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Raising a boy of character: Responsibility is yours

Raising a boy is a wholly different experience compared to bringing up a girl child. It presents its own set of challenges as boys are wired differently. However, the fulfillment and a rewarding feeling is definitely going to be there if you get a few things right. Follow the tips given below, and raise your boy into a man of character.

1. Be a role model

It is not in jest that it is said, “Imitation is human”. Human beings learn and evolve mainly through imitation. And so, one of the most important things to be done is to present your boy with a role model worth imitating and emulating. Ideally, this person should be the father. But there are bound to be cases when the father is not available due to various reasons. In ancient India, the teenage boys were sent out to a saint or a sage who would double up as their teacher and a role model too. This kind of training becomes essential even in this modern age. The boy will learn his behavior, manners and most importantly, aspects of his character from the person he admires and follows.

2. Work on communication

The way boys communicate and learn to communicate, varies from that of a girl. A girl is more open and shares her feelings and thoughts. Boys on the other hand, are not so much into talking and bonding. This is not the boy’s fault! Evolution has made males that way! So spend more time with your boy from a young age itself. Make extra efforts to get to know him and communicate with him. Your boy must get comfortable opening up with you and he must realize that he can trust you completely. This will open up doors of communication with him for the later age also.

3. Encourage the display of emotions

Society in general associates some behaviors with girls and some with boys. For instance, showing emotions is considered girlish in the beginning and later it is seen as a sign of weakness in a man. Though the origins of such beliefs are not known, they are absolutely false. Emotions arise out of feelings and both boys and girls have feelings in an equal measure. Assure your boy that it is fine to express emotions – shed that tear or jump in joy. Of course, over-emotion must be restrained, but that is true for girls as much as it is for boys!

4. Set behavioral boundaries

The boy will be more rough and hard in physical behavior compared to girls. Again, this is something to be blamed upon evolution and not your child, for the fact that a boy is made stronger, hardier and rougher than the girl, physically at least! It is best to set the distinction between what your boy is capable of doing and what he is supposed to be doing, right in the beginning itself. Setting these boundaries and disciplining the boy for obedience is vital if you wish to make your boy into a courteous and good teenager.

5. Get chores done:

This is another myth that exists in many minds and many households – that the girl alone does house chores. This is not correct. The boy must be brought up with the knowledge that anyone with rights in the house also has responsibilities towards the house. Giving a fair share of chores to the boy is vital to make him a responsible and conscientious individual when he grows up. This will help in ways more than one. It will make him independent and able to manage his life till marriage. After marriage too, it will help the couple enjoy a smooth life, for, which wife would not love help from her husband?

6. Find ways to burn energy constructively

A mother who had a tough time handling her son at home because his energy levels were simply too high for her to control or even channelize. She enrolled him for a gymnastics class and all her problems got solved. The boy became a good gymnast and would return home exhausted after a constructive energy expenditure. Finding such outlets of energy is especially important for boys who come loaded with it. Boys also tend to be noisier than girls. That is just his way of spending the excess energy he has. Save yourself of all the trouble by encouraging him into games and sports or enrolling him into physical classes like aerobics or karate.

7. Have patience

Whether it is a boy or a girl, patience is a virtue any parent must develop. Patience seems like a bitter plant but its fruits are always sweet. It is more so when it comes to boys, for, once they hit puberty, their bodies grow much faster than their minds. And because of this, the parent often make the mistake of expecting the boy to behave like an adult when he is not yet grown into one. He will make mistakes. It is very important that you be loving, supportive and patient.

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