Parenting The Future: Raising Boys To Be Good Men

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Dr. Shelly Flais, a pediatrician and mother of three boys, offers valuable insights on raising boys to be good men who are emotionally mature. She emphasizes the importance of teaching boys to embrace vulnerability and empathy, breaking away from traditional gender norms that encourage emotional stoicism.

Raising Boys To Be Good Men: Parenting The Future

Dr. Flais’s new book, “Nurturing Boys To Be Better Men: Gender Equality Starts at Home,” set to release on October 24, delves into her approach to fostering well-rounded masculinity in young boys.

As a father of two sons, he understands the pressure society places on men and boys to hide their emotions. He envisions a future where his sons can be emotionally open, unafraid to seek help, and value caring for the world rather than fighting it.

To raise emotionally mature boys, Dr. Flais recommends avoiding phrases like “Mr. Mom” and instead encourages parents to say, “I need help.” This shift in communication highlights vulnerability and the collaborative decision-making process, emphasizing that children have valuable contributions to make.

Dr. Flais also emphasizes modeling as a parenting technique, especially during bedtime routines. Parents can demonstrate caregiving, fostering a sense of equality and participation. Overheard praise is another technique, as parents can positively respond when others make comments about their children, reinforcing their value.

Dealing with failure and stress in a healthy way is crucial. Dr. Flais advises parents to let their children witness their own response to challenging situations, showcasing problem-solving and resilience. This encourages kids to understand that making mistakes is okay and that solutions can be found to move forward.

For teenagers, the challenge is to encourage open conversations about emotions. Dr. Flais suggests being self-aware, offering a balance between tasks and quality time, and embracing your child’s interests and passions, even if it means joining in on activities like video games.

Recognizing and addressing emotions, especially when anger is a default response, is essential. Dr. Flais recommends identifying the root cause and understanding that acting out is often a cry for help. She encourages parents to look beyond the surface behavior and address underlying issues.

Finally, Dr. Flais emphasizes the importance of dealing with shame and self-hatred, subjects often left unspoken. Safety is paramount, and if there’s concern for a child’s well-being, immediate medical attention is necessary. Additionally, she hopes that discussions around mental health become normalized, making therapy and counseling more accessible and accepted.

These insights from Dr. Shelly Flais provide valuable guidance for parents and guardians seeking to raise emotionally mature and well-rounded boys, preparing them to become the best men they can be.


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