5 Things Men Can do to Help Raise Boys who Respect Women

1. Practice what you preach

It's a cliché, but it's true: actions speak louder than words. So above all, walk the walk. Always address women with respect. Whatever you demand of your son, show how important it is by demonstrating it yourself.

2. Don't put up with putting down women

Unfortunately, in some settings, such as sports, there's often a tradition of language and humour that can be degrading to women. If you hear a boy or young man who looks up to you engaging in it, tell him it's unacceptable and tell him why you won't tolerate it. If it happens among your peers, remind them that young men/boys look up to them.

3. Make sure he develops other kinds of respect

Respecting women is part of a greater respect for others. Ensure that he treats his teachers, classmates, friends, and his teammates and opponents, with the same respect he'd like to receive from them.

4. Find out who his heroes are and what they do

It's common for young men to idolize famous athletes, musicians or actors. However, when it comes to respecting women, the personal behaviour of some of these heroes can leave much to be desired. Encourage him to think for himself, and let him know that not everything about his hero is worthy of imitation. Help him to identify heroes that respect women – they are out there!

5. Make sure he learns that sexual assault is always wrong

If he seeks your advice about girls and dating, seize the opportunity to talk to him about healthy relationships. Make sure he understands that forcing a girl to do something sexual that she doesn't want to do is always wrong and is a crime. No matter what his friends say. Wrong. Always.

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