Raising a gentleman in a #metoo world

[This was originally posted on my Instagram account, 10/25/18.]

brothers

Lately, I've had a few conversations with fellow moms about the challenge of raising boys in our current social climate. There are so many conflicting messages about the professional, sexual, and stereotypical roles of men — how do you navigate all that and raise a healthy, courteous, well-rounded boy?! I'm still trying to work this out, but I wanted to share 3 things that have really helped me understand my job as a boymom today.

HOW TO RAISE A GENTLEMAN IN A #METOO WORLD

1. Embrace boyishness. Boys need to run, jump, climb trees, build things, destroy things. We can't expect them to sit still or play inside all day. Being active is a pressure release for them — and a great opportunity for YOU to guide them to channel this into constructive outlets...and teach respect, body awareness and fairness from an early age.

2. Model good behavior. Boys need role models — men and women. They need to see healthy marriages, selfless teachers, courteous coaches, older boys who are respectful and kind. We can actively seek these people out, in church or community organizations or extracurriculars, and point them out to our boys. Make sure they see and notice qualities of good men, and help them aspire to be like that.

3. Teach courtesy. Teach them to respect their own amazing bodies, and others' too. A couple weeks ago my boys were really into sneaking up behind each other to tickle until the other screamed. Eventually I sat them down and explained that it's not okay do something that makes another person uncomfortable. We need to be respectful of everyone — boy or girl. They know this is important in our house.

Moms, WE can make such an impact on the next generation! These boys need us to pay attention and help them see what it really means to be a good man. 💙