Important Lessons Every Mom Should Teach Her Son

Women have to learn from a young age how to defend ourselves from men because boys are not always taught how to treat us right. But why should women do all the emotional labor? Moms, please teach your boys these valuable lessons so we can raise a generation of gentlemen at last.

  1. Boys are not entitled to girls’ time or attention. So many men seem to have grown up thinking women exist to please them in some way, even if it’s just being pleasant and presentable or smiling on demand. Boys need to be taught at an early age that women are people and they don’t owe boys anything for simply existing as a person in this world.
  2. Consent is paramount. Both boys and girls need to learn from an early age that their bodies are their own. This includes being able to say no to being touched, kissed, tickled or anything else relatives don’t think twice about doing to a child. It’s especially important to have such conversations about consent with boys, as they’ll soon be exposed to a world where they’re expected to pursue and court, so they need to know to ask first and to respect women’s boundaries even when it inconveniences them.
  3. Abuse isn’t love. Teach your sons that pranking, hair pulling, or being rude to someone you like is not good behavior. People shouldn’t be mean to each other to show they care. They should be nice to each other.
  4. You shouldn’t use the fact that you’re stronger to take what isn’t given freely. Boys should be taught that just because they could have something doesn’t mean they should. Especially if that something is anything involving another person.           
  5. Aggressive courting isn’t cool. Boys should be taught the difference between persistence and creepiness. Please teach them to read the signs so they can tell when a woman wants to be left alone. So many men are taught that they should keep pushing because women play “hard to get” and end up crossing the line.
  6. Speaking out against sexism is important. Of course, all boys need to be taught that sexist language is not OK, but that’s not enough. Also, teach your sons to refuse to accept sexist language when it’s coming from other people. Sexism won’t stop until men start taking it seriously and telling their buddies to stop.
  7. Letting women speak is important. Teach your boys to listen and pay attention to what women are saying. Teach them to think about stuff seriously even if it differs from their own experience. Also important: teach them to allow girls to speak in class and intervene if anyone else is cutting in and not letting girls speak when it’s their turn. Your son’s future female co-workers will thank you for this valuable lesson.
  8. There’s nothing wrong with being emotional. Let your boys express their feelings, cry, and talk about topics that are sometimes considered “unmanly.” Apart from making them more emotionally mature, this will also instill in them greater respect for women. If the so-called feminine side is not seen as a negative thing, neither will being a woman.
  9. There are no such things as “women’s jobs.” Teach boys how to do the food shopping, cook, clean, mend clothes and anything else that was traditionally seen as something only women do. Obviously, this will help them look after themselves even when they’re single. But it will also teach them to do their fair share of chores when they are in a relationship.
  10. Opening doors for people is a nice thing to do. Being polite is not a bad thing. Opening doors for women isn’t about helping us because we’re weak. It’s a nice thing to do for a woman, a man, or anyone from any gender. Teaching kids to be polite and helpful is really not a bad thing.
  11. Showing respect is a good thing. Teach your kids to value women’s opinions and ideas as much as they value the opinions of other men. Much of this is based on your own relationship with your partner. Boys will learn to respect women if they see their mother as a strong figure.
  12. Being grateful and saying thanks is important. Teach your sons to be appreciative and show they’re grateful by saying thank you. It’ll be a useful skill to have later on when they’re dating, especially if they end up in a relationship where a woman does at least some of the cooking, cleaning or childcare. As a mom, you do those things for your sons, meaning now is the perfect time to teach them that housework is real work.
  13. Being an ally is important. Teach your sons to intervene whenever a girl is being harassed, insulted, attacked or overlooked because of her gender. Teach them to use their male privilege to protect and advance the rights of women everywhere. Teach them that feminism isn’t a dirty word and that gender equality is good for both sexes, not just women.
Writer, artist, intrepid traveler and lover of cats, cheese and techno music. Preferably not all at the same time.