Dad’s dating advice: How are boys taught to treat girls?

Jarvis has requested a topic about advice dads give to their sons about dating.

From Jarvis:

“I’d be interested in hearing from some of the other dads on dating advice for their boys. Do you tell them to treat girls well? My guy is still small, but I already try to teach him to not treat girls like one of the boys. I think it will pay off later in life.  Girls are different and they don’t take things as lightly as boys. They think more.”

I think it’s an interesting dilemma because I think girls and women want to be treated as equals in school and in the workplace so then should we be telling our boys to treat them differently in general?

Should good manner just apply to all whether boy or girl or should boys be taught that women are the ‘fairer sex” and need to be treated more gently? How will that attitude affect them outside the dating arena?

So what are you telling your little guys about how to treat girls? What dating advice are you giving to your teenage boys?
– Theresa Walsh Giarrusso, ajc.com Momania

62 comments Add your comment

jarvis

March 24th, 2011
1:09 pm

What a great topic!

shaggy

March 24th, 2011
1:18 pm

“should boys be taught that women are the ‘fairer sex” and need to be treated more gently?”

YES! There is no other way. I tell my boy that if he ever hits, hurts, or is otherwise cruel to a female, he WILL pay dearly. Yes, that includes mom too. I have never had any issues, because he sees dear old dad in action, every day. I lead by example. Also, it helps that he knows that I always keep my word.

In my day, I was always seeking the “fairer sex”, and often met with great success. However, I ALWAYS treated that girl/woman with the greatest respect and manners.

jarvis

March 24th, 2011
1:31 pm

Equals yes, the same no. (I realize that is a complete oxymoron.)

I believe women and men are equal in capability but wired completely differently. To their credit, in my opinion women read people much better but with this sensitivity comes the realization that they feel much more as well.

If I have a buddy that has put on a few lbs, I feel like I can make a joke about his new chins and not worry about him going home staring in the mirror for 3 hours and starving himself. I would NEVER make that sort of comment to a female friend.

I try to help both of my kids avoid some of the painful lessons I’ve learned. Included in that I’m trying to teach him to be respectful to women. Hopefully, if I start drilling him with that now, maybe he won’t make some of the mistakes I’ve in dealing with women in my life.

jarvis

March 24th, 2011
1:33 pm

Moody men are crazy. Moody women are a fact of life.

Becky

March 24th, 2011
1:38 pm

My two aren’t at dating age yet, so? My two are 8 and we are trying to do pretty much what jarvis and shaggy are teaching..It’s tough at times because they are twins and they do want to fight..

The girl thinks that it’s ok to hit him, but lord don’t let him hit her or it’s WW3..So hopefully by the time that theya re dating, it will have sank in that you don’t hit girls and she will know to not let a boy hit her..Guess time will tell..

Alonzo Q. Hill

March 24th, 2011
1:47 pm

Teach girls (women) how to appreciate an act of kindness.

AngryRedMarsWoman

March 24th, 2011
1:47 pm

In terms of lessons I will teach my son when he is a bit older (read: ready to date) it all boils down to one main lesson – don’t stick it in crazy…heck, don’t even date crazy. And by crazy I mean the crazy mean weird women. Slightly nutty (like mom), is okay. Crazy, controlling, manipulative….get pregnant and ruin your life…no way. Mom can spot them from a mile away so the second lesson is “listen to mom, she can spot crazy.” Other than that, treat everyone with respect until they do something to deserve otherwise.

AngryRedMarsWoman

March 24th, 2011
1:50 pm

“Teach girls (women) how to appreciate an act of kindness.”

Amen. Working on that one myself. So used to just “doing it all” that it takes effort to let my beloved help me. And women are their own worst enemies when it comes to self-image….taking a compliment is nearly impossible, but now when my beloved says something nice I try to remember that to deny it is taking away his joy and also implying that he is in fact dating a fat, hideous cow…

Lori

March 24th, 2011
1:51 pm

Shaggy has the idea right. Boys aren’t going to do what you say, they are going to do what you do. A father has to lead by example. If the father treats the mother poorly, then guess what, the son will grow up to do the same. I see this everyday in my sister’s house. And the amazing thing to me is that her husband can’t figure out why his son’s are insensitive, bad mouthed jerks. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree!!

JJ

March 24th, 2011
1:52 pm

I’d like to see what some of the single parents (moms) have to say about raising their sons. Not just a Dad’s point of view, but a Mom’s as she raises a son without the Dad.

