Raising your Baby Boy the Right Way
Contributor
Written by
Tanya Mutreja
September 2017
Contributor
Written by
Tanya Mutreja
September 2017

Raising a child, however rewarding it might be, is certainly not for the faint of heart. Parenting is hands down one of the toughest jobs in the world, especially in the 21st century when raising a child is nothing short of constructing a building – brick by brick. Each brick then becomes a stepping stone to raise a thoughtful and well-rounded personality, a feat that every parent desires for. While quiet moments are hard to come by when one has kids, they become mere fantasies when one is a parent of a young boy. Boisterous and usually more energetic, physical and aggressive than girls, parenting boys is certainly a handful. New century problems like societal expectations and gender stereotypes, only add to the chaos, leaving many parents scratching their heads in what is the best way to raise their tots to become modern men.

For parents who have been bombarded with a plethora of advices, leaving then in utter confusion, here are some of the most effective ways to help your child in becoming a happy and rounded personality.

The Emotional Balance

We have all heard of the age old adage of big boys not crying, so much so that it is mentioned in the most off-hand conversations of our daily life. What we fail to realize however, is the crushing impact it often has on boys. Even in the new era, when most gender stereotypes are being questioned and dismantled, many young boys are still led to believe that they need to stifle their emotions and swallow their tears if they want to fit in with what is acceptable by society. The never-ending cycle of repression leads to many boys feeling ashamed of their own emotions, which in turn makes them unable to communicate in a healthy and productive manner once they attain adulthood. Parents should take this as their cue to make their child understand that it is normal to express one’s emotions – sadness, anger or hurt – as long as they are not destructive or hurting others.

Instilling Respect

Self-respect and respecting others should be a part and parcel of every child’s education. Following rules and interacting with others in a courteous manner helps your child learn the nuances of being respectful to other people. One way of doing so is by setting certain rules and regulations that they need to follow and respect. They should be aware that any violation will have an effective consequence. Infraction of any kind should not be brushed under the carpet, for the lack of consequence will only lead to the birth of an unmotivated and spoiled individual. Another way of instilling respect is through your own example. Children are prone to enact the tendencies and actions that their parents showcase in front of them, hence it is advisable for parents to follow what they preach at all times.

The Enigma of Empathy

Sympathy and pity comes easy to us, empathy, however, still remains a hard concept for most of us to grapple. The reality seems ever bleaker in the present era with most people becoming immune to simple acts of kindness and any kind of meaningful relationship. In the present condition, it becomes even more important for parents to teach their children about empathy and to put oneself in others’ shoes before taking any important decision in life. This helps them to develop the skills required to value others and not hurt them.

The Feminine Side

While sexist ideologies and patriarchal setup has a detrimental effect on a girl child, boys too feel the impact of it on their daily lives. The narrow framework that society imposes on them encloses most young boys in a set box of what they should conform to at all times. Equality is certainly not a concept that is preached to the child, leading to a skewed worldview. Hence, it becomes the parents’ responsibility to ensure that their boy understands the true meaning behind being equal and how it is applicable to every person out there irrespective of their gender or sexual orientation. Young boys should be made to feel comfortable even while indulging in activities that might not be see “masculine” enough by the society, and to realise that they are free to follow whatever their heart desires.

Lesson in Self-Esteem

Self-esteem is often considered synonymous with being egotistical, though that could not be further from the truth. A healthy dose of self-esteem is important for every individual, as it helps to create a confident and competent personality, who knows his own worth and won’t be easily bogged down by others. To help your child in doing so, parents should stay away from false praises or setting unrealistic expectations. Reality, though not easy to swallow, will help to motivate them to do better in their ventures. Praising their effort is also an essential step in helping your child in building a sense of accomplishment, for it gives a validation to all their hardwork.       

While Indian society still reveres a male child, his psychological makeup is often relegated to the backseat. Society takes this opportunity to claw at the boy’s value system, creating a narrow and skewed worldview. Parents need to understand that values and lessons that are learnt today will only help to make a more content and settled adult in the future.

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Comments
  • Lois Heise

    I like your article. It is well written with excellent ideas to raise a kind compassionate individual. I started raising three boys thirty years ago and your list with the reasoning behind each consists of good basic knowledge that is often lacking in today's society. It is a needed article in today's world. It is refreshing to know there is still a desire for raising a well rounded young man.