Maxim Monday: Educate Your Sons

Yes! A Maxim I am excited about! I agree whole-heartedly agree that our sons need be educated. I believe in education, particularly one that involves wonder, creativity and critical thinking. Lets give our boys sciences, art, music, history, literature, maths, outdoor skills, virtues, and the abilities to express themselves.

And let’s of course give that to our daughters.

Aside from academics, which I believe are for boys and girls, I’d like to talk about some things I aim to teach my own son.

My son is five. I began his education early: I sang opera arias and jazz standards to him when he was in the NICU after he was born. I started reading to him when I breastfed. I’d read whatever I had on hand, which meant he got current events from the Economist and a lot of feminist theological theory. But I also read volumes of poetry as I nursed him down for naps. All of that language was helpful, and I see the fruit in his deep love of stories and his rather impressive vocabulary.

More than that, my husband and I are determined to teach him to think for himself. We don’t have television, primarily because we loathe advertising, but that doesn’t mean we don’t have plenty of opportunity to talk about media. At about three my son would look at a sign or a billboard and ask, “What is that sign telling us?” A good question to ask!

We are determined to teach him about his feelings and ways that he can express them safely and clearly. This hasn’t eliminated all the tantrums, but he is able to tell us that feels angry, shy, scared, happy, frustrated, etc. Much of the time, just knowing that he can cry something out is all it takes for the wave of emotion to pass. He also knows that just because some one is angry doesn’t mean that love is absent. He knows that we can express anger and still love and be loved. When he told this to me in the car a few weeks ago, I’d have sworn I’d won at parenting!

We are also teaching him the importance of consent. If I want a son that will respect the boundaries of others at 15, 20, 35 years of age, that lesson needs to start now. There is no ‘boys will be boys’ nonsense in our house. There is only, “did you ask first?” whether that’s a hug or a punch or whatever.

There are other things we educating our son about: he can’t help but have some knowledge of world religions, graphic arts, and the internet, thanks to who his parents are! I also want to give him more of an education of the outdoors. He’s learning to swim.

All of these things we’re teaching our son…… and we’re also teaching them to our daughter.

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About Niki Whiting
  • https://www.facebook.com/adam.blodgett Adam Blodgett

    Don’t forget his deep knowledge of comic book theory and history!

    We’re also teaching our daughter about bodily consent and her right to choose what is best for her life and her body by allowing her to shave her head at the age of 2 when she asked for it, despite our deep reservations.

    Educating our children is also educating us.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/awitchsashram myownashram

      Amen!

  • http://parentingbythelightofthemoon.blogspot.com Witch Mom

    Adam brings up the point of bodily integrity as applied to a daughter. So very important. We are teaching our son that, too. We often tell him when we need “space” and that we get to decide, as he does, what happens to our bodies. He chooses how to adorn himself and he knows what is a private activity (masturbation) and that he has “private parts” (that he knows the correct names of.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/awitchsashram myownashram

      Yes, these things are important! We are still working with the ‘private’ parts thing.


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