If you're an upset mom with a disrespectful son, you must read this. Our parenting expert and author, Annie Fox, is sharing an excerpt from her book, Teaching Kids to Be Good People. She offers you the following question to answer and then gives her solution. Let's learn more about the problem and Annie's solution.
What Would You Teach Here?
I found out my son pressures girls for "second base" and if they don't comply, he dumps them. His last girlfriend told people he dumped her because she would not put out, but some girls go along with his demands! I am a single mom and I'm very upset to have raised a boy who'd do this to girls. How should I talk to him about this? (Page 46)
Answer to Mother's Question about Son, Respect, and Girlfriends
"How does a single mom talk to her son about respecting girls?"
You might say something like this, "You are old enough to have girlfriends. And I know that there are girls you like. That's why I want to talk to you about boyfriend/girlfriend relationships. You may think it's all about what you want. But a relationship is a two-way street. If you want a good girlfriend, you have to be a good boyfriend."
Then close your mouth, and listen to what he has to say. I'm guessing he's never thought about it in this way before. He may just shrug and say, "I don't know."
That's when you say, "OK, I understand that you may not know. After all, they don't teach classes in this in school, though they probably should.
But guys need to learn it, so I'm going to teach you. I can tell you what being a good boyfriend means from the girl's point of view. Here's what you need to know: No girl likes to be pressured into doing things she's not ready for. Guys who pressure girls to 'do stuff' are being disrespectful.
The kind of girls who make the best girlfriends are girls with self-respect. They will stand up for themselves. They will say, 'No, I'm not going to do that. And I don't like it when you pressure me. So just stop.'"
Listen for his answer. Ultimately you want him to realize that as his mom, it's your responsibility to teach him to treat people with respect. That includes teachers, friends, kids he may not particularly like, and girlfriends. This isn't about sex, it's about respect and empathy (taking the other person's point of view.)
Tell your son you have some information that he's been pressuring girls to do things they don't want to do. Tell him this is wrong. Finish it up like this: "Maybe you didn't know it was wrong before we had this conversation, but now you do. From now on, I expect you to always treat people with respect. If I find out that isn't the case, there will be a consequence. We understand each other, right?" Right. (Page 208-210).
I like how Annie Fox gives parents a question to consider. In her answer she gets to the core of the question. She ends with letting the son know there will be a consequence if he doesn't treat others, girlfriends included, with respect. What a help to parents who don't know what to say or how to get the message across.
Pick up Annie's book, Teaching Kids To Be Good People: Progressive Parenting for the 21st Century in soft cover or as a Kindle:
Available on Amazon.com
Let's HONOR Annie Fox for her practical advice on helping parents raise teens with character.
Annie Fox, M.Ed.
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