This post is sponsored by Mirum, but opinions expressed are my own.
Getting Real with Shadra Bruce
We talk so often about raising strong girls and raising girls with high self-esteem, but we don’t often talk about how important it is to raise confidant sons who have high self-esteem too. They need our support and guidance, our love and encouragement just as much as our daughters do in order to become confident. My youngest son (of 3) just turned 18. At 18, our sons still very much need us to be part of their support system. Here are five ways to help raise confidant sons with high self-esteem.
Don’t Withdraw Affection
As our sons get older (and taller than us) it might seem like they are more men than boys, but our sons still need us to be loving and affectionate. I tell him I love him every day. My youngest son is still at home, and we still sit together each night before bed and talk about our favorite parts of the day and share a hug. It’s something we’ve done since he was two, and something that has continued into his late teens.
Spend Time Doing Fun Things with Your Son
My son loves movies and concerts. I let his dad head to all the head banging metal shows he likes to go to, but we go to movies together quite often. It’s a fun way to get out and spend time together and have a shared experience. Since the movie theater is about 40 minutes away, we get plenty of time to talk while we drive to and from the movie. It’s great time to chat about anything – you’d be surprised how quickly your teen son will open up when you’re focused on driving and not looking at them.
Let Your Son Be Himself
Teenage boys are under so much pressure to fit in, find their way, and survive high school that what they really need from their moms is the ability to just be who they are. I’ve never wanted my kids to be mini-mes or think just like me. I strive to raise kids who think for themselves, question everything (including me), and challenge me to grow. My son does just that – whether we’re debating the merits of a movie or a political movement. He feels comfortable doing that because we encourage him and all of our kids to be themselves and be proud of who they are – with no pressure from us to conform to our beliefs or ways of thinking.
Teach Your Sons It’s OK to Feel
Why do we still try to push this version of manhood on boys where they have to be tough all the time? Why can’t a “real man” be sensitive and kind? In our house, our boys have always been encouraged to be kind and thoughtful; we’ve never discouraged them from having emotions or feeling deeply. And crying is definitely allowed in our house.
Teach Your Son About Life and Living
I want my sons to understand how to take care of their bodies and their minds. Raising confidant sons means teaching them about self-care just like we teach our daughters. We discuss everything from healthy eating to getting enough sleep to hygiene. In fact, I’m the one who taught my son to shave, how to use aftershave, and the importance of showering, wearing deodorant, and using body spray appropriately. Our son recently reevaluated his future plans – college, career, etc. and we’ve been talking about how his future is not a dead end but more like a Phoenix – the bird that burns up in fire only to be born again from the ashes. So it’s appropriate that we’re headed to Wegmans today to check out these AXE products. Having the right hygiene products really does boost confidence. Right now, AXE Phoenix products are on sale at Wegmans (our favorite store).
AXE Phoenix Body Wash – This body wash smells great and lasts a long time.
AXE Phoenix 2 in 1 Shampoo and Conditioner – Mint and rosemary, my favorite combination of scents, works well and offers so much convenience.
AXE Phoenix Deodorant Stick for Men – AXE Phoenix deodorant stick is long-lasting, giving all-day confidence.
Raising sons to be confident and have high self-esteem is so important. As a mom, it’s often easier to find ways to connect with and talk to my daughters about life, but our sons need to hear from us too. Our sons have been very lucky to have a hands-on, work-from home dad who cooks and does laundry, but how do boys learn how to treat girls if it doesn’t start with their moms and sisters? I talk to my sons about everything, from no means no to not giving their heart away too lightly to making sure they take care of their bodies and minds.
How do YOU inspire confidence and build self-esteem in your sons?
Share your tips with the hashtag #AXEplanations to @MomsGetReal on Twitter or share in the comments below!