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He’s five now. He’s at big school, he can literally read and write. He has formed friendships with children that he chose, the kids he was been drawn to in a group rather then those I have exposed him to. He has kindness, consent, empathy and self worth.
We are tough on him because he is our child and we want him to hold and keep the values that we do.
We are tough on him because he is a boy in a world where there are too many violent men, with too many victims and too many men not held accountable for their actions. Where men take advantage of their privilege and yet seem to be heavily disadvantaged in families and parental rights.
We are tough on him because he is learning his self worth, he is building his self esteem and we want him to never, ever, treat a partner in a way that lowers their own self image.
We are kind to him because the only way to teach a boy to become a man we can be proud of is to be kind. To be unapologetically tough by being unwavering on our ideals around consent, respect and equality.
We teach him that we don’t hit others by not hitting him, teaching respect by showing respect and consent by explaining and demonstrating consent.
There are a lot of great men in the world and we are doing our very best to add three more.