How Do You Raise Your Son?

Posted: March 18, 2015
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We always talk about how a girl should grow up. Let’s talk about boys now. Let’s talk about to how to raise our sons.

“There is more to a boy than what his mother sees. There is more to a boy than what his father dreams. Inside every boy lies a heart that beats. And sometimes it screams, refusing to take defeat. And sometimes his father’s dreams aren’t big enough, and sometimes his mother’s vision isn’t long enough. And sometimes the boy has to dream his own dreams and break through the clouds with his own sunbeams.” ― Ben Behunin

Perhaps our society has always been obsessed about how a girl should be raised. Or to be more precise, Indians have always taken an intricate amount of interest in what a girl should do, and what she must envision as she grows into a woman. In every family, there are a set of rules and restrictions that are passed on from the ancestors. Some rules are beyond human comprehension. I wonder why boys do not have to go through these grooming sessions in their childhood.

They are a little lucky, I reckon.

I know I am an amateur at this subject, and oh, I have no knowledge at all in this area, but I really think it would be great if boys are raised like this. (Some of these rules apply to girls too.)

  1. Teach him to respect people and their ideas. He must be able to respect people younger than him. Teach him to respect the right things, and to shun prejudice against different cultures.
  1. Art should be a major part of his childhood. Men who take interest in art tend to be smarter than the men who don’t. They tend to be more considerate too. Read to him during bed time. Encourage him to paint. Send him to music classes. Try and ensure that art and education go together.
  1. Have you noticed that many men look for the qualities of their mother in a girl they like? It is impossible. Teach them that it is stupid. Your mother and the girl you like are two different people. No one can replace your mother. Teach them that from a very tender age.
  1. Give him the freedom to make his choices right from his childhood.
  1. It is okay if he fails and makes mistakes. Do not admonish him for that. It is not really a big deal if he scores 80%. Not everyone is meant to score 90%. Every time you urge him to set a 100% record in school, you are letting a ‘Mozart in the making’ slip away.
  1. There is more to a girl than her looks, and her body. Teach him to understand and respect that.
  1. We observe a lot of men flourishing with the male zeta ego. Teach your son not to thrust his ego on others.
  1. Ask him to document his life. Give him a camera and a journal. Ask him to make memories, make him write down his thoughts and stories. Let him take pictures of the things around him.
  1. Give him a pet. Let him know that the love for an animal is the purest form of love. His bond with his pet will be one of his best friendships and he will cherish it forever.
  1. Travel a lot. Take him to different places. Let him meet different people. Introduce him to different cultures. Let him know the world. Let him experience different things.

Let me also tell you this, lest I may forget – stand by his side during thick and thin, and talk about his mistakes. With a strong support system like yours, your son would turn out to be an ideal man. You can take my word for it.

First published at author’s blog

Image of two boys via Shutterstock

Just a storyteller making memories. Curly. Part obnoxious, part delusional. Prefers books to people. Lives

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7 Comments


  1. Hi Sunaina,
    Thats a great one….good and interesting. Very well put. Those are very positive ways which every parent should adopt.

    I would like to add on the following for my son:

    1. Explain to him that POWERFUL need not essentially mean ‘physical prowess’, and that it can also mean emotional courage to withstand life’s tribulations and coping with the problems in a positive way. (negative coping would be use of alcoholism, smoke, drug abuse and suicide or homicide)

    2. I would tell him that ‘he is not my ATM’ in my autumn days, and that I have saved enough money to take care of myself. It is just his love and happiness that I truly need. (but that love need not be, being possessive from my side)

    3. Since I have enough money and he is having some decent education with which he can support himself, I would suggest him to share half of his wedding costs with his bride-to-be (i.e., if he wants to marry), or have a simple marriage, so that neither party spends and it would be out of love and not out of show or boasting of wealth, and subsequent ego clashes

    4. Tell him that just like his wife is taking responsibility for his health and personal growth, he is also equally responsible for her’s.

    5. ‘Indian culture’ applies to him too and whatever comes under those clauses should be first followed by him, and not forced unto others (eg. several indian heroes throw the sari at the heroine and say – “this is how an Indian woman should be, now wear this..blahblahblah”. Irony is that the hero will be in his jeans, sports shoes, some western tatoos, et al, and the coy herione, will feel embarassed and admit that SHE should be the epitome of Indian culture and NOT THE HERO. Because a man is not expected to follow culture, he can happily light a cigaratte during some festival, whereas the womenfolk, will be lighting diyas (of course in a sari, what else can you imagine, haven’t you seen the ads that reinforce such ideas day in and day out). Now the sons model their fathers and start the habit quite early…..good that such good things are passed on to the next generation !!!!!

    6. Finally, if he gets a son or daughter, bring them up as God’s gift, and not think of one of them as a fixed deposit, which would fetch good interest in the future, and the other a liability, who should be chucked out off the house, as the kid turns 18 yrs. (I don’t need to explain here, which explanation stands for which gender….this is not rocket science, eh?!)

