It’s a challenge to raise good kids in today’s very tumultuous world. There are various influences that are difficult to control and contain, making it even more challenging for moms to raise good boys who are respectful, confident and loving. What values should moms teach their sons? How can moms help their sons grow up into a man that exudes these values?
1. The value of empathy Society tends to emphasize the belief that men should be brave, aggressive and strong. They should always be winners, conquerors of the world. This belief exacerbates the difficulty in getting men to show emotions that do not fit into this mold. As a consequence, they sometimes tend to suppress their feelings, projecting the strong and silent image. But it’s important for them to learn how to deal with all kinds of emotions so that they are able to empathize with others and relate well with people.
How do you teach empathy? Get your son to learn how to express his feelings. Boys generally are not huge talkers especially when they hit the teen years. Ask a girl how her day went and she bursts into a story, but ask a boy the same question and you’ll often get the standard reply, “It was fine.” Start teaching them how to communicate honestly while they are young. Ask specific questions so that your son will learn to open up. You may need to be creative to get them to communicate.
Find out what your son’s interests are and get involved. Talk about the books he likes or the shows he’s interested in. Get him to share his thoughts and feelings about his favorites. Ask him “what if” questions and see how he responds. It’s through listening and observing that you can find out more about your son and be able to steer him into becoming a more empathic person, someone who is understanding, kind and truly cares about other people.