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  • Let’s Talk About Boys: How to Raise an Emotionally Healthy Young Man

    Experts tell us the many fun ways to bring out the best in your little chap.
    by Anna Santos-Villar .
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    Read on to learn more about how to start teaching your boy to be a man.

     

    It’s a narrow definition of how it is to be a man that must be re-examined, says Dr. Bautista. ìOur society has gender expectations, but we don’t have to strictly adhere to this traditional mold,” she adds.

    Start by teaching your boys the many ways to be a man. It will be challenging to break the old-school gender code, but here’s the good news: It all begins with a few baby steps.

    1. Expose your child to different models of “manhood”: men with positive values, other than strength and courage. Our children have seen many heroes who fight wars, defeat sinister villains, or crush alien invasions. Boys need to see men serving their communities through humanitarian work or men showing concern for others.

    Let them meet male nurses, male teachers, women plumbers, and so on, suggests Dr. Pollack. If your son sees his dad, older brothers, uncles, and other male authority figures taking care of their families and talking openly about values and emotional strength, “It can inspire him to choose what kind of man he’d like to grow up to be,” Dr. Bautista adds.


    2. Let him learn “hands-on.”
    Ria Tirazona, psychologist at PsychConsult, Inc. in Quezon City explains, “Girls acquire verbal skills faster and earlier than boys. As such, they are able to make sense of, and respond to, spoken instructions better.” Boys respond better when they are “shown” how to do things.

    “They need to touch and tinker with things, run, move, climb, and build things. Boys learn more when they handle real things,” Tirazona adds.


    3. Learn his language and talk to your son in a way that strengthens his pride and boosts his confidence. “It helps to know your son’s capabilities,” says Dr. Bautista.

    Ask his opinion or advice on small things; allow him to be your problem solver every now and then: What would be yummy for breakfast today?

    Do you think we should give the dog a bath now? However, it should not stop with a yes or no reply; initiate a casual chitchat and explore the whys and hows, says Dr. Bautista. Donít be disappointed with brief answers.

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    Click here to see more ways on how to start teaching your boy to be a man.

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