Dear Men…

There is nothing wrong with you having a conversation with your daughters about sex and male-female relationships. It’s not only the mother’s job to provide guidance and advice about something as important as that. I’m not talking about the standard “You can’t date until you’re 35” or threats of what will happen to them if they have sex. Has the fear factor really truly worked in the past? Sit down like a civilized human being, a parent who truly loves their kid and talk and answer questions. Teach your girls what they need to know. Tell them that they deserve respect, that they should demand it and what they should look for in the boys and men that they choose to allow into their lives. Let them know that you love them and that they should never feel like they can’t come to you in addition to their mothers for advice about their interactions with the opposite sex. There shouldn’t just be conversation either; your words should match your actions. How you treat their mothers (whether you are with them or not) and other women is just as important because mixed messages can be confusing for anyone especially an impressionable young lady trying to understand the intricacies of male-female relationships. Who you are to her is what she looks for in other men when she begins her journey into the world of romantic relationships. Our fathers are the first men that we love and who he is to us, how he speaks and acts in front of us is the standard that we use to determine the kind of man we want in our lives. So, instead of leaving it to the mother, take some initiative and make sure that your daughter becomes the woman you dream of her being so that she can end up with the kind of man you would want for her.

And be an example for your sons also. Let them know that rape, sexual harassment and slut-shaming are not the actions of men. Teach them to be respectable, to give respect and to never follow the idea that any kind of negative treatment of a woman is her fault. We don’t ask to be accosted on the street or to be drugged, raped and ridiculed. Let them know that any male that feels that way is not a man. Teach them to hold themselves to a higher standard than that and show them in your actions. Teach them to be the same kind of man that you would want someone to be for your daughters.

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