Sunday, March 22, 2009

How to Raise Your Teenage Boys to be Sensitive Individuals

Sensitivity is defined by Merriam Webster's dictionary , as "the awareness of the needs and emotions of others". In other words, it is the feeling of empathy that you feel for other people. You are sensitive when you are able to feel what the other person is feeling; therefore, it belongs to the affective domain which is a behavioral branch of science.

How can you raise your teenage boys to be sensitive? You have to be aware that since it is an affective behavior that you want to cultivate, then you should devise the most effective method.

For teenage girls this is easier but for teenage boys, it could be more difficult as society expects them to be tough. Like when a boy cries, you can hear the mother say: Stop crying, you're strong. You're a big boy now," implying to the child that crying is only for the weak.

It is in this society's cultural norms that teenage boys grow nowadays. Before you could effectively teach them how to be sensitive to people around them, you have first to change their perception of what and how boys/men should behave. You can only do this if you start "teaching" them at the earliest time possible.

To raise your teenage boys to be sensitive then is a great challenge for parents. Below are suggested methods in doing this:

1. Teach by example

A lesson can only be taught effectively if you as the "teacher" demonstrate how it is done. You instruct them: "Be sensitive to other people's needs." But they observe you ignoring their grandmother, and then learning does not occur because your spoken words do not jibe with your actions.

If; however, you have shown concern and took time to attend to their grandmother, then they would learn about one specific way to show sensitivity.

2. Let them read a book that touches on sensitivity



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