As a woman who never even believed she’d have sons because of how badly I desired having little girls, I try to instill in them the same morals, messages and general all-round knowledge that I would my own daughter (if I had one).
We use gender neutral terminology in the home; we don’t specify toys as being for boys or girls and we talk about consent, both how to give it and how to understand it. We talk about our anatomy in proper terminology and they know all about periods and why women get them (because mothers don’t ever get to pee alone).
I find it my responsibility to raise my two boys to respect women and their bodily autonomy while also implementing that same respect on themselves. It is also my responsibility to raise these two boys who will one day be young men to respect women and treat them with equal merit, while always striving to be the best possible versions of themselves.
I was truthfully taken by surprise when Eli’s teacher relayed to me at a parent teacher interview that Eli seems to identify, and become friends with, the girls in his class more so than the boys.
I asked him later that night why he doesn’t like playing with the boys, and he blankly stared at me and said, “I just like hanging out with my friends” and that was the end of the conversation.
Of course he does. They share similar interests and they enjoy playing the same games together at lunch time. To him, it doesn’t mean anything, they’re just his friends.