10 life lessons to teach your son

Every parent have some core learning or life lessons to teach your child and that differ from between parents depending on what we ourselves experienced, our personality and what truly matters to us. As a mom to only boys, sister to only brothers, experience of working in all-male workplaces I have seen a lot of men and some of their struggles. We often hear of the inequality between men and women and I agree there are a lot to work on. Often men are displayed as the gender in power, while women are being discriminated and in many cases that are undoubtedly true. But I wish there were a more nuanced way to view this.

I’ve seen men suffer as a result of not being taught simple life lessons and values girls and women are taught in every day life. Boys aren’t taught to label and manage their feelings to the same extent as girls. Boys aren’t taught self-regulation to the same degree since we tell girls to be quiet and don’t play loudly while we believe “boys will be boys” when they do the same. We ask boys to be stop whining and push them away when crying in order to teach them independence and to be strong while we comfort girls and accknowledge and accept their feelings. We don’t let boys chose their clothes and toys while we encourage girls to wear what they want and be both superwoman and princess if they want. Boys on the other hand often are given male role models and action heroes while girls can have both male and female heroes and idols to look up to.

This inequality and differences in how we raise children impacts girls to be suppressed but it also means we impact our boys to become, alone dealing with emotions their not able to manage and with few, if any, to talk to about it. Not taking full responsibility of their behavior and actions since their “just boys being boys”, something we later call toxic masculinity.

The good thing is that we as parents can make an impact on our children and teach them the life skills we didn’t learn in our childhood. Being aware of how we behave, think and talk to our children we can teach our sons to be responsible, understanding and respectful.

If you listed 10 values you want your sons to know, what would that be?

This is my list of 10 life lessons I want to my sons to know and understand:

  1. It’s okay to feel angry, sad, and disappointed, they are part of life. Don’t avoid them, learn to handle them.
  2. You’re always responsible for yourself and how you behave. If you make a mistake or hurt someone, take responsibility for it.
  3. Your body, your rules. Other bodies, their rules.
  4. If you have an opinion, you should know why you are of that opinion.
  5. Be clear of what you want and think and what you don’t want. That way others don’t have to guess.
  6. It’s okay to be angry, sad and disappointed but it’s never okay to hurt others due to those feelings.
  7. Say “sorry” when you really mean it.
  8. Say what you mean and mean what you say.
  9. Wherever you are and what happens you’re always welcome home.
  10. You’re amazing and always loved. Never forget that!

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