On this morning's Today Show, they offered Five Tips on HOW to raise boys to become GREAT men:
- How are you feeling? We are more apt to ask girls how they are feeling. Get in the habit of asking boys the same to help them explore their emotion. Giving boys a toolbox of emotions beyond 'anger' is an important parenting task.
- Expand Empathy. Encourage your boys to read fiction and ask them to report on what happens to the charater. Research shows that tracking this develops empathy. Also, playing the "What IF game" helps. To play the game, note a person like a ball player under stress and ask your boy, "How would that preasure make you feel?"
- Strengthen Sense of Self. Dont use the label, "Boys will be boys", because it gives boys a negative label and sets expectations low for boys to use as an excuse for bad behavior. Furthermore, praise EFFORTS not just talents. Let boys know that you are proud of thier time spent studying and practicing, not just for winning!
- Model Respect: Boys will pattern their respect of others after parents demonstration. Show them 'real world' examples of respect for others. Remember to 'walk the walk'!
- Show Affection: Recognize that as youth age they may pull away from the 'mom smooches', but timing is important. So dont remove all they affection, but just learn 'when' and 'how much' to shower on your lil' man.