In the month of March where the world celebrate International Women's Day, Cactus Foundation highlights it's unique and crucial initiative of *Key to Change - Raise Responsible Boys*
Empowering women is just one end of the spectrum to end gender based violence, another very important and ignored aspect of this fight is to raise males to step outside of the toxic standards set for them of looking at females as inferior to them.
Key to Change suggests 12 Action Points that can be put to use by families and parents to Raise Responsible Boys. This blog post addresses in detail, action point no. 8.
1) Allow them to base their self worth on who they are from the inside and not to base it on outside materialistic things.
It's time to break free from the idea that the things we own and possess define our self-worth. It's time to teach your child that self-worth is all about who we are from the inside, not what's on the outside. They need to stop measuring themselves against materialistic things and start embracing who they are as a person. It's all too easy to fall into the trap of comparing ourselves to others, but that's not a healthy way to live. You need to teach your child to focus on their own strengths, passions, and values. These are the things that truly matter and will give your child a sense of purpose and fulfillment in life. Remind your child that they're unique, special, and worthy of love and respect just the way others are. So don't let external factors define your child - base your child's self-worth on the person you are inside.
Hey there! Let's start by being real - we all have qualities that make us special and similar to your child. They might be the only one in their friend group who speaks fluent French, or maybe they are a natural-born artist. Whatever it is, embrace it with open arms! Don't let outside materialistic things define who your child is. Instead, focus on their inner strength and unique qualities. If your child bases their self-worth on something that can easily disappear, like their looks or job, they run the risk of feeling lost and unfulfilled. But when your child bases their worth on the things that truly make them special - like kindness, creativity, or sense of humor - they'll always feel grounded and confident in who you are. So go ahead, embrace your child's unique qualities and show the world what makes them shine - because they're one of a kind and that's something to celebrate!
All in all, it is crucial to realize that true self-worth does not come from material possessions. Though it may seem easy to be swayed by the idea that having the latest gadgets or designer clothes will make us happy, the truth is that these things are fleeting and do not define who your child is as individuals. Instead, we should focus on building self-worth from within, by developing their strengths and passions, and being kind to ourselves. By doing so, we are able to cultivate a sense of inner peace and satisfaction that cannot be bought with money or acquired through external validation. Remember, they are more than the sum of their possessions - they are a unique and valuable human being with an innate worth that cannot be measured by any materialistic standards.
Let's be real, we all love nice things. It feels good to buy a new outfit, upgrade our phone, or show off our fancy car. But the problem is that when you base your child's self worth on these material possessions, they're setting themselves up for disappointment. What happens when we can no longer afford the latest gadgets, or when our designer clothes go out of style? Our confidence takes a hit. That's why it's important to focus on the intangible things that make them who they are. Think about the qualities – sense of humor, kindness – these are things that can never be taken away from your child. And what about your work ethic? The effort your child puts into their academics or goals shows a lot about their character. And of course, values and beliefs are an integral part of who they are as a person.
It's easy to get caught up in a world where we're constantly bombarded with advertisements telling us that we need to buy this or that in order to be happy. But the truth is, happiness and self-worth can't be bought. You have to recognize that your child's true self-worth comes from within. It's not about the clothes they wear, the car they drive, or the house they live in. It's about how you view yourself and how you interact with the world around you. So don't base your child's self-worth on materialistic things. Instead, focus on who they are on the inside and the values that they hold dear. When your child will start to see themself as someone who is valuable because of who they are, rather than because of what they own, you'll find that their self-worth skyrockets. So don't compare them to others based on superficial things – base their self-worth on the qualities that make you unique and special.
However, in today's society, it can be easy to base our self-worth on materialistic things such as money, possessions, and social status. This can be detrimental to your child's mental health and overall well-being because these external factors are unpredictable and can change at any time. Instead, we should focus on the intangible aspects of ourselves that make us unique and valuable. By taking pride in our achievements, relationships, experiences and ways of being, we can create a sense of self-worth that is unshakeable. This means that even if your child loses or any possessions are destroyed, they will still have a strong sense of who they are and what they have accomplished. So let us all remember to not get lost in the world of materialism and focus on the things that truly matter; ourselves and those around us.
