I happen to belong to a generation of men who grew up with women who reaped the fruits of the girl child empowerment. All I know, most men my generation are ill-equipped to handle an empowered woman. We can only play catch up. Which brings up the question, how do we balance the equilibrium to ensure that our sons will be at par with our girls in the future socially, emotionally and financially?
Factually speaking, women have the most traditional expectation of a man as far as provision and protection is concerned. However, men can no longer have traditional expectations on their women.
Secondly, women have been shattering nearly all the glass ceilings in academia, corporate and just about every other sector. Men have become indifferent and apathetic in many things including marriage and even relationships.
Women have become the men of yesterday. They can provide and protect themselves. They have also taken to vices such as drinking with reckless abandon.
Presently, a growing number of men don’t know what to do with their lives. Rich or poor, most men have no incentive to be good men or responsible.
It is the new world we found ourselves in. But it is the least satisfying place to be. On the surface, women seem to be having everything figured out while men seem too overwhelmed. It is an interesting cultural intersection.
The next phase of life must be to correct the imbalance. Most women I talk to feel like men are inadequate in many things, overly emotional, and no longer assertive. And that is what we must teach our sons.
It will start by us being present in their lives. Kids learn by example. Whatever we want them to be, we must set the tone and the example for the same. Male children need strong male parents or relations in their lives.
First, we have to teach them responsibility and accountability. Responsibility will help them to grow knowing they owe themselves and those they are in charge of a decent life of honour and dignity. Accountability will enable them to stand up for their actions, admit mistakes and accept correction where necessary.
Secondly, we must teach our sons to be assertive. To firmly stand on their feet when in a relationship. Generally, women can be pushy: sometimes for right reasons, other times for wrong reasons. And thus, our sons must know where to draw the line while being fair and just.
Thirdly, we must teach them to have strength in the face of adversity. Whether it is heartbreak or a death in the family, most men lately break down too much. Some bit of stoicism is required when handling the stormy bits of life. It is something we have to train ourselves and our sons.
The fourth conversation we must have with our sons is about financial planning. Commonly, many young men don’t have an inkling of financial management. Many get good jobs and have money but end up blowing up all of it on alcohol and women, not knowing how things can change for the worse in the future.
Lastly, we must teach young men on how to choose good women. On how to handle rejection and heartbreaks. A good number of men often struggle to get over a heartbreak. Some live bitterly ever after. Yet, it is so unnecessary.
So, we must teach young men these things. We must remind them what the true nature of women is and why it is supposed to bring the best out of us when done right.
These lessons are all taught in a long span of time. Not in one sitting. But always remember; example is better than precept.
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