What to parents teach their children, and more specifically what do mothers teach their sons about interacting with females, is a major concern to me. Having a two-year-old son and 16-year-old stepdaughter, these concerns have become more pertinent.
Women complain that men do not treat them right. Men complain they do not know what women want; do women know what they want? I started asking the question, what women teach their sons about women, relationships, and being a man. Asking many women across the globe (I have lived in six countries and traveled to over 40) the typical response is men should teach boys how to be men. Women continue to complain that men do not treat them well but teach their sons very little. Thus, the cycle of poor treatment continues. A quick search on the internet supports the idea that women rarely teach their sons about relationships or becoming men.
Asking women how they expect boys to know how to treat women when men themselves do not know leads to blank stares. Men think they know what women want and pass what little they know on to their sons. These assumptions are generally wrong. Even married and in a relationship with my wife for almost ten years, I am lost. Speaking different languages meant we spoke in direct statement to each other when building our relationship. This helped in understanding what we both wanted.
Women typically ask, "can boys not see how a woman wants to be treated" or "don't they know right and wrong?" The answer is no. Boys see women staying in abusive relationships. Boys see men womanizing, and yet women stay or try to be involved with these "macho" men. Why have a child for a man that is married to someone else? Why sleep with a man because he is famous? These and other questions are asked. Women need to set examples to boys, not just men.
There are many single parent households and those with dysfunctional men. These abusive males encourage behaviors that are not becoming of men. A man is responsible, respectful, accountable, loving, caring and pragmatic male. Someone who takes responsibility for his actions. A man is accountable to those around him. Show love to those he meets. Care for the weak. In addition, he can look after those around him in a practical manner.
The relationship concern hit at university when I decide to try to understand girls/women and realized how little sense it made. Girls constantly got themselves in poor relationships and avoided guys who were trying to be nice (not manly enough). What exactly were they looking for? Men were encouraged to be selfish. Guys would have sex with different freshmen every semester and boasted about it, yet had a bevy of girls/women who allowed this to continue. Do girls/women want to be used? Why do girls not look out for each other? I was put into the "friend zone." One girl thought I was gay for not trying to have sex with her. How to be respectful while trying to have sex with a girl one knows very little about? Is it have sex then find out about the person? Confusing for a young man. It never got better.
I want my son to be better than me in all aspects (including cooking, ironing, cleaning). To do better, achieve more, and achieve his potential if not more. Before my son was born, I told my wife she needs to teach him about women. He needs someone that knows. Another good reason to try to be a good husband.