2) Teach them to value others for their values.
Teaching your child to value others for their values is crucial in building a kinder and more inclusive society. At its essence, valuing others for their values means recognizing that every person has inherent worth and contributes something valuable to the world. By instilling this understanding in your child, you teach them to respect and appreciate diversity, and to be open-minded to different perspectives and qualities. This helps them build meaningful relationships with people from all walks of life, and fosters a sense of empathy and compassion towards others. Ultimately, teaching your child to value others for their values helps create a more harmonious and accepting world for all.
It is essential that we recognize and value diversity as an asset, not a liability, and embrace the unique values that each person brings to the table.
3) Encourage them to define their own “cool”.
As parents, you might want your kid to feel confident and secure in their own skin. You can do this by encouraging them to define their own version of “cool”. Instead of trying to fit in with the latest trends and fads, you should be teaching your kid to prioritize their values. By doing this, they will create a solid foundation for themselves based on what they truly believe in. This can be anything from being kind to others, standing up for what's right, or even pursuing their passions no matter what anyone thinks. Essentially, by teaching your kids to prioritize what's important to them, they will have a sense of self that is much stronger than trying to please others.
Encouraging young boys to define their own "cool" can have a huge impact on their decision-making. When you ask them to think deeply about what they truly value in life, they'll be more likely to make choices that align with those values. This means they'll choose friends and activities that fit their personal definition of "cool" instead of just following the crowd. By empowering your child to define their own version of coolness, you can help them develop a strong sense of self and confidence in their choices. Ultimately, encouraging your young child to think for themselves and challenge societal norms can lead to a more fulfilling and authentic life. So go on, ask them what makes them feel cool and see where the conversation takes you!
Also, it is important to remember that encouraging your children to define their own version of "cool" is not just about letting them wear what they want or listen to the music they like. It is about nurturing a sense of confidence and authenticity within them. By modeling and reinforcing behaviors that align with your values, you can help your kids develop a healthy self-image and stay true to themselves. This means showing them that it is cool to be kind, respectful, and responsible. It means celebrating their unique interests and talents, rather than pressuring them to fit into a certain mold. Ultimately, by guiding your children to define their own version of "cool," you are empowering them to live their lives on their own terms and embrace their individuality with pride.
4) Have open conversations.
Having open conversations with your child is crucial to personal growth. Dialogue, in particular, can be a powerful tool that can enable you as a parent to unleash your child's full potential. By engaging in open conversation, we create a safe space for exchanging ideas, sharing perspectives, and building understanding between family members. This helps to foster a sense of trust and respect, which is essential for building the self worth of your child. Through dialogue, we can identify and address challenges your child is facing by finding their self worth based on the inner self rather than the materialistic things they have, find common ground, and work together with your child to find their self worth.
Besides, embracing open conversations with your child does not only lead to unlocking hidden potential but also fosters a culture of transparency and mutual respect. It will help your child recognize the importance of diverse ideas and perspectives and encourage active listening and empathy towards others, and will also learn to value others' self worth. By doing so, your child will be more receptive to new ideas, more willing to learn from each other, and more motivated to work together towards shared goals and developing and understanding your child's self worth. So, let us continue to create a safe space for open dialogue and reap the benefits of constructive conversations. After all, communication is key, and an open mind is the lock that opens the door to meaningful and productive discussions.
5) Appreciate them.
When it comes to showing your appreciation for your child, words can only go so far. It's important to act on those feelings and show them in tangible ways. Take notice of daily habits and offer to take on some of those tasks for your child. It may seem small, but it can be a meaningful gesture that shows you truly appreciate your child's contributions. Plus, who doesn't love a little help every now and then?
In this fast-paced world, you as parents often forget to show your child how much you appreciate them. But, let me tell you a secret - even the smallest gesture can make a big impact. Take some time out of your busy schedule and do something nice for them. You don't need to go overboard, just a simple act of kindness will do.some kind words, some rewards like little extra play time when they do something nice. Trust me, it will make them feel seen and appreciated. And let's be honest - who doesn't love to be appreciated? So, go ahead and show your child some love.
