Walk Like a Man
How to Raise Your Son to Be a Great Guy
Instill Respect for Others
"A boy who grows up listening to authority figures, obeying rules and interacting in a caring manner learns a baseline of treating people with respect," says Michael Gurian, author of The Purpose of Boys: Helping Our Sons Find Meaning, Significance and Direction in Their Lives. By the time he is a man, that respectful manner will be second nature.
How to Do It
• Set rules and enforce them. If your son breaks a rule—whether it's using bad language, missing curfew, or some other infraction—impose consequences. "Boys respect people who hold their feet to the fire," says Gurian. "If you coddle your son and don't follow through with consequences, over time he can become unmotivated, and ultimately spoiled and uncaring."
• Set a good example. Treat other adults in your son's life, such as teachers, coaches and his friends' parents, with respect. Insist that he do the same. If a conflict does arise—say, between your son and his teacher—then handle the situation with grace. Don't immediately side with your son, says Gurian. "Hear both sides of the story, and even if your child is right, explain to him that rudeness to a teacher is never acceptable," he says. Then say, I'll talk to your teacher to see if we can resolve this. If something like this happens again, then I want you to tell me and not talk back to your teacher. "You'll teach your son problem-solving skills while emphasizing respect for others," says Gurian.
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