Teaching our boys, August 27, 2018 Daily Reflection

My husband and my son on a walk when he was little

As parents we need to think about what we are teaching our children. We concentrate on teaching our daughters to stay safe; don’t drink out of an open cup, don’t walk anywhere alone, know how to say no to a boy, don’t put yourself in a bad situation. What do we say to our sons? We should teach our sons from a very young how to respect girls. Parents should model respect for the opposite sex. Men should not treat women like objects, as though nudity, strippers, or porn is acceptable as long as it happens behind closed doors. Men shouldn’t make sexist jokes or refer to women with gender stereotypical language. Think about what you are watching with your children. The types of movies and shows. Do they depict women as beneath men? Lots of sitcoms make sexist and sexual jokes about women.

Thank God for the MeToo Movement! It is helping to change our culture. Respect and reverence must be shown to all people at all times. This is a behavior that should have always been. Sadly, the reality is our culture is just now learning the importance of respect. Without respect for all people violence occurs, sexual harassment and assault. The cultures within our society; workplace, educational system, faith place, and public are determined by what is accepted and taught in our families. As parents we are the first teachers of our children. That doesn’t mean we are the only influence, there are many others. It does mean we are the first line of influence.

Today, consider what you were raised with unconsciously or not. Did you hear, “You throw like a girl,” “Don’t cry like a girl” “You are a sissy” “man-up” “Act like a man.” These are all comments we grew up that we thought were harmless. Turns out those mind sets cause a division and degradation of girls. Think about your words, actions, and the media, movies, and shows you are exposing your children to and decide if it lifts up others or places them lower. As parents we have to reflect. We have the responsibility to raise our children to respect and care for others. We have to teach not just our girls, but also our boys.

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