Just like the saying 'Charity begins at home', building the right psyche and temperament for a healthy society also begins at home. With the number of rapes and sexual assault cases on the rise, it is important that not only women, but also men should be made aware of the grave situation that India faces.
However, that should begin at an early age since children have the ability to grasp things quickly and have the ability to implement the same effectively till it becomes a habit. Off late, various posts have been circulating on Facebook where mothers of sons have been encouraged to teach their sons about equality and the approach they should have toward their female friends. So, here are five ways how you can create an example out of your son:
1. Stop comparing: When a boy cries over something frugal, he is often compared to a woman or a girl. "Stop acting like a girl" is what we have often heard as people saying. First of all, stop saying that because when we say that we already create a gender bias. Boys would know that expressing emotions in front of everyone is something that a girl can do alone. They would start considering it a mark of weakness whereas it is just expression of emotions true to any human being.
2. Do not stop them from playing with girls: Children are children, boys or girls, they has a completely different approach to life and the people around them. You would often find them playing 'House' with girls, cooking, cleaning and mimicking all that women do. For them, it is a common thing that every human being does. Do not break that idea since there really is no stereotype as to who should do what. Stopping them would mean creating gender-based roles already.
3. Read them stories of famous women: Lack of knowledge, doubled with half-information, can lead to a disastrous personality. Read stories of successful women to your baby boy and that too from an early age to let them know that there is nothing that a woman cannot do, just like boys or women. They should know that physical strength is not something typical of boys and that women too can achieve similar feats without any problems. They should know that physical and mental strength do not depend on the gender of a person, but on an individual.
4. Stop any harassment right there: Even though we subject our children to such ideals and examples, we often fail to implement the same in our daily lives. Remember, they are watching our every move. If you, as a mother, are subjected to any kind of physical abuse at home, he is watching what to do with his wife. So take a stand right away and protest. If need be, show your child that what transpired was not right and is unacceptable. As a father too, you have certain responsibilities toward your child. Avoid arguments with your wife in front of the child and never shout at your better half in his presence. Heat of the moment reactions should be tackled carefully. Best is to apologise to your wife in front of your boy so that he knows that there is no harm in saying sorry to a woman.
5. Stop cracking nasty jokes: Parents should ensure that they do not crack nasty jokes surrounding an individual in front of a child. If a father passes derogatory remarks regarding a woman or his own wife, the son would learn that too. He would understand that this is a norm and try to follow it. Similarly, mothers too should check themselves from criticising other women for their roles as daughters or daughter-in-laws.
Follow these simple rules at home for a healthy atmosphere at home. Remember, the healthy upbringing of a child is the sole responsibility of the parents. This is because they are the primary source of knowledge for children. So, go ahead and set a healthy example for your children.