Meanwhile, taking the time to appreciate your child is crucial in maintaining healthy relationships. Gestures of appreciation can truly make a difference in someone's day and remind them that they are loved and valued.
6) Encourage them to volunteer for social causes.
Encouraging your child to volunteer for social causes can create a ripple effect of positive change in our world as well as in the self esteem of your child. It will be amazing to see the impact on your child that social change movements can have when people come together for a common cause. There are so many important causes to support. By inspiring your child to get involved, we can create a movement that is powerful and effective. Volunteering will not only help those in need but will also be a life-changing experience for the volunteer (i.e.,your child) themselves. It can open up new perspectives and give a sense of purpose and fulfillment to your child that can't be found elsewhere. So let's spread the word and encourage more people to get involved in social causes. Together, we can make a difference and create a better world for all of us to live in.
By giving your time, energy, and skills to help those in need, you can make a meaningful contribution to society and improve the lives of others. Not only will your child's efforts benefit the community, but volunteering can also provide them with personal rewards such as a sense of accomplishment, fulfillment, and a boost to your mental health. Encourage your child to volunteer by showing them the joy that comes from helping others. Together, you can make a real difference in the world and create a community of caring individuals who are committed to making the world a better place.
However, encouraging your child to volunteer for social causes is not just about creating a fairer society. It's also about cultivating a spirit of empathy and compassion within ourselves and our communities. When they participate in social action, they learn about the challenges that others face and begin to understand their struggles. They develop a deep sense of connection with our fellow human beings that goes beyond race, religion, or socioeconomic status. Through volunteering, they can discover their capacity for kindness and generosity, and work together to create a world that reflects these values. So let's continue to encourage your child and others to get involved in social action, and let's keep working towards a brighter, more equitable future for all.
7) Be kind to them and be their support system.
Listen up parents, it's time to talk to your boys. As much as you may think that boys are all the same, the truth is that each and every one has their own individual needs and wants. It's crucial that you understand this fact and show your boys the support they need in order to grow and thrive. Whether it's a listening ear, a shoulder to cry on, or just a good hug, your boys need you to be there for them in whatever way they need you. So be kind to your boys and show them the love and support they deserve.
Being kind to your boys means being there for them when they need you the most. One effective way to do that is by creating an environment where they feel comfortable enough to express their thoughts and feelings. As parents or caretakers, you should encourage your boys to talk openly and ask questions. By doing so, you can gain a better understanding of their needs and who they truly are. Your boys need to know that you are always there for them, no matter what. You should be their support system, offering a listening ear and a shoulder to lean on. Show your boys kindness by being present and attentive to their needs, both physically and emotionally. In doing so, you can help them grow into confident and well-rounded men.
All in all, being kind to your boys and being their support system entails being there for them through thick and thin. It means taking the time to truly listen to them and engage in meaningful conversations that promote emotional wellness. By doing so, you’ll create a deeper connection with your son and provide much-needed emotional support. Your kindness and support will equip them with the tools they need to navigate life and grow into successful, confident young men. Remember, being a parent is no easy task, but by prioritizing your child's emotional wellbeing, you'll be creating a safe space for growth, learning, and personal development.
We must remember that our worth is not determined by the things we own. By focusing on self-love and acceptance, cultivating a positive self-image, and finding fulfillment in non-material things like relationships and personal growth, we can break free from the cycle of materialism and discover our true value. Helping our kids define their own version of cool is about more than just setting them apart from the crowd – it's about empowering them to be true to themselves. By encouraging our children to embrace their individuality and passions, we're instilling in them a sense of confidence and self-worth that will carry over into all aspects of their lives. Volunteering provides a platform for people to come together, learn from each other, and make a meaningful difference in the world. By understanding your boys' unique needs, building strong relationships with them, and providing them with the tools they need to succeed, you'll be setting your boys up for a lifetime of success and happiness. Hello , curious readers, to know more about raising responsible boys stay tuned and keep watching our coming blogs.
Watch this video by Cactus Founder Director, Nusrat Khan talking about the Action Point no.8 https://youtu.be/soCtKucKirM.