I’d also like to hear what advice Mom’s give their daughters……maybe another day???>

S Smith

March 24th, 2011
1:54 pm

My daughter used to hit her younger brother because she could. He was three years younger and smaller. As he grew, we warned her that one day he was going to hit back. One day he was suddenly her size and did hit back. You would have thought she was dying the way she screamed. We put the kids in separate rooms and: a) told the daughter that now she’d better think twice about hitting her brother or any boy for no reason because we weren’t going to interfere if he defended himself. She wasn’t going to take advantage of a boy just because she could “get away with it” because she was a girl. b) told the son that had better be the last time he ever hit a girl. He was bigger and stronger than her, and could really hurt her, even if he was defending herself. They never hit each other again.
As my son has grown I have reminded him over and over to treat all his female friends with respect. By showing them respect, he is showing her parents (dad) respect. I’ve told him he NEVER wants to have a girl’s father upset with him. He practices what I preached, and even his ex-girlfriends’ parents still love him.
Both kids learned well.

RJ

March 24th, 2011
2:00 pm

@S Smith, cute story. Same thing has happened with my 2. I kept telling my daughter that her brother would be taller than her by 7th grade so she’d better stop hitting him. Well, he’s in 7th grade and about 2 inches taller. The fights have ended :)!

Teach your sons to treat women with respect. Open her door, pull out her chair, treat her like you’d want your mom to be treated.

Linda

March 24th, 2011
2:01 pm

My 8yo son had a girl at school who would tease him. I told him that she really might like him but her feelings make her uncomfortable so she teases him. Sure enough, he came home last week and announced, “It’s official. So-and-so likes me.” I told him that it’s okay if he doesn’t feel the same way about her, but he must treat her kindly.

AngryRedMarsWoman

March 24th, 2011
2:01 pm

@JJ. I am a single mom…soon to be not single as my son and I were lucky enough to find a man who loves us both to death and is a model husband and father. My ex treated me like a servant – I made the money, cooked, cleaned, etc. – and my son was kind of following in his footsteps, but in the last couple of years there has been a slow but steady turn-around in my son due to his witnessing the way I am treated now by my beloved. My son is learning from the best when it comes to how to treat a woman.

iRun

March 24th, 2011
2:02 pm

No. I am teaching him to treat everyone with the same respect he would like to have for himself. Gender doesn’t matter. One gender doesn’t deserve more respect than the other. Same with honesty, especially when it comes to love and sex. Please be honest at all times, and kind. To everyone. And puppies and kittens that smell like cinnamon. j/k

As for violence, I teach him violence is always to be avoided unless it’s in self-defense. And if it’s in self-defense, it doesn’t matter if the opponent is male or female.

What else is there?

Wayne

March 24th, 2011
2:10 pm

Congrats AngryRedMarsWoman! Does that mean you’ll become HappyRedMarsWoman? Just curious…

pj

March 24th, 2011
2:13 pm

I agree with IRun. I treated my son and three daughters the same. I am single, but they always had their dad available too. Recently my youngest daughter gave me a big compliment and said I had raised my son right (based on seeing how he treats his girlfriend). I tell my girls to be kind in dating too. Biggest problem for them is guys harrassing my girls – won’t take no for an answer or think they can say/do whatever they want if they find them attractive.
When my eldest daughter used to whine about her brother being aggressive/wrestling with her, I told her “you’re bigger than him. don’t cry; give it back.” Girls need to learn to defend theirselves sometimes. My son did hit a girl once – after she hit him (he did warn her first). She only hit him once. Men shouldn’t take abuse either. (her dad thought it was good parenting to aggressively wrestle with his daughters – I always found it a little weird, esp. when they were “developing.”)

DB

March 24th, 2011
2:14 pm

Do kids even “date” anymore? I haven’t seen much of it. What used to be dating — i.e., going out with different people, maybe a date on Friday with one person, the next Saturday with a different person, etc. — seems to have fallen by the wayside. Or, as one of my children explained it to me: “If you’re going out with someone, it’s assumed that you are having sex with them, even if you aren’t, so if you go out with more than one person at a time, then you’re a skank.” I think that’s pretty disappointing — because it seems like the minute you go out with anyone, you’re “paired”. My son didn’t bother dating in high school — he said it just wasn’t worth the drama. They hung out in groups. “Safety in numbers”!

