Nowadays, respect is a rare gift in young men who grew up understanding the virtues of showing respect to the opposite sex. Teaching equality among the sexes is the best gift we can give our kids. If parents would understand the valuable tool their sons will have if they learn early on how to respect women, there would be far happier marriages later in life. Teach boys the fine art of respecting women so when they search for their life partner they will find the best one.
Teach Respect within the Home First
Teaching young men how to respect women starts with their mothers and fathers and how they respect each other. If for example a father does not listen to his wife and show respect, how is the son to react? Kids learn by example. On the other hand, if a woman is aggressive and disrespectful to her husband, chances are her husband doesn’t show her respect either and sons will grow up without this advantage in knowing to respect other women. Before you can train your son to have respect, are you acting in a respectful manner within your marriage? Mom and dad need to have nailed this first and then parents are better able to train their sons. Children need to learn and value ‘equality’ among men and women.
First, always react to any disrespect from the sons with calmness and patience. If you ground your son for being disrespectful, you have probably spoken harshly and sent them to their room where they can stew in their anger. Before doling a punishment for disrespect, simmer down and think it through before reacting.
If the son is throwing a verbal fit, it’s best not to match his fit by yelling or being angry. That adds fuel to the disrespect fire. Let him finish his fit, let him calm down first. Young men are sometimes easily agitated (thus the term teenage angst) and knowing this will help you to stay calm and ride out his angst until he calms down too. Listen to his ranting, calmly and without interruption. Once he’s done, then approach, calmly, and let him recognize you listened to what he said. But also let him see where you have experienced the disrespect (or saw the disrespect to another woman) and calmly explain that you will not be a participant in talking with them under those circumstances. Tell them you will talk to and help them once they show the proper respect.
Respect is often coupled with a sense of remorse if respect wasn’t shown. Train your son to show this remorse if he reacts in a disrespectful way. You do this by not fueling their disrespect. If they are reacting, ranting, in a disrespectful way, say nothing, do nothing until it’s over. Help them understand why you said or did nothing.
Even the most disrespectful boys can learn respect by seeing examples of the adults in their lives practicing it. Show them if you act disrespectful that you have remorse for doing so. This is vitally important for the father, if he disrespects mom in front of the kids, to show he has remorse and can apologize.
It might help to act out scenarios where dad can play act showing disrespect to mom and then play act how he shows remorse. Show your son how to respect, what to do in different situations. Do this while the young man is calm and listening.
Teach Respect by Showing Respect
So many people are under the assumption that respect is earned when it’s something we should offer our fellow human being simply because they are our fellow human being. With this in mind, parents should show respect to their sons from the start. Don’t respect ill behavior, but respect him first in all the things he does right. Don’t lower your morals and values for this respect, but give him the respect you’d like for him to show you.
Parents must stand firm on their values and morals which will encourage real respect from the child. Don’t do things you tell your child not to do especially when they can witness what you do. Demand from them the same higher standards you yourselves practice.
Sometimes, a circumstance may call for humor. In other words, don’t be so intense and serious all the time. Light-hearted humor is good medicine when properly applied. Teach your son how to laugh at himself by first laughing at your shortcomings.
In teaching a disrespectful son how to show respect you should celebrate the moments when he reacts properly. Be thankful when you experience his respect and let him realize it’s a quality worth cultivating.
Talk with your son about how you remember being a teen. Sympathize with him, but also gently teach him that mocking and disrespect is wrong. Today’s children show more disrespect than the children of the past because they weren’t taught. Talk about this and about how just because their peers are being this way, disrespect isn’t the right way to be.
For young men to respect women they must witness the day-to-day example of respect in their own home. Never let up on the expectations of teaching your children how to respect others. Teach them the meaning of respect, literally holding others in the highest value. History shows how women have fought and suffered for being the “weaker sex” whether women are actually weak or not. A woman being disrespected seems to be more accepted than a man being disrespected. It’s important for young men to understand how important to remove this stereotype by showing proper respect to humans, regardless of their gender.
Teens have a habit of back talking because many parents today do not teach it’s wrong. Train your sons to understand that back talking is a sign of disrespect. Back talking shows you do not value the person with whom you are speaking.
Offer, again, scenarios where being disrespectful to women is an easy reaction. Start by discussing situations that may occur while the young man is on a date with a young lady. He needs to respect her as much as he shows respect to women who are older. Young ladies can be fickle when asked what they want to do, such as, “Where do you want to eat?” or “What would you like to do?” This is often an opportunity for young men to prod the lady while being disrespectful. Teach your son instead to offer suggestions. “Would you like to eat Italian or Mexican?” or “Would you like to watch a movie or go for a moonlight stroll in the park?”
Respect and Intelligence
Perhaps if you tell your son that lack of respect for women is the same as lower intelligence, they may strive to do better. Encourage them to use wisdom when reacting to women. Tell them to look inward and ask what their gut is telling them (Not what their knee-jerk reaction is telling them.) Young men need to view women as equals as far as intellect is concerned, not as inferior.
Teaching young men how women react will help them in their own reactions. Men and women react differently to life where women are more emotional and intuitional men are more logical and experiential. This does not mean women are less intelligent, because women are wired differently and deserve respect. Just like women need to respect men’s reactions so men need to respect women’s. Often, for women, if they are frustrated or emotional, all a man needs to do is listen to them. This is a sign of respect, being a good listener.
Respect and Courtesy
Men show women respect by being polite with sincerity. This means treating each woman as if they were your mother or grandmother, showing respect because you value their well-being. And, showing you have a vulnerable side. Women view a transparent man, one who is honest about their shortcomings, as a strong man. Showing the vulnerability helps young men to show courtesy to women because they too, want to be treated with respect.
Acts of kindness are acts of respect. If young men understand this point, then showing respect even with a difficult person should be easier. It’s easy to be kind to someone who is acting nice, but it’s a test of true character for a person to show kindness when kindness isn’t returned. Being kind is simply a good virtue and character.
Practice Humor to Encourage Respect
Difficult situations can bring on anger rather than humor so challenge your young man to find the humor and draw from that for their reaction. Challenge them to find the humor in their own reaction which will help them to stay calm and therefore exercise respect. It’s easier to walk away and cool down if they feel they will react with disrespect and then come back later with their calm reaction.
Teach Your Son to Live a Life of Integrity
If you’ve raised your child right, they understand how to live with integrity. If not, start now by showing them what value they have with their own life. Help them to understand that others are equally valuable and thus they treat themselves with integrity they will in turn treat others in same way.
Integrity means they know their limitations. It’s okay to come up with a shrug and say, “I don’t know how to react or what to say to make this situation better, help me please.” You teach your children this by practicing this with them, with your own reactions.
On the other side of the “I don’t know how to react” is the possibility to say this line when indeed the young man does know how to react. Only use this when its truth and teach children and young men to own up to their reactions when it comes to respect for others. They always have a choice in how they react whether they truly don’t know the right way or they are choosing to hide behind ignorance.
Teaching respect should start at a very young age. Show by example, with mom and dad showing each other respect and in the parents respecting the children. As they grow take the time to train them in their reactions to all the situations they face and place importance on showing respect, especially showing respect to women.