Don’t pull a girl’s hair because you like her and don’t put a frog in her backpack. That’s what you thought you were signing up for when you started teaching your son how to treat girls. It probably didn’t take long to figure out it’s a lot more complicated than that. Maybe your son is starting to show an interest in girls, or he’s ready to go to his first school dance. Maybe he’s just not sure how to treat his female cousins or classmates.
This might feel like a dad-thing, but Mom, you have a unique opportunity to help shape the way your son views girls. After all, you’re the most important one in his life for now! So check out these 5 things moms must teach their sons about how to treat girls.
Treat girls with dignity and respect.
Your son wants to be treated with respect, right? So encourage him to show that same respect to girls through his actions and his words. Help him form simple habits:
• Use your words to stand up for a girl when her dignity is being violated.
• Stop and think before you speak. Will your words make a girl feel better about herself, or worse?
• Speak your mind respectfully and listen respectfully when she speaks. Never use physical force to make a point.
Recognize that every girl is unique.
Help your son understand that each girl is unique, with talents and gifts that make her special. Respecting a girl’s individuality will take work on his part:
• Stay away from labels. Girls are more than just their appearance.
• Take time to get to know girls as friends.
Communication is key.
Your interaction with your son can help him develop good communication skills. Take turns talking and listening to each other without interrupting. Some communication basics will help his interactions with girls:
• Assume the best in others.
• Seek to understand the other point of view, even if you don’t agree.
• Approach every conversation as a learner.
Be a “gentle-man.”
Look for opportunities to let your son practice being a gentleman with you. Simple manners or teaching him to help others without being asked is a great place to start. He’ll be on the right track with some fundamentals:
• Be motivated by compassion.
• Be selfless rather than selfish.
• Seek to make each situation better for everyone.
No means no.
Reiterate to your son that he must always respect a girl’s boundaries. Boundaries are a way of honoring ourselves and others as separate individuals with needs and wants that differ. There are minimum requirements for boundary setting:
• If you are unclear what a girl’s boundaries are, ask.
• Establish your own boundaries and inform others of them.
Download the printable version of this article to help you with your conversations with your son.