Talking to a Male Child, Period
Talking and male child may be two things you haven’t thought of piecing together. But that is one of the greatest flaws in our society that we need to tackle.
WE CAN BOAST OF equality very well, but have you noticed how we never seem to follow through on our words? Feminism and all aside, it stands true for our sons too.
Yes, we still in the subtlest of ways put sons forward but we also put the heaviest of weights on their shoulders and expect them to be okay with them. It just may be the reason why most male children are a handful. They can be as pretentious, obnoxious, careless, shameless and overall a generally apathetic as they want to be mostly because they aren't taught how to channelize their emotions. Our society is well known for leaving all things emotional and feelings to girls and women while expecting boys to be rock solid.
Parents have had and will always have a hard time raising their boys. And it mostly changes for the worse when they become adolescents. To avoid this with your boys and make them well-rounded men, you will need to be able to speak to them be it of feelings, hopes, dreams or other matters. Your efforts will help them channelize their concerns and anxieties into something positive.
Okay, it boils down to how do you broach sensitive subjects so that they do not feel jumped. These tips will help you to transform your child and your relationship altogether.
The right moment and environment
Nothing matters as much as picking the correct time to talk. You might feel like you or spouse is too busy and your boys might be too. Despite that, you need to find the time. It may as a picnic or a night out for your family, but do what you must to make it happen.
Give your boys some heads up about the upcoming conversation and make the session a comfortable one giving them a headspace to return to the topic in the days to come.
No lectures or patronizing
Parents need to make sure these sessions are never given in a lecture format. Be prepared, say what you have say in a list of important points and let your child respond. Give him the reassurance that he can talk about his experiences without fear of being reprimanded. Hearing him out will give you an insight into his thought process and ensure that you are having a conversation, not a monologue.
It is also important that you don’t patronize your son when talking to him. Make the conversation about him and let him know you are and will always be there to guide and support him every day. One great way is to ask him how you can help him and try not to assume things and just ask them outright, instead of letting it fester in your mind.
Listen to understand
I don’t know about some parents but most people only listen to reply and not understand. Let’s break the cycle and try our hands at understanding. You need to keep in mind that there will always be a generation gap between the two of you.
Conversations like these are well known for having breakouts. So, take a deep breath, listen him out. You should at least try and keep your cool and try not to take things personally even when your kid may say things he doesn’t mean in the heat of the moment. Make it a point to understand where he stands and how you can try to understand, if not help him all at once.
A helping hand
The conversation can be considered fruitful and a success if your child is willing to have conversations like these with you. To get this result, you will have to remind him regularly that you only intend to help and support him. You may or may not get a reply but your efforts are what count and will not go unnoticed.
Having the right role model is always one of the best ways to introduce these concepts in teenagers and young adults. If you as a parent are their role model, you will want to watch your steps and make a good one. Or you can also help your boys learn from healthy role models instead of the less admirable ones.
Reinforcements almost always come into play when anything new is introduced. In case of sensitive topics like these, positive reinforcements are always a plus point. Positive reinforcements in conversations would mean an open, inclusive non-judgmental environment where expression of emotion is commended. Let’s take the cliched example of a crying boy, for example. You know he only cries when he is in pain, so give him your warmth, love, and comfort and reassure him that his reaction is a natural one and healthy. You can cross your fingers and hope it will help him open up even more in the future.
Accept when he doesn’t want to talk
Accepting that your kid doesn’t feel comfortable talking certain issues is one of the most important things. You need to acknowledge the fact that he isn’t used to it and still let him know that your doors are always open in case he wants to revisit the conversation. Learn to take a step back when he says “No.” Trying to start conversations when he isn’t ready will mean you are pushing him even farther away. Just keep it cool and wait for him to come to you if he doesn’t appreciate you trying to invade his space.