a family environment which possesses these qualities. If he sees how his father treats his mother with disrespect, this will probably make him angry, it will hurt him and will offend him. But do not be surprised if after a while he starts doing the same and follows in his father’s tracks with some girl at school or in his relationships. It is very common that people repeat the role models from their childhood, even those that they disliked strongly. For a five-year-old boy the man in the family is the first role model – sometimes this is the father, and in other cases this may turn out to be the grandfather or the uncle.
2. Drop your expectations and phrases like “Act like a man”
Have you thought about how many stereotypes and common phrases fill in our mind even from childhood? “Boys don’t cry”, “Stop whining”, “Don’t play this game, it’s for girls”. Without us knowing, some gender stereotypes are formed in the child’s mind, some of which have to do with the notion that the man has to be rude, not showing any emotions and that being emotional is bad and embarrassing. It is often that while trying to hide their emotional side, little boys start acting inappropriately towards girls, they start pushing them, yanking their hair and offending them, just because they have felt affected and rejected.
3. Do not be short on kindness
There is no better way to achieving confidence, independency and healthy self-esteem in the child than making them feel loved. Of course, many people have a crooked understanding of love, which oftenbecomes spoiling and a full lack of discipline, but this is not the question here. The truth is, both boys and girls need tenderness and attention, especially when they are at their youngest. 4. Talk to your son
If you have established a strong relationship with your son, he should not feel bad about sharing anything with you and talking about different topics. Watch out for that thin boundary, though, when the son does not separate from his mother’s shadow. Ideally, your boy will be open enough to the world with his interests, friendships, hobbies and at the same time he will have the desire to talk with his parents and have the feeling that he can count on them.