Raising our Sons Consciously

A child should be taught to respect themselves; mind, body and soul during the 18 years that parents are responsible for raising them.

As with girls, a boy should know that no one has the right to touch his body without permission. 

**More often than not this happens to girls than boys.  However, I am aware of stories that I heard from my clients in social services and this generally happened from people outside the home (i.e., teacher, older boy in the neighborhood, but also siblings in the home).  I have found that if it happens in the home, the parent is less apt to believe than if it happens outside the home.  This is because there is a stigma that relates to boy/boy sexual abuse.  It is easier to imagine someone else doing this but when you have to deal with homosexuality in your own home it is not so easy.  I also find that boys are less likely to want to discuss this topic than girls are.  Thus parents need to be pro-active in making sure they are providing the type of relationship to their children that they feel safe enough to trust them and tell them if something happens. If it happens outside the home you would contact the police. If it happens inside the home you would contact children’s protective services.

A young boy should grow up to know he is capable of accomplishing his dreams.  As with girls, if they show any signs of weakness, focus on their strengths.  If they have a handicap, don’t make them believe their life is pointless due to this setback.  Disabled men have gone on to enter sports competitions, climb mountains, and many other adventurous endeavors.

** If a boy feels confident in himself he will not be a bully or have enough anger to be violent toward others.

A father is very important to a young boy.  When he doesn’t have one it can be more difficult than for a girl because he does not have someone to identify with as a role model.  If his own father is unavailable or unhealthy (this includes abusive), it is important to find a mentor for him in his neighborhood.  This could be a minister, teacher, uncle, boy scout leader, and could even be a boyfriend but the latter is more suspect. 

**Unless the boyfriend is good with kids, the child will more than likely develop a dislike for him and will rebel against him for taking his mom away. Good rule of thumb, if your child does not like your partner, find a mentor in the community.  I’d also give serious thought to the partner you have chosen.

A young boy should grow up in a violent free home and taught that it is unacceptable to strike another person.  A good sport to put a young boy in is self-defense so that they will feel more confident in themselves and learn when it is appropriate to protect oneself and when an assault is merely abuse. 

**Studies show that communities that have no violence between two men, also have no violence between men and women. (David Levinson)

Boys need to be raised in loving, nurturing homes where they learn to respect both parents as well as themselves.  If there is not a woman in the household, they need to learn to have respect for women. It would be good for them to have female mentors in this case.

** When I worked in social services I found that boys were often easier to deal with than girls.  If they know they have a safe home with someone who loves them and whom they trust, they do not get into as much mischief.  Boys appreciate consistent lifestyles differently than girls.

**For single women, loving does not mean calling your child “boyfriend” or “my little man.” You should also not call a night out for dinner “date night.”  This confuses a child who is not familiar with these terms but it also shows that someone is using their child to replace what they are afraid to have.  It is not the child’s responsibility to be your partner.  They are your child.

Boys should be taught about safe sex and birth control at the same time you would discuss this with a girl – puberty.  When they begin to have wet dreams or refuse to allow anyone near the bathroom/bedroom, you know things are changing for them.  Boys need to understand that even though they are not capable of baring a child, they are responsible for bringing one into the world.  It is important that they understand your family values in regards to children and your expectations. 

**If a boy understands how important it is to have respect for women, they will not become the stud of the vicinity and will take their future more seriously.  If they know you will not tolerate unplanned pregnancies and that they will be expected to marry the woman and take care of the child, you will be raising them to be responsible.

Boys also need to understand what a relationship with a woman means.  They need to know the difference between love and lust.  They need to have expectations for their future that deals with college or working.  Coaching a boy to think of his future as an adult, whereby he will be planning for a long-term relationship after he is responsible to handle one, will keep him focused.  Boys need direction differently than girls do. 

**In our society girls need to know there is more to life than marriage.  Boys need to know that there is a plan for them in place to help them get started as an adult.

**Somehow we have groomed boys to be more sexually aggressive than girls.  Part of this is that they have been taught that they are in charge and that this world is theirs. Since girls are now dressing in sexually suggestive manners, I have had boys tell me that this is very confusing to them. As young girls are too inexperienced to understand their dressing style as being teasing and sexual, it is important for parents to take the lead role in this.  It is also important for the parents to take the lead role in how they dress their boys and what they teach them about right and wrong. With some boys dressing with their pants hanging down their buttocks, they are also sending sexually provocative messages.  And since the boys style originated in prison to denote the prisoner was open to anal sex…

A boy should be raised to dress like a gentleman, just as a girl should be raised to dress like a lady.  In our modern age this means jeans with belts.  It means a clean shirt that is preferably tucked in.  It means shaving when appropriate. If they wish to have a facial style, than it should be clean cut and combed.  Boys who are raised to appreciate their appearance will continue to do so the rest of their life.  If they have a male mentor or father who does the same, they will want to mirror them.

**Sagging and unclean looks are generally found in the inner city with boys who have no access to healthy male role models.  These boys find their own hero’s in drug dealers, pimps, con-artists who are driving around in fancy cars that are paid for by dirty money. Naturally a young boy raised in this manner will cling to the men who appear to be “cool” and have all the power.  This being said, the less confidence a young boy has in himself, the less he will care about his well-being or the world around him – no matter where he lives.

Raising a boy in a violent household means that most likely he will become violent toward another.  It means that he will have no respect for women if the victim is one.  He will have no self-esteem if the victim is his same sex.  It makes NO sense whatsoever to keep a family together when there is violence in the home.

Raising a boy who is abused physically and they will grow up to beat their own children. They will also become a bully on the playground and take advantage of other kids.  If you tell a boy he is stupid, lazy, or other harsh words, he will never leave your home. Love your child unconditionally.

If we teach wisely and raise our children in a healthy household they will become wise people and understand their limits as a child.

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