    Thanks for initiating this topic, it will enlighten many or give several options for those, who want their sons to be ‘DIFFERENT’.

  2. Thanks Sunaina for your genuine appreciation. please write more, looking forward to it.

  3. lol’est article. looks like you’ve written this, thinking about specific person! “Smart” can be many directions and dimensions!!! not just smart in “arts.”

    Give him the freedom to make his choices right from his childhood.— majority of the guys get this freedom! they learn from mistakes.

    There is more to a girl than her looks, and her body. Teach him to understand and respect that- hate this sentence. Shows ur narrow thinking. All women reading this article ATTENTION PLEASE: do not build your thoughts based on 0.0009% of people. Instead build your thoughts based on the behavior of the 99%. This point only creates fear in women. Trust me, I’m a guy and look at women in different angles. Women are lovey, sweet, cute, great planners, they raise nations! Who is more powerful than the person raising the future of a nation? Mature men, women dont go by looks!

    We observe a lot of men flourishing with the male zeta ego. Teach your son not to thrust his ego on others.- again you can’t that every one has this. your egoistic male friend?

    Ask him to document his life. Give him a camera and a journal. Ask him to make memories, make him write down his thoughts and stories. Let him take pictures of the things around him.- how does this even make a man better? it is down to what an individual likes!

    Give him a pet. Let him know that the love for an animal is the purest form of love. His bond with his pet will be one of his best friendships and he will cherish it forever- lol again. Men or Women doesn’t mater, people who pets will enjoy.

    Travel a lot. Take him to different places. Let him meet different people. Introduce him to different cultures. Let him know the world. Let him experience different things- This thing again- doesn’t necessarily improves guys or is a must do in raising boys! It is everybody’s dream boy or girl.

    Please don’t spread hate! talk about good things! Help build trust in guys! society needs trust building work, not hate spreading work.

    I’m sure, you don’t have a brother! You or any girl having a brother or good guy friends will never write these kid of articles.

    I’m a guy and I’ve never experienced any of the points mentioned in the article! This is what happens when you write about something you don’t even know or have experience in. Write on the same topic, after 20 years, when you’ve raised a kid, it will make sense at that time. Right now, this article is nothing except fancy words, feminism, hypocrisy, your guy friends behavior, his parents behavior.

  4. @Jujube – I wouldn’t go so far as to say you do not respect women, perhaps you do, but you are possible THE WORST advocate for women or men everywhere.

    Your ‘indisputable’ logic of i-never-went-through-all-this-i-grew-up-fine-therefore-this-is-not-needed, at the very least, suffers from an Anecdotal Fallacy. And also the personal jabs you took at the author are more reminiscent of Ad Hominem rather than support your reasoning. These two fallacies are enough to ignore/throw away/ridicule your entire comment let alone warrant a serious read.

    Now, in a language that you’ll understand –
    There is ample precedence for every single point the author has put forth here. Arts, pets, documenting one’s life, experiencing different cultures have all been scientifically shown to have a positive effect on a kid’s mental as well as physical growth. Something which I realize, you’ve never experienced. And to top it all, the author began her points by clearly saying “… i’m not an expert in this subject, but it would be great if BOTH boys and girls are raised like this”. I can only assume you are deliberately being thick to ignore all that was written to simply proceed with your rant.

    With the dawn of the internet age, more and more people are being pushed into new situations and the deep rooted problems of inequality and gender discrimination have become evident even more so. Pick a paper, any paper. Walk up to any government girls school, talk to any one person, talk to any female government official, hell talk to your maid! While it has become quiet evident you choose to live inside this bubble of yours and refuse to acknowledge anything that happens outside it, at this point, i think i speak for all mankind when i say, please continue living in that bubble and don’t ever step out. Lest you stench up the world anymore than it already is.

    I apologize. I don’t say these words as if to defend the author nor does she need defending. Looking at the way she has written and judging by her forward thinking, i’m pretty sure she’s far more capable at responding to Jujube’s idiotic comment. I suppose what angers me the most is that, at a time when it has become paramount to bring these conversations out in the open, to share views and talk about things like respecting one another, looking beyond gender, the ugly truth of marital abuse, rape, and many more deep rooted problems in our society, where its practicing the smallest of things that makes all the difference, the last thing, the ABSOLUTE LAST thing this country needs is for some idiot to say ‘there’s already enough being done’.

    Please, I beg of you, never speak. Learn, i urge you to learn, but never speak up. This goes against everything i just said, but at this point i think we’ll all agree, its too late for you buddy.

    P.S – Jujube is not a word one uses often in common place in India. It has a terrible slang associated with it and that slang is readily available for anyone to see in the Urban Dictionary website. I sincerely hope you didn’t intend to use it in that reference. Cause if you did, you have something else coming at you buddy.

    – Vijay

  5. Pingback: Blue + Pink = White – Broth of Blogs

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