You held him in your arms from when he was just five minutes old, and you’ve watched him become a tough little boy shooing you away when he sees his friends at the school yard.
To you, he will always be mommy’s little boy, but at the same time you don’t want to raise him to be too sensitive or dependent.
You want your boy to grow up to be a self-sufficient, independent man who is respectful to all people and who can also do his own laundry.
We’ve done some research and compiled some helpful pointers how to raise boys to be men, as part of our Fedhealth #FamilyTime series:
How to deal with your feelings
This is not the silver screen – no one really likes the macho type. You need to raise your boy to understand how they feel and not hide it.
For example, if your son injures himself and your response is “it’s not so bad, you’ll be fine”, you are indirectly teaching him how to hide his feelings.
Rather ask him how he feels. In the long run, it will help him open up easier when it comes to the big things.
How to raise boys to have empathy
Empathy may come naturally to most women but it is not instinctive for men.
Explain to your sons how things make other people feel and how some things you say can be hurtful to some people.
It will help them be better husbands and dads in the future. Try using “what if” scenarios. Let him imagine what it’s like to be in other people’s shoes.
How to say sorry
Teach them that it’s never too late to apologise and that apologising to others is not a weakness. Teaching your boys to apologise gives them the strength to admit when they are wrong and show they are humble enough to put their ego aside.
How to be affectionate
Being affectionate is an absolute strength and asset. Let the men in your life be affectionate towards each other. Encourage your husband to hug and kiss your son. Let him see that affection doesn’t cost anything and it goes a long way with making meaningful connections.
How to be respectful
It seems obvious but it starts with the little things like respecting their belongings and not taking things for granted. Set rules and boundaries and follow through with them