Dads, are you living like your kids are always watching? Whether talking on the phone, interacting with the cashier or waiter, or just relating to your family at home – your child is always watching. Your sons will especially pick up on how you treat women. Here are 5 things you can teach your sons about how to treat girls.
1. Treat everyone with dignity and respect.
Follow the Golden Rule and treat others the same way you would like to be treated. This includes the way you speak to each other and how you act because actions speak louder than words.
- Stand up for others when their dignity and respect is being violated.
- Stop and think about what you do and say, and how your actions will affect others.
- Be kind. There may be a reason to disagree but do so respectfully.
2. Recognize everyone is unique.
Each person is uniquely made with wonderful gifts and talents that make them special. Teach your son to recognize and honor these qualities in others.
- Stay away from stereotypes and labels.
- Take time to get to know others because you may find new lifelong friends.
- Use words and deeds that build up others.
3. Communication is KEY.
Listen, you don’t always need to try and solve a problem. So listen twice as much as you speak because everyone wants to be heard. Try these three ways to achieve effective communication.
- Assume the best in others.
- Seek to understand their point of view.
- Approach every conversation as a learner.
4. Be a “gentle-man.” A “gentle-man” is always a gentleman.
Be characterized by putting the needs of others before your own.
- Look for ways to be helpful.
- Be motivated by compassion.
- Be selfless rather than selfish.
- Seek to make each situation better for everyone.
5. No means no.
Always respect the boundaries of others.
- Understand their boundaries.
- Be an ally in upholding their boundaries.
- Establish your own boundaries.
As a dad, you probably recognize that these aren’t just tips on how boys should treat girls, but things to teach your son about treating everyone!
Sponsored by the Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence and the State of Florida, Department of Children and Families.
This project was supported by Contract No. LN967 awarded by the state administering office for the STOP Formula Grant Program. The opinions, findings, conclusions, and recommendations expressed in this publication/program/exhibition are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the state or the U.S. Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women.
Huddle Up Question
Huddle up with your son and ask, “What qualities do you think make up a gentleman?”