Tuesday, February 3, 2009
Raising a Son - a New Perspective
I have five years of raising a daughter under my belt. I've learned to look at things from the perspective of a mother raising a little girl.
When I read my daughter books, I talk to her about the roles of the females in the story. When we watch TV, we talk about the same thing. I've told my daughter she can be anything she wants when she grows up. I've told her that she needs to go to college and take advantage of all the educational opportunities she can. I've told her that raising children and being a mom and wife is an excellent calling. We pray at night that she will follow God's leading in her occupation and in choosing the right husband.
I posted awhile back about the mis-perceptions people can get from romance novels and how I would not let my daughter read them. Now that my son is 4 months old, I find myself considering about what I want him to learn and the model I want him to follow.
I will not let my son read romance novels either - even if he were so inclined. Romance novels portray men as governed only by physical needs. And while I am sure their physical desire is high, it is by no means all-controlling. Too often the lead characters are "experienced" while the women are "innocent." The men are forceful, ignoring the woman's words because they think they can read her signals and know what she really wants.
This week I received a Victoria's Secret catalog in the mail. I thought I had taken myself off that mailing list. My husband had asked me previously to throw them out and not to subscribe to those types of catalogs. He told me that he finds it difficult to avoid picking them up and looking at them - to him those pictures are just as bad as pornography. I'm grateful for his restraint and will make sure my son knows why we don't look at those sorts of things.
I will teach my son that women don't want "experienced" men - they want Godly men. Woman are perfectly capable of telling men what they want, and men need to respect female boundaries. Men should have boundaries of their own. I want my son to be strong, but not to be afraid to show his emotions and sensitive side. I want him to be a provider, but not to think that a person's worth is tied up in how much money they earn. I want him to be a supportive husband and father, but not to be afraid to lean on others at times. I want him to take care of his physical body and to value healthy lifestyles, but not to think that looks are the only thing to consider.
I've been watching movies from a female perspective, and from a perspective of what lessons they might teach my daughter. It's time to consider what they might teach my son, as well. It's a whole new viewpoint.