Start The Conversation

At this stage, children and, more specifically, boys need to understand the differences between identities. The idea of consent, boundaries and respect for all can be organically introduced into your conversations.

Talk to your son about sexual orientation and gender diversity. The longer we wait to teach our sons the importance of tolerance with respect to homosexuality, bisexuality and transgenderism, the greater chance of bigotry, discrimination and misogyny.

Let your son know that the way his body is changing is a good thing, but it can sometimes be confusing. The way you talk about these changes — whether it’s loose teeth, pimples or pubic hair — will show your willingness to talk about other sensitive subjects. Make him feel that he can always talk to you about his body or how he is feeling.

Don’t tease your son about his friendships, or for having crushes. Whatever he feels is okay. If his friendship with someone else seems like a crush, don’t mention it. You can ask him open questions like, “How is your friendship with Sarah going?” and be prepared to talk — or not talk — about it.

Explain that part of growing up is having changing hormones, and that hormones sometimes make it hard to think clearly. It’s common, and perfectly okay, to be overwhelmed or confused by these new feelings. Tell your son that no matter what he’s feeling, he can talk to you about it. But his feelings, desires and needs are no one’s responsibility but his own. He still needs to practise kindness and respect for everyone around him.

Teach your son to respect a girl’s wishes and boundaries from a young age, including in his interactions with female siblings. Is he pulling his sister’s hair or taking her belongings? Is he calling a girl at his school names? Gently explain to him it’s wrong. And ask him how he would feel if the shoe was on the other foot.


 
Source: www.huffingtonpost.com - The Healthy Sex Talk. Teaching kids Consent