As I've blogged before, my son is all boy. Our lives revolve around cars, Cars, superheroes, emergency response vehicles, trains, and all things sports. This is not by design, and he also really loves playing with his toy kitchen. (Side note: my husband is the cook, so our kid thinks that is a masculine thing) The little guy loves to climb, explore, and rough house every chance he gets. I do not see any of this changing as he gets older, and I'm fine with it. Boys will be boys.
Currently the media is filled with stories of women surviving all sorts of sexual abuse. From the #metoo movement to the Cosby trial and sentencing, and I'm not even going to touch the drama in politics. It is starting to feel like more females than not have been a victim of some sort of sexual harassment, if not worse. I'm fully aware of this because I have also been a victim of harassment, and it sucks.
I can't imagine the difficulties in raising a girl in a climate where we hear about lenient sentencing toward abusers because it could ruin their lives. It's hard enough knowing that pretty much every day I'm walking into a workplace where I have to tread carefully to not get myself backed into a corner and become another victim. It makes me wonder what other moms of boys are doing to change things for the future. I'm already working on it in my home.
From an early age we have used variations on the same phrase to remind our guy how to act. If someone isn't having fun, you need to stop. If someone says stop, you have to stop. We use the phrases to remind him to respect others. When I ask for a kiss and he says no, I don't force a kiss on him. If he says he doesn't want to hug someone, he doesn't get forced to. I don't think a kid is ever too young to learn the basics of consent because boys will be boys, but they will also be accountable for their actions.
As he gets older and his interactions with others his age evolve, we will talk more about what consent really is. My hope is to raise a young man who never makes a date feel they have to go further than they want. And I hope he never feels pressured that way as well. My guy will probably always be a stereotypical guy, but I'm hoping that stereotype is one that includes a lot more respect for women in the future.
Who else has some good tips on raising respectful boys?