Coaching Boys into Men
Coaching Boys into Men:
Nurturing, Respect and Responsibility
Written By Erin Copeland
Youth are exposed to many influences outside of the home from friends, neighborhood, television, the internet, music, the movies; everything they see around them. Young boys start to learn what it is to be a “man” from their male role models, whether it is their dad, a coach, a sports figure, or any man that spends time with them. As a role model, it is important for you to teach young boys how to treat girls and women. It is never to early to teach boys how to respect girls and women. They will mimic what they hear and see from you. Show them that “real men” do not use violence against women and girls and let them know that you do not support anyone or anything that does, no matter if it is a famous sports figure, a movie, or even song lyrics. Teach them that there are other ways of releasing anger or frustration without using violence like walking it off, talking about it, or even taking some time out to settle down. Let them know that using violence on anyone is not ok. Showing boys that you “walk the walk” will help them decipher through all the negative messages about girls and women, making them grow into respectful adults. Remember, most boys will not ask about how to treat girls and women, so it is important for you to talk to them and show them how to be respectful. By being there and listening to their problems or questions, will help them. Your responsibility as a role model does not end with one talk. Make sure he knows that he can come and talk to you whenever he wants to about whatever. Making time, being open, and practicing what you tell him are just a few ways to teach a respectful and violent free lifestyle that he can “walk” for life.