Why do we do the things that we do? It starts with the influence of our mothers. Moms are our first teachers of life. From the moment we’re born we look to them for food, warmth and nurturing. As we grow older, we see how they interact and how others interact with them. They are the most influential people in our children’s lives, which is why I firmly believe that moms of sons will change the world.
Changing the world isn’t done with words and it’s not done overnight. It takes time and intentionality, considering every action that you take as a mom. Over the last year, I’ve had the opportunity to work with a mom of two boys who are growing up to be amazing young men. These boys are on a path to change the world. As I observed her interactions, I noticed eight practical things I thought I’d share.
1. She respects herself
The first and most important tip to change your son’s perspective on women is to respect yourself. How you treat yourself and those around you will teach your sons how to treat the women in their lives. If you don’t respect yourself, you can’t expect your sons to respect you, other women or other men. It starts with you.
2. Work is gender neutral
I once heard a friend say that taking out the garbage was a man’s job at home, and I cringed. If you’re raising well-adjusted children, you need to dispel this myth. Work is not male or female; it’s simply a chore that needs to be done by every member of the household, regardless of their gender. Men can do the dishes and women can take out the garbage. Boys can mop the floors and girls can mow the lawn.
3. Her actions speak louder than her words
Be an example in everything that you do, but especially when you do jobs that are typically performed by the opposite sex. If your son wants to open the door for you, let him. Don’t explain the origins of door opening (doors used to be really heavy) or your views on independence. Say thank you and let him show love and respect, in his unique way. Take simple actions and be a good example.
4. She believes that kindness is a strength
All too often I see kids who don’t utter the words thank you or speak respectfully to an adult. It’s disappointing. Teaching sons manners helps them learn how to behave with other people and in social situations. It’s a way to grow strong, respectful young men. A simple thank you or gestures of kindness is strength, not weakness.
5. Financial decisions are jointly made
Leave the 1950’s mentality of men taking care of finances in the past and learn how to handle your household’s cash flow. Be open and honest about money and never keep secrets. When the kids ask for money, don’t give it to them and say, “Don’t tell your dad.” That will only teach them that men are in control of the money and that women can’t be trusted. Women need to know as much about the family finances as their spouse so they can make joint decisions for the whole family.
6. She encourages her boys to dance
Along with a 1950’s attitude about money, throw away stereotypes about subjects in school or activities that are better for boys and girls. Science and math are for girls as much as they are for boys. Boys can dance beautifully and artistically. Encourage children to embrace their passions and interests and respect those of others.
7. She dances with them
Take time out of your day to spend time with your kids. When you steal a moment to play Legos, laser tag, chess or Xbox, you show them that you care. Spend one night a month to have a date with one of your sons. Taking the time to show interest in their activities opens up a dialog and builds trust over time.
8. She expects them to change the world
To help your son change the world, you have to set expectations that start with self-sufficiency. Give him the same chores as his sister whether it’s cooking, sewing, cleaning, or yard work. He will learn how to do for himself and not expect a woman to do it for him.
When you expect your son to change the world, you raise the bar in his mind and his actions. Changing the world isn’t easy. But, my friend makes it look like it is. Use these practical steps to help make the difference in your life, your son’s life and the women they’ll meet. When you’re ready to get started, let me know. I can help you take the next step. Schedule your free consultation today.