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Earlier this week, I wrote on how a father can teach his daughter how she should be treated by a man. There were a few people who felt that my write up was incomplete as boys need to be taught how to treat the opposite sex as well. That was my cue. So here goes..
We live in a world where women are forever being marginalised, exploited and oppressed. Women are objectified in movies, music videos, commercials and what not. In an environment like this, how will the next generation learn to respect women? It’s hard to imagine but, your little boys today are going to be tomorrow’s boyfriends, husbands and fathers. One of the most important lessons that a father can pass on to his son is, respect for the opposite sex. Here’s how a dad can help to teach his young man at home to treat women the right way.
Set an example
Boys look upto the adult men in their life for inspiration. A father can be one of the most powerful role models. Treat the women in your life as equals and the little fellow is bound to follow. Teach him that chivalry is not dead. Hold the door open, carry the bags home from the car, and offer assistance regardless of gender. Being chivalrous doesn’t make you subservient, but instead shows your deference.
Appreciate their role in the house
Whether your wife is a stay at home mom or works outside, never demean her role in the running of the family. Managing a household is not an easy task. Balancing work and home is even harder. Appreciate and compliment her often, even in her absence. Children pick up cues from their environment.
Don't gender stereotype
When children grow up with the impression that cooking and cleaning is a woman’s job, it’s going to be hard for them to get out of that space even when they grow. Pitch in with the house work, being it washing the car or hanging the clothes out to dry. Whip up a meal once in a while, or if cooking is not your forte, help set the table or clear after the meal. That way, boys will learn that no task is below them and that they should contribute equally.
Teach not to judge the choices of women
Teach your son that just as he has the freedom to make his own decisions, women do too. They deserve to have the freedom to pick the career of their choice and wear what they feel comfortable in. If boys get a notion that a woman’s place is in the kitchen and that she should be covered from head to toe at all times, they are bound to have the same views as adults and be critical about it.
Encourage interaction with the opposite sex
Positive friendships with women at a young age will lead him to understand and treat men and women as equals. He will learn that women are just as intelligent and capable as he is. Working alongside the opposite sex will also teach him to listen and take the inputs of women.
Creating a society where men respect women begins at home. It’s never too early to begin. Your actions, thoughts and words should reflect your respect and regard for women. Do your part towards making a better tomorrow. Changing men’s attitude starts with dad.