Treat Her Like A Lady! Training Your Son to Prevent Domestic Violence
Pushing. Biting. Hitting. Slapping. Hair pulling. These are all actions most of our sons commit at the tender stage after toddlerhood. It is considered by society as normal learning social skills, but where is the line drawn between social development and abuse?
Black men have had stigmas attached to them since the inception of slavery in the Americas. Prior to this, black males were considered and revered as kings, authoritarians, wise counselors, and protectors. With the breakdown of the male leadership in the black family, the gender responsibility can be somewhat confusing to a young child.
Domestic violence, surprisingly did not become “illegal” until 1920, according to research done by the Bureau of Justice. And it is a problem that everyone in the black community has experienced either directly or indirectly.
In 2012, approximately 26.1 people out of every 1,000 people were victims of domestic violence and nearly 10 out of that 1,000 reported were black women at hands of black men in violent domestic crimes (Bureau of Justice).
Here’s how to reduce these staggering numbers by starting with your son:
- Build his self-esteem. Usually self-esteem is equated with our daughters, and we don’t hear too much about building black male self-esteem. It’s vital that you teach your son to love himself. He needs to know that the skin he’s in is great and that “Blackness” is not a curse, but a blessing.
- Encourage him to be gentlemen. Chivalry is NOT dead. Teach your son to open doors for you and watch out for you when walking to your car. This builds his self-worth and teaches him to be responsible for his Black woman, to treasure and protect her.
- Seek out positive mentors. Surround yourself and your son with men who exemplify Black men as kings and protectors. Children are very visual and need visual examples. If he sees a black man that loves and cherishes black women, he will be more likely to respond to that example by imitating it.
- Set boundaries. It teaches him respect for authority and to respect the authority within him. He will learn how to take authority over his emotions and how to keep it in check. Teach your son how to remove himself from hostile situations. This can be accomplished over time by teaching him anger management techniques.
- Develop positive communication skills. As he grows up, he may lessen communication about his feelings (likely because he’s not sure how it’ll be received). This can become a problem later on and expressed as violence if he is not encouraged to talk and express himself through effective communication.
- Keep him active. Provide him with healthy outlets to release anger. Teach him that there are positive and negative ways to expresses himself.
- Celebrate his accomplishments. Regardless of how small they might seem. Many males are violent because they lack approval at home, in school, at work, or in social circles. This disapproval affects their self-esteem so go all out when he achieves something great.
Instilling positive behaviors and reinforcing stability, responsibility and accountability is what will shatter the statistics of black male domestic violence. Let’s be clear, there is no one answer. However, these 7 tips will develop the proper habits and thoughts and provide him with the tools necessary to be the man he was born to be.