I think just teaching ANYONE manners and respect themselves and other people, regardless of their sex, is the way to go. You don’t hit people you respect, you don’t curse at them, you don’t leave them waiting for you, and you tend to treat them the way you want to be treated. You hold the door for them because it’s courteous, not because you think they’re weak.

There’s a fine line between treating a girl “like one of the boys” in work and school and condescending to them because you aren’t treating them like “one of the boys” elsewhere. Drawing a line like is what causes sex descrimination. And every girl is different, too — some like the kid gloves treatment, and others find it insulting.

I admit, it’s hard being a guy these days . . .

Super Dad

March 24th, 2011
2:29 pm

The soccer club my son plays at and I coach for decided this season to separate boys and girls in Under 8 division. I disagreeded and so did some of the parents of couple of the girls. So we are the only co-ed team in a boys division. And I think all the boys on the team see girls as equals, and in some cases as better athletes they can appreciate. So when dating time comes I hope they will just find someone they like treat them at a minimum as a equal, if not better.

Denise

March 24th, 2011
2:33 pm

I think the father has a big role in his daughter’s dating life as well as his son’s. My pastor did a sermon on this one Father’s day. He said that the father should be the first man to take his daughter on a date. Take her to get a nice outfit. Take her to a nice restaurant. Tell her she’s beautiful. Open the door. Pull out the chair. The whole 9 yards. Show her what a real date is supposed to be like. (Of course he is doing all this with her mother all the time…right?) He said that this way when she goes out with Ray Ray and he tells her she’s cute and buys her a Happy Meal she is appreciative but not IMPRESSED. Her daddy has already taken her to Houston’s (or whatever she considers nice) and has told her she’s beautiful, smart, talented, etc. all the time so she’s not seeing hearts and stars when the first knucklehead pops off with a compliment. The key is “appreciative but not impressed.” A girl needs to also understand that a kid her age will not be able to take her to a fancy restaurant so she should appreciate that he is making an effort to do something nice for her but not get so giddy that she thinks she owes him something because he let her supersize her fries.

iRun

March 24th, 2011
2:37 pm

Denise, while I understand the point of your story, it freakin creeps me out.

JOD

March 24th, 2011
2:41 pm

@Denise – I LOVE IT! Perfectly said.

AngryRedMarsWoman

March 24th, 2011
2:43 pm

LOL @Wayne. Thank you. I am happy, yes, but the name doesn’t change…it pays homage to the wonderfully talented Rob Zombie (”Mars Needs Women…Angry Red Women”).

JOD

March 24th, 2011
2:45 pm

I don’t have boys, but I know that as DD gets older, I want her to know about teamwork: being 1/2 of a couple means you’re part of being a team. Little girls can be full of Disney princess ideas, and that’s not what real life is like. The angle for boys is the same – Mommy and Daddy are a team.

RAY

March 24th, 2011
2:46 pm

i’m lost people, from the 18 previous comments, not but one person said that a girl should “respect” or not hit a boy…people respect works both ways….

John Daly

March 24th, 2011
2:57 pm

Whew, I’m glad Ray got that comment in. In *no* way is it okay for a girl to hit a boy. If you want to be equal fine. But it works both ways. I would never let my son date a girl that hit him even playfully.

Respect is needed

March 24th, 2011
3:04 pm

I have tried to teach my sons respect for everyone, but particularly how to treat women. Sometimes it was rather difficult because they did not see their dad leading by example, but rather he would sometimes call women out of their names and generally be disrespectful and sometimes crude. I believe that mostly my sons are off to a good start but will need reminders due to the conflicting examples they were provided, particularly if one parent is talking respect and the other is pushing a “go get ‘em”, “more the merrier” mentality.
All children should be taught to treat others with respect and courtesy. However, I do agree that there is a dilemna in that we do want to be treated “equally” in the workplace and be acknowledged as just as smart and qualified, but still be treated a little softer than men.

Mattie

March 24th, 2011
3:07 pm

I grew up with 4 older brothers, and have three sons, no daughters. My entire life has been centered around males. There were times when I tormented my brothers, secure in the knowledge that they had been taught never to lay a hand on a girl.

Neither I nor my husband ever formally told our boys how to treat girls. We lead by example. My husband and I are affectionate and respectful towards each other. Nobody in our house hits anybody else. Along the way the boys picked up on meeting parents, shaking hands and looking people in the eye, holding doors, and the meaning of “no”.

