In the recent events of the ongoing rape and molestation incidents, the social media is flooded with articles as to how parents should raise their boys well. Of course, the boys should be raised well, no doubt about it. Is it so difficult to raise the boys to be compassionate and women-respecting individuals? No, it is not! Often I get to read and hear as to how sons are more difficult to raise than the daughters, which I believe is not true.
As the mother of both a son and a daughter, I see no difference in them when it comes to imparting values, inculcating discipline or habits!
All the kids are born the same, be it a boy or a girl; innocent and pure. Then after growing up what makes one man a rapist and the other a gentleman? The way the boy is raised makes a lot of difference. Of course, the growing up environment also is important. But in the Asian scenario, in India as well, the craze for a male child or the superior way in the which the male child is treated makes all the difference.
Somewhere the parents are happy on the birth of a son in most scenarios because of selfish reasons (though I won’t generalize). The inherent craze and desire for a son, the “vansh chalane waala” theory, the “budhape ka sahara” theory, the “dowry getting and not giving” product, etc. are some of the selfish and patriarchal reasons for the way the boys are treated as a “superior being” right from their birth. Most of the times, the parents allow them to get away with everything, earlier the smaller follies overlooking it as “bachcha hai” and later “boys will be boys” excuse.
I am raising a son and my responsibility is to raise him as a good individual and not as a brat. This will help not just him but it will also give the society a responsible male citizen and me a good son. Since the day he was born, neither me or my husband ever thought that he IS responsible for taking care of us in our old age or that we are “investing” in him. Nor do we ever believe that our daughter is a “burden or liability”!
In the current time, my son is a strapping teenager who is appreciated for his conduct by everyone, including the girls’ parents and in today’s days that’s something very important as in the future I would want my daughter also to have male friends who are responsible and well behaved.
It is not at all difficult to raise good sons. Sharing my experiences of raising a son:
1. Its perfectly fine to be happy on the birth of your son but not because you got an “asset” simply because you got a healthy child.
2. Don’t spoil your son by giving in to his choices, allowing him to hit any and everyone thinking that aggression is an inherent characteristic of boys. If he is wrong, he should be rectified.
3. Teach him to respect girls/women from a very, very young age. Here the father also plays a very important role. The son learns a lot by observing his father as to how he treats his mom or other females of the house. Even if the father is patriarchal, its the mother who can teach him not to be like that and treat girls respectfully and well. It should not be that “yeh to chalta aaya hai”, somewhere someone has to bring the change.
4. Treat your son and daughter in the same way. Give them the same freedom, values, discipline, education, wings to fly. Nowhere should the son feel that he is superior to the daughter.
5. Talk to your growing-up son about gender equality, menstruation, sex education, anatomy so that his mind is free of all apprehensions and doubts. Keep the communication channel open always so that he can approach you and talk to you rather than clearing his doubts with his peers or other “websites.”
6. Teach him to handle household chores right from the time he is very young. He should never feel that doing household chores, cooking, etc. is only a woman’s job.
Little things make a lot of difference. It will make the boys a better citizen, son, husband, brother, father, son-in-law, friend (for both males and females).
We are raising the next generation, so we better raise good sons! Its not a rocket science to raise one!