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Bringing up boys who respect

Sunday, September 3, 2017


This Father’s Day, White Ribbon New Zealand gives us some tips on how fathers can best role model respectful behaviour and raise boys who respect their friends, family and future partners.

Parents are a child’s first and most important role model. Your behaviour has a huge impact on them, so check yourself – are you acting the way you would want them to act? Whatever they learn from you is how they’ll treat their siblings, friends, classmates and future partners.

Our friends at White Ribbon have some suggestions about how you can model respectful behaviour for your children:

Respect your partner as an equal

Show how you value your partner as an equal in your relationship. Having a respectful relationship, and modelling it your children, will teach them that violence towards women is not okay.

You can do this by making sure you talk to your partner respectfully, even when you’re under pressure. Everyone messes up – that’s being human. Taking responsibility for your actions and acknowledging when you need to do better – that’s being a good human.

Your kids deserve respect too. Children, especially teenagers, are onto you – if there’s a double standard, they won’t feel respected.

Be consistent and credible

You don’t have to be perfect but you do have to take responsibility for your actions and put things right. That’s a great thing to demonstrate to your kids.

Build up their self-esteem

Reinforce that they are all worthy of respect. This will reduce their risk of being victims of others’ violence.

Focus on how they act, not how they look. Encourage your kids for their behaviour rather than for their physical beauty or prowess.

Check out the White Ribbon toolkit for more ideas and information about teaching your child about respect, consent, how to communicate effectively, and how to take responsibility for their actions.


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