It’s the question every parent of a boy asks themselves: “How can I help my son to become a man in this modern world?”. It begins with conversations on topics as wide ranging as whether it’s ‘manly’ to cry, to how to accept responsibility, and yes, the ‘sex talk’.
Influential educator and author, Dr Tim Hawks is the Headmaster of The King’s School in Sydney, he published his book entitled ‘10 Conversations You Must Have With Your Son‘. This prompted our Social Commentators Adam Boland and Suzanne Mostyn to explore some of the thousands of important topics that would top their list of ‘must-have’ chats with boys – and girls.
Suzanne is the mother of two boys and is determined they don’t become ashamed of having been born male due to the negative role-models frequently shown in the media, she says “it’s really important to put a bomb under all of that”. Her ‘weapon of choice’ in this conversation is: “You can never tell a son – or daughter – enough that they are loved”. This, for Suzanne, is the most important conversation which she believes leads to children feeling secure – the perfect basis for every other conversation to follow.
While Adam doesn’t have children yet, he recalls his open and honest relationship with his mother and her ‘no boundaries’ philosophy to their conversations when he was growing up. “People often talk about ‘where you need to be a parent, and where you need to be a friend’ but I still think you can merge the two. So, rather than an ‘us versus them’ mentality, this results in the child trusting what you are telling them.
But it’s not all a one-way process, boys need to be heard, but it’s important to listen as well. Join Adam and Suzanne as they chat about these important conversations and how to start them with your children.
Adam and Suzanne caught up for their conversation at QT Hotel in Canberra.
What important conversations do you have with your children? Do you have any tips or experiences to share? Tell us below.
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