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.


lawyerchik said...

What an awesome purpose! You're right, too: books tend to portray men as controlled by their feelings instead of being in control of them - and it seems that the reason for that is to give women an "excuse" for "giving in," which is a different subject...

If you haven't heard it (or haven't heard it in a long time), there is a really beautiful song by Wayne Watson from a good while ago (maybe 20 years) called "Somewhere in the World" that talks about a father praying for his son's future wife - it is just precious! You might like it for you and your DH. :)

Anonymous said...

I have often said that romance novels are nothing but women's porn.

After all our actions begin with a thought. If any person reads things that leads them to have unrealistic expectations of another (especially their spouse) it can only lead to destruction.

Enola, you are an inspiration to those of us who have daughters. Although our three biological daughters are grown we are now raising our "new kids". Four year old son and six year old daughter.

I (personally) don't even like to walk past Victoria's Secret at the mall. How do we explainto our little children that on one hand this is okay but on the other hand that should not be displayed in a picture window.

I think many parents raise their children by osmosis. They let them absorb what they can and hope for the best.

Raising children is the most difficult job any person can endever to purposely do. I've worked on the flight deck of an air craft carrier, at night in the North Atlantic Ocean. Trust me, raising daughters is a much more difficult career.

I am already learning that little boys have their own set of unique issues.

We're up for it.

This was such an encouraging post to read.


dm said...

you husband is a keeper...I know you already know that but, wanted to affirm his desire to be an honorable godly man...

Joy said...

Great post and SO true!!! With both sexes of kids in our home, I struggle too, with what to teach them and how.

Thank you!!!

austin said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
healandforgive said...

My aunt has a son and a daughter (both in their 30's now).

Many years ago, she said that she felt a greater responsibility raising a son than she did a daughter. She wanted to raise a son who was Godly, respectful of women and children, and socially conscious.

She succeeded! I’m sure you will too!

austin said...

thanks for deleting my comment E. i wasn't so sure i wanted that up there since it had more to do with me than your post. i sort of got my own issues mixed up in there. i know you said you thought it was fine but i appreciate you honoring my request to delete it.


Marj aka Thriver said...

Another great post for the carnival--thanks. I'm glad you tell your daughter that she can be whatever she wants to be when she grows up. When I was a kid, the most I could ever dream up was being a flight attendant--what they called a "stewardess" back then. My mother wanted me to be a nurse. As huge of an enabler as I was, I'm glad I didn't go for either of those careers with the waiting on others and care taking involved.