Teaching Your Children to Respect Siblings of the Opposite Sex

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Posted on: 31 December 2016

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Teaching Your Children to Respect Siblings of the Opposite Sex Boys and girls have many differences. Studies have shown that in many ways, boys and girls can be worlds apart in their habits, preferences and learning styles. As a parent of both boys and girls, it is important to ensure that they fully appreciate each other in spite of these differences. Here are some ideas on how to instill respect and appreciation between opposite gender children. Point Out Their Similarities When you as a parent can point out how your children are alike, it will help them to realize the value in each other. Children have an easier time identifying with someone whom they have at least a few similarities with, and as a parent you can see these things more easily than most. Make a habit of noticing their similarities and mentioning them in casual conversation - whether it is how precise they both are when working with their hands, or how they both have a caring heart for animals. Make an Effort to Find Things in Common Just as finding similarities is about things they already do alike, finding things in common is going the extra mile to create a bond between them. This can be achieved through activities that everyone can enjoy together. When all of your children can see that both boys and girls can enjoy everything - from skateboarding, gymnastics and basketball to drawing, singing and playing instruments, they will see that the number of things they both enjoy are greater than the ways that they differ. Speak Respectfully of Both Boys and Girls Don’t make the mistake of putting down either gender. When you speak about any child, don’t put them in a stereotype created by gender norms, and don’t try to paste their weaknesses on all children of their gender. Refrain from making statements such as “Boys are so hyper” or “Girls shouldn’t be so loud”. Be respectful of both genders and use your words to build up the opposite sex in front of your child. Encourage Opposite Sex Friendships In order to be comfortable around the opposite sex, your children will need to build lots of relationships to give them practice. The relationships that your children have with their opposite gender siblings will help them relate to that gender throughout their lives. The opposite is true as well: that building friendships with children of the opposite gender will help them relate to their opposite gender siblings. Don’t assume your son will only have close friends who are boys, or that your daughter will only have close friends who are girls. Encourage any and all good quality friendships with children of either gender. This will help your child become relatable to and respectful of everyone. Building a healthy respect for the opposite sex takes a commitment on the part of parents. It is not always a given that our children will automatically respect others. Take the time to help your child learn respect for all, which inevitably will make the world a better place, little by little.

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