The term “feminism” tends to evoke negative reactions lately, especially if it is attributed to a parenting style. There has been much discussion about raising a daughter in a feminist manner, but what it means to raise your son as a feminist?
Raising a daughter to be independent and self-sufficient is not a taboo anymore. Women can play the roles of wives, mothers and career pursuers at the same time. Then how it comes that in the times of “proclaimed gender equality” it is inappropriate sons to be raised as strong and emotional beings at the same time. Why is it a controversy to raise your son as a feminist?
Parenting is undoubtedly a huge responsibility. Children grow to be the people, the individuals they are due to their parents. Moreover, parents are the shapers of the next socially responsible agents whose way of understanding the society and the way it functions is influenced a lot by the way of their upbringing.
Different sources and experts tend to provide professional approach towards the matter. However, it is different in reality. There are divided opinions regarding this topic and huge debate on various parenting forums about what feminism represents and whether it is good for your child, especially if you have a son, to be raised as a feminist.
That is why we are sharing some advice that we came across on various parenting networks on how to raise your son as a feminist.
#1. Use media to encourage constructive thinking.
Nowadays media is simply inevitable, and rather than trying to prevent your children at all costs from witnessing different types of stereotypes or just let them be taken for granted, try to have a conversation and constructively approach the matter. Try to encourage their thinking and further explain the message that your son got from the TV show or YouTube video he had watched. Tackle his perception and later explain why things are not always as they seem to appear.
Discuss why the commercials present something that might not be happening in real life or let them know that there are also movies where girls have the superpowers.
#2. Break the common stereotypes.
Though we tend to present boys and girls as equal, the society simply imposes certain forms of behavior. “Girls play with dolls, boys play with toys and trucks.” Or “Pink color is not for boys.”
Often, when boys would like to offend each other they would say “Don’t act like a lady,” or “Don’t run like a girl.” Whenever you hear your son accepting or initiating this type of behavior, explain to him that gender does not play a specific role in whether somebody is athletic and that it is not acceptable for people to engage in certain activities because they are a boy or a girl. There is nothing wrong with a girl who likes football, nor with a boy who likes ballet.
#3. Talk about emotions.
Showing a full range of emotions is healthy, and your son should be aware of that. There is nothing wrong in crying when you feel sad, just as there is nothing wrong in smiling when you are happy. This way you will influence on creating a safe environment where your child will not feel as it is embarrassing to show his emotions, whatever they are.
Moreover, by being aware of the different emotions and how they reflect on oneself, but also on others, your child will be able to improve his emotional intelligence.
#4. Help your child enhance his EQ.
Another important aspect of emotional intelligence is the ability to empathize with others. Teach your son that understanding the feelings of others and knowing how to respond to them accordingly is what would make him a good friend, and eventually a good person.
Practice with simple situations you might find on TV, and tend to incorporate them in everyday situations, for example, when in company of friends or classmates, and so on.
#5. Create a divided set of tasks.
If a child is constantly witnessing his mom taking care of the house, and his father of the garden, or repairing electric appliances, he will get the idea that it is just the way it works and will accept it as such.
Set an example for your children when it comes to dividing the household obligations. Make weekly schedules and try to assign a task where your son would help in the outdoor area, but will also need to clean his room or do the dishes after dinner. And why not sometimes let him make his own breakfast.
Now that we have finished the list note that every parent has their own parenting style and it is not up to anybody to patronize it. There is simply an evident necessity of reminding your son that it is not shameful to show his emotional side as well and that one can be tough and caring at the same time. Isn’t that the whole point of superheroes anyways? Being powerful, but also care about the others.
Is there any other advice that we did not include, and you would like to share?
Inspired by Today’s Parent
A professional writer with over a decade of incessant writing skills. Her topics of interest and expertise range from health, nutrition and psychology.