We have just stepped into Woman’s month and for this entire month we’ll be witnessing and reading about all the wonderful things the women in our circles and communities and country have achieved and sadly also all the struggles and challenges and suffering they face too.
It was last year August when we all mourned and tried to come to terms with the brutal murder of 19-year-old Uyinene Mrwetyana. I can remember I was standing by while my two older kids were cleaning the kitchen while my daughter, Azaria was telling Jaymee about this very topic she heard about at school. At once Azaria stood still, turned to Jaymee and said, “Jaymee, I’m telling you now. You are not becoming a rapist. I will kill you myself.”
I am raising 2 boys in a country where women are being raped daily, they are being killed for no reason and they are being hurt and victimized all at the hand of the men in this country.
When I look at my boys, all I see is how I must work hard at raising them to become good human beings. It’s difficult to do so when we are constantly bombarded with all the negativity we see on the television and in movies, etc.
I want to share with you a few things we do as parents with the hope of raising our boys to become good men.
1. Lead by example
My husband makes it a point to be an example to the kids. In doing so, he teaches my sons how to treat the women in their lives and my daughter, how a man should treat her. He shows me affection, which sometimes gross them out. He apologizes to me in their presence. He treats me with respect and he always have my back.
2. Surround ourselves with positive role models
It’s so easy to pick up bad habits or the think that everything adults do is okay. Nope. We are very selective over what company we keep and who we allow to be in our kids’ lives.
3. Music and pop culture
We are a Christian family and we love good music, but we try not to make being Christian/serving God difficult. We encourage different genres of music but when the artist starts telling us what he’s gonna do to whoever’s booty and calls his lady love some kind of lady dog, it’s a no from us. Yes, we are those kinds of parents who takes note of what our kids listen to and what they are watching. Nobody is going to let my boys think that it’s okay to call women all kinds of names.
4. It’s okay to share your emotions
Many boys/men are taught to toughen up which is a good thing but to be acting tough when your emotions is all over the place is a bit
5. Boundaries and consent
Wanting people to respect and understand your boundaries is just as important as respecting and understanding their boundaries. This is especially important when it comes to women. Teaching the boys that no means no.
6. Speak up
It is very important for me the have my kids understand that they don’t have agree with or do as others do. It is okay to tell your friends (in a respectful manner), when you don’t agree with what they do or say. You don’t have to stand by and watch how you friend disrespects another friend or girl.
I know we don’t have much control over how our kids behave or what the do when they are not with is but we can try our best to teach them and model positive behaviour in a hope that they portray what they learn from us.
Let us continue to make an effort to raise our boys to become good men!