They are popular with girls and the parents of those girls, so I guess the osmosis style worked.

jarvis

March 24th, 2011
3:08 pm

For the record, I never mentioned violence of any kind and S Smith addressed girls not hitting a boy in his comment an hour ago.

Jeff

March 24th, 2011
3:11 pm

You also have to teach a boy that there are some females (of ALL ages) who will see your nice treatment of them as an opportunity to take advantage of you. There is a line there where you have to stop treating some females as the fairer sex and start treating them like you would a man and stand up for yourself.

John Holmes

March 24th, 2011
3:13 pm

Pretty easy -slam –bam –thank you maam

Great Topic

March 24th, 2011
3:13 pm

I agree men should be teaching there sons how to treat women but also I think as a whole fathers and mothers should be showing their daughters how to be ladies. I am a high school teacher and I see a terrible trend. The girls have become more agressive sexually almost more so than boys. Boys by nature are horney and typically immature at a young age but it makes a catastophic occurence when both are horney and out of control.

markie mark

March 24th, 2011
3:17 pm

AngryRed….damn, now I gotta extinguish this torch I carried for you…..

That being said, you are dead on when it comes to spotting crazy….my Mom saved me from crazy when I was 22 in St Simons….I still run into crazy when I go down there….she is on her 3rd husband, 49th affair (small island, it easy to hear stuff for locals) and still makes the ole college try when my wife is not around (wife of 22 years,by the way). I dated crazy for two years, and man, am I lucky I didnt buy a ticket for the Crazy Train……

markie mark

March 24th, 2011
3:18 pm

turns out she has OCD and one of her two compulsions is cleaning houses….the other is fantastic, but cant be mentioned on a family blog….however, I found out after a couple of years all my friends had clean houses, too…….

Denise

March 24th, 2011
3:20 pm

@iRun – I understand and maybe I didn’t communicate it right. I probably shouldn’t have used the word “date” when talking about fathers and daughters. That does sound kind of creepy, huh? But you know what I mean. Dads need to be the first men in a girl’s life to make her feel special (is that better?) so that she doesn’t get caught up with a joker just because he bought her a double quarter pounder.

I had to call my father after the sermon and blame my singleness on him. I didn’t point out that I hadn’t met anybody worth a d@mn at that point. I just mentioned how he spoiled me and I wasn’t impressed by Applebee’s. Now, I’m appreciative of any effort a man makes. No one owes me jack and I realize that. I just want to make sure – and I want parents to help their sons understand – that any man I date understands that I don’t owe him jack either.

Eric

March 24th, 2011
3:39 pm

I raised my son to respect a woman, never raise a hand to her and treat her with respect. But now I’m finding out that my son is married to a monster. She will constantly pick a fight with him, and when he doesn’t join in the argument, she throws a fit and starts throwing things at him and pushing and shoving him. I just found this out last week and boy am I mad. I asked my son why he was putting up with this, he told me that I always taught him to respect a woman and not hit her, so he wouldn’t fight back. Apparently some place in my parenting I forgot to tell him that he also doesn’t have to put up with her crap and have some self respect. I think so many of us parents are “old school” and teach our sons to respect a woman, open doors, push in her chair, stand when she stands (ok maybe not that one)…but we forget that a woman has equal capability to be disrespectful to our sons and that our sons do not have to tolerate it.

This is a huge lesson learned…and one I won’t soon forget. I guess in my generation I never encountered a woman who would physically attack a man, so I didn’t consider that as an option. Boy have times changed. I have made a strong suggestion of marriage counseling to understand what is happening, however I have also told him if her actions do not change, he needs to walk away.

Based on this new knowledge, I probably would have raised my son a little differently.

Jeff

March 24th, 2011
3:46 pm

Although I have said on more than one occasiona that there’s no point in being a gentleman when there are no more ladies left.

jmb

March 24th, 2011
3:49 pm

Eric – almost same situation here. My son and his wife came down a few weeks ago and I swear every time she addressed him it was dumb arse, supid arse or some even worse. I wanted to slap her mouthy arse for him but couldn’t because my granddaugher was present. IMO, it’s a deal breaker if you have a significant other that hits or calls you names.

pj

March 24th, 2011
3:52 pm

” Boys by nature are horney and typically immature at a young age.” Guess what? so are many girls! We just haven’t been free to act that way until recently. ” but it makes a catastophic occurence when both are horney and out of control.” so it is up to girls to place the controls? Teach your sons to be “in dominion with your sexuality,” which means there are ok ways to behave and express it, and ways that are not ok.
Denise, I agree. This is exactly what my ex is “teaching” my girls, but I think how someone treats you is more important than how fancy a restaurant he takes you to is. I don’t want them to be “impressed” that way.

dawgfan

March 24th, 2011
3:52 pm

My dad taught me that women are overall better human beings than men. Its true. They are more thoughtful, more selfless, and more forgiving. Men are full of ego and pride. We only think about ourselves. Women just want everyone else to be happy. Obviously there are exceptions but I have found all of this to be the case in my experience. Of course, I have been surrounded by great women my entire life. Others might not be so lucky.

