Timing Matters: when to teach your son what
It is obvious that sex education for infants does not yet make sense. The first suit can wait until the son is twelve or fourteen. In order for paternal encouragement to fall on fertile ground, the point in time of educational intervention is not entirely unimportant. What is communicated too early or too late can have no effect? The fact that boys in particular urgently need paternal support at the right time is shown by the fact that they often have poorer school qualifications than girls. The father is predestined to be a development worker for the son because he knows from his own experience the specifically male problems of growing up.
From 0: Paapaa!
A father’s zest for action is often frustrated early on: there is the feeling of not being able to get as close to the still tiny son as the partner who “mutates” into a mega mommy. However, you should fight for participation, because “You can’t do it” doesn’t count. Practice makes perfect, and the theory of biological determination (“women can do better”) is nonsense. Men are just as sensitive to baby signals, even physiologically, says Wassilios Fthenakis, a professor at the University of Bozen. In addition, a study shows that fathers do not duplicate mothers’ behavior but complement it: They bring something of their own to the table. So when you establish a close bond, your little one feels doubly secure because two are standing by for him. The security that develops in this way accompanies you throughout life.
From 10 Months: Now the father becomes particularly important
The father-child relationship is crucial for sons at an early age: At the age of ten months, they break away from the mother’s symbiosis, which experts call “triangulation” – the father-mother-child family triangle is formed. While girls identify with their mothers (“I am like her”), boys notice: “I am different.” They would experience that as disappointment and rejection if there weren’t a third party who they (will) physically resemble. – the father. Therefore, being more than a playmate to romp around in, physical and emotional contact with the father is now extremely helpful for your son to find new stability. Men are in short supply in children’s everyday life, Family Minister Renate Schmidt recently admitted: “With the exception of the weekends, children come into contact almost exclusively with women in the first few years of their lives: mothers, childminders,
From 2 Years: Conflicts strengthen the authority
“We have become unsure how to deal with authority because authority is no longer taken for granted,” says Rainer Neutzling, who wrote the classic “Little Heroes in Need” (Rowohlt) with Dieter Schnack. Fathers want to be an authority without being authoritarian. To do this, you have to set consistent rules from two years at the latest and comply with them (yourself), “with a clear goal in mind and a repertoire of sanctions,” explains Neutzling. This also means getting rid of the idea of
a) always being nice to the child and
b) always asking them what they want.
The sociologist Neutzling says: “In order to be authentic, you need the self-confidence to make yourself unpopular with the child, to enter into conflicts.” regardless of whether it is about healthy eating (“French fries!”), going to bed (“Nooo, not”) or shopping (“I want that”). Even trying to explain everything doesn’t help, very little ones can’t understand the why and wherefore, you just overwhelm them with it. A “No, that’s not possible” is enough.
From 3 years: Crying Indians are the winners
Do you have to harden a little one early so that he can cope as a grown-up (“Indian heart knows no pain”)? The latest finding on this is: Tender makes you hard, according to Dr. Sebastian Kraemer from the Whittington Clinic in London. The result of his research: Little boys who have experienced the same amount of tenderness and support as girls right from the start are more successful in their jobs and relationships. A lot of hardness, on the other hand, weakens self-confidence and increases aggressiveness. Kraemer says: “You’re raising your son more like a football hooligan than a self-confident man.” Boys should therefore be allowed to be weak, fearful, and have negative feelings. Challenge statements such as, “You’re a boy, so don’t be afraid to cry.” Instead, help him deal with his feelings in a positive way by offering comfort, not incomprehension. This Education Sentimentale also includes showing feelings when bad or good things happen. Here’s how your son learns: That’s okay for men.
From 6 Years: praise for achievement
The sociologist Rainer Neutzling says: “Especially when it comes to things that you think a boy simply has to be able to do, fathers find it difficult to accept their own son’s fear or inability.” Isn’t he the first to do sports at school? Don’t be disappointed. Neutzling advises remembering your own childhood, fears, and disappointments. Or were you able to do everything perfectly right away? That helps to respond with understanding. You know from your own experience that there are often better ones. Therefore, measure your praise by your junior’s effort and improvement in performance, not by others.
From 10: The man is himself
As a man today, you have to have the entire range of skills and knowledge, you know that from everyday life. This also means showing the offspring that jobs are not male or female, but have to be done. Or should your son, only confronted with reality as a student, stand helplessly in front of the pile of laundry, the sausage counter, or the stove? Include him in everything, not just lawn care.
12 and up: Let’s talk about sex
One does not want to know how, but the son should cultivate healthy company. Talking is gold there. Konrad Weller, head of the sex education center at Merseburg University of Applied Sciences, says: “If parents are modestly silent, children only find one logical explanation: the indecency of this action”. Boys are often left alone with the subject, while girls are let in on it by their mothers. So stay tuned. Some parents think that if they explain “it”, “it” will happen sooner. Pieter Schnell, co-initiator of the anti-AIDS campaign “Forgetting is contagious”: “Parents can hardly influence when the first child arrives. However, they would have the chance that their child would at least protect themselves if they enlightened in good time.”
And anyway: the boy can sometimes be right
The boy should become self-confident and not be seduced by any promises. Then you should encourage him at home to have strong opinions: Include him in adult conversations as a school child, and he should answer questions himself. It builds self-confidence and makes you eloquent. During puberty, when kids are testing other values, you should ask for arguments, but allow their opinions to prevail (even if you think you’re right). He has to develop his own worldview, and you have done the same thing. Overall, “90 percent of education is unconscious. As a father, you set an example with your own behavior, with what you think is right,” says Rainer Neutzling. Dare to do what you think is right.