Respect is a learned virtue that is essential for well-rounded, emotionally intelligent people. Teaching respect can begin when children are very young and can come from a variety of influences. Creating a strong bond between mother and son and promoting different areas of respect throughout childhood are great ways to teach sons to respect women. Here are seven tips to instill respect:
1 – Teach Respect, Kindness and Compassion for Everyone
All people deserve respect, kindness and compassion. When this value is instilled in your son from a young age, he will view these virtues as common human courtesies not specific to any gender. As he grows up, this early lesson will help him treat all people with respect regardless of any differences from him. This includes showing your son mutual respect through love and honesty and expecting it in return.
2 – Surround Him with Positive Male Role Models who Respect Women
Children are incredible mimics and what they see at an early age sticks with them. Having positive male role models who respect women will demonstrate the importance to your son. Fathers, grandfathers, teachers, coaches, clergy and other male leaders and admired authority figures should all be wonderful examples of men who respect women. If you do find a male who is disrespectful to you or other women, discuss the behavior with them and how it affects the lesson you are trying to teach your son.
3 – Create a Safe Environment for Him to Express His Feelings
Holding your son to a traditional macho man stereotype may not serve him well. Sons should feel free to express their feelings openly, especially to parents. And you should be receptive and not dismissive of their feelings so they know you will help them work out negative feelings, anxiety and frustration. It is emotionally healthy to talk about feelings and will make your son more compassionate and relatable to women. Also remember, any child can be sensitive, even boys.
4 – Show Him How to be a Caring and Supportive Friend
Friendships with boys and girls are essential for sons. Developing and maintaining friendships teach children how to enjoy someone else’s company, accept other’s likes, dislikes and opinions, and compromise. Friendship offers the opportunity to be caring and supportive towards others, which is vital to future relationships with women.
5 – Coach Considerate Behaviors
Encouraging considerate behaviors from your son helps create a gentleman. This includes comforting or helping a friend in need, holding doors open for others, and random acts of kindness like drawing pictures for a sick friend or letting someone borrow a belonging. These behaviors should be expected of all children, but they are especially helpful when teaching sons to respect women.
6 – Engage Him in Universal Skills
Cooking, laundry, cleaning and helping out with family chores are all areas where your son can be involved. Even if you take on a traditional role of childcare and maintaining the household in your family, your son should be knowledgeable and capable of pitching in and not viewing such tasks as solely a woman’s job.
7 – Model and Encourage Affection
Being affectionate with your spouse and children will open the door for sons to be affectionate, loving and emotionally available to women later in life. Actively expressing love and affection is healthy and a terrific step on the path to respecting women.
Respect for women can and should be taught. Much of this lesson comes from universal values that apply to everyone including kindness, compassion, love, support and care. Instilling them early will help teach sons to respect women.
Sources: Modern Mom and Mamiverse