@SHAGGY

March 24th, 2011
4:00 pm

We need more men & boys in the world like you. Thank you!!

Eric

March 24th, 2011
4:04 pm

JMB…I couldn’t agree more. I think the message today should not be about treating a woman with more respect…it should be treating everyone with the same respect and expecting the same kind of treatment in return. I am divorced, but when married, even during the hard times, I never laid a hand on my wife or swore at her…because that is the way I was raised. But when I was growing up, most women didn’t swear at all, it was socially unacceptable for a young lady to talk like that. I truly understand that times have changed, and that isn’t all bad, but why has it become so common for people to swear four times in a 12 word sentence? Isn’t there a better way we can express ourselves? I’m not one of those religous folks, not even really conservative…but I’m often subjected to this type of conversation, even at work…from the younger generation. I won’t say I never swear when I get mad…but I definitely pick and choose when it’s appropriate and when it isn’t. I just think something has been lost over the last couple of generations…and the thing that is lost is respect for each other, regardless of your gender.

Wayne

March 24th, 2011
4:18 pm

Hey! What happened to my comment? I didn’t think I said anything bad about me!?

Ajaylove

March 24th, 2011
4:19 pm

Great thread. I don’t have a son, only a daughter and she’s only 8, so far the only thing I’ve told her about dating is that if his pants are hanging below his butt to walk away fast and not look back. The insight you guys are sharing gives me some things to think about.

Wayne

March 24th, 2011
4:20 pm

I’m with you Eric. I don’t typically swear unless I’m alone, after hitting something with a hammer, but the language folks use nowadays… Wow. I learned my lesson when I was a kid, but it’s so commonplace now. Maybe that’s the issue? It is commonplace?

Wendy

March 24th, 2011
4:34 pm

“Respect” is the key word. But it’s more than just respecting others – we’re still not raising our children to respect themselves. In the south, in particular, we raise our girls to be “pleasers” and to strive to make others around them happy. And we wonder why we keep leading the nation in teen pregnancy?!

Eric

March 24th, 2011
4:38 pm

Wayne…I think that is the issue. I work with this one woman who drops the F-bomb like it was the only word she knows. I’m all for freedom of speech…but good god…why do people think it’s appropriate to swear any place they happen to be? I have a young grandchild who is just learning to talk, and sometimes I cringe when we go out in public and all he hears are people swearing left and right. I have no doubt some of his first words will be four letters. Why do people think it’s socially acceptable to talk like that? I thought we were supposed to be an evolving nation, learning from past mistakes. I will admit that in past generations one of the problems was not expressing how you felt…boys were told to never cry and be strong…and I’m totally cool with men moving past those old traditions. But when the only way our younger generation knows how to express themselves is through a barrage of swear words…I find it offensive. And God forbid you should actually say something to someone about their choice of words…then the onslaught only gets worse.

Don Murphy

March 24th, 2011
4:41 pm

Young men should treat girls and young women the way they would want their Mother nd Sister treated. They should also be taught that NO means NO, not try later, try harder. NO MEANS NO…….

Wayne

March 24th, 2011
4:45 pm

It’s real bad when you bring your kids over to the grandparents (yes, grandparents) and they are dropping the F-bomb like every other word. We tell them to stop, and they look at us like we’re f’in nuts!

My Mom was very adamant about not using the F-word. She disliked that word – a LOT. When I went through my swear at the drop of a hat period, I used the F-bomb and my Mom, when she found out, was extremely pissed. The point of all this was I didn’t have respect for anyone at that time. I was reined in very quickly. That’s what your parents do for you. Nowadays, I don’t see that happening.

Turn off the TV

March 24th, 2011
4:47 pm

If you wan’t your boys to learn how to treat girls properly then you better turn off the TV. Hollywood is nothing but a giant dysfunctional relationship and it shows in their script writing.