Teach your son the importance of respecting others.

How to Raise a Son to Respect Girls

by Kimberly Dyke

Chivalry is not dead as long as adults make the effort to teach their sons to respect girls. The primary woman in a typical boy’s life is his mother, and his interaction with her can greatly influence his future relationships with girls. Observing how men treat women, especially those men closest to him, also takes root and affects a boy’s view and treatment of girls. Real-life lessons that contradict the norms of pop culture give boys a solid footing when it comes to respecting girls.

Practice mutual respect with your son. Allow him to unfold his own special personality, express his emotions and develop his natural talents within healthy limits and boundaries. Show yourself respect by being yourself and pursuing the things that matter to you. Value your child's opinions, accept his individuality, and admire him, to demonstrate how to respect others. Remember that personal experience in treating others well will impact how he treats others in the long run.

Give your son the opportunity to have male role models in his life who value women, such as a dad, uncle, teacher or youth worker. Explain that strong men do not have to show violence against women, but that they can walk away if they feel angry or frustrated. Point out ways that the role model shows respect to girls, for example, listening to their opinions objectively, not yelling at them, and appreciating the skills that they bring to the table.

Remain available for your son to approach you with questions at any time. Listen to his problems and help him work through his feelings and frustrations. Explain that carving out time for others, being open with them and showing kindness are ways that people can show respect to each other.

Model different virtues to your son that lead to respecting others, like love and honesty. Let him see you apologize to others when you behave poorly or do something wrong, and walk him through apologizing to others. Confront your son when you do not like the way he acts, especially when it concerns how he treats other people. Show him what unconditional love looks like -- loving someone even if you are angry or disapprove of his decisions -- so that he can learn how to love others unconditionally.

Maintain a positive attitude toward your son and the women in your life. Do not put him down or call him names, and do not allow him to insult others. Explain that insulting others can deeply wound them. Warn your child that being aggressive toward girls is disrespectful and that you will not tolerate that type of behavior.

About the Author

Kimberly Dyke is a Spanish interpreter with a B.A. in language and international trade from Clemson University. She began writing professionally in 2010, specializing in education, parenting and culture. Currently residing in South Carolina, Dyke has received certificates in photography and medical interpretation.

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