Sisterhood Sharing Sessions | Life Lessons Learned | Parenting-Mothers Raising Men To Respect Women: The Book Of Jane Series
What I’ve Learned About Mothers Raising Men To Respect Women | The Book Of Jane Parenting Series
A man striking a women is unacceptable behavior and should not under any circumstance be tolerated. Most importantly, in that moment, I understood the power of women, and my Mother.
~Sister Of The World
A Mother’s Method
My Mother, after being married for years had became a single parent very early on in my childhood. I can scarcely imagine what it must have been like for a single parent to raise a house full of children, let alone the challenges of mothers raising men who respect women. Teaching a son to respect women when there is no father-figure or other male role-models present calls for a Mother’s Method that may be considered unconventional by today’s standard of discipline.
At least in one particular instance, my Mother went biblical by invoking the ‘Do unto others’ rule in an attempt to eradicate the unacceptable behavior of her male son believing it was ok to strike a woman.
I recall the incident like it was yesterday. My Mother’s method to instill the importance of respect for women with my older brother then around 16 years old, has never left me. One day I walked into the kitchen and witnessed my five (5) foot three (3) inch Mother reach up and slap my six (6) foot, two (2) inch Brother square in the face, after learning from his then girlfriend he had hit her. I’ll never forget this particular moment. My Brother stared my Mother in the face with such anger in his eyes after she slapped him. Both of his arms were at his side with clenched fists. I recall my Mother didn’t flinch. Rather, she was unfazed by his strong stance. She was fearless in that moment as she stated to my Brother with direct eye contact, ‘You want to hit me?’. The question was rhetorical of course, so before any response and with razor speed my Mother reached up and slapped my Brother again. She announced after the second strike, “It doesn’t feel good does it?”. Again, the question was rhetorical. She was making a point. Mother’s final command to my Brother, “Don’t you ever let me hear of you putting your hands on another women. Do you understand me?”. This question demanded a response, and so my six (6) foot, two (2) inch Brother replied to my five (5) foot, three (3) inch Mother, Yes ma’am.
By this time my Brother’s hands were unclenched as he appeared to acknowledge my Mother’s disappointment, and his own embarrassment at his actions that he never denied. It was as though something about the incident had resonated with him. I can only surmise that perhaps he now understood that feeling of powerlessness that his girlfriend must have felt in that moment he decided to invade her space to exert control over her.
I’m not sure if the discipline my Mother extended to my Brother that day was appropriate by today’s standards. I am not advocating physical confrontations as a form of parenting. Dr. Phil contends there is no such circumstance that should require a parent becoming physical with a child. He states, physical discipline or spanking “Is not an affective game changer”. Fifty-Eight percent of his audience members polled supports spanking as a means of parental discipline. No matter the situation, when you Know your child, that insight will inevitably define the decision of disciplinary actions. Parenting styles will always vary greatly. The hope is that a parent’s discipline is weighted in the spirit of love and great care, and no irreparable harm will result from parental disciplinary decisions.
To this day, and as far as I know, my Brother now an adult man, never struck another woman after that moment with my Mother. Today, he along with my other Brothers, are productive members of society, in loving relationships, and are amazing Fathers to their children who adore them. Their children are well-mannered and respectful, emblematic of the way Mother aspired to raise her children.
What I learned from witnessing the incident is that a man striking a women is unacceptable behavior and should not under any circumstance be tolerated. Most importantly, in that moment, I understood the power of women, and my Mother. I appreciate the fact that she had a reputation in the community as the type of mother that would not condone or disregard such disrespectful behavior from her children. Based on that reputation, my Brother’s then girlfriend felt comfortable enough to come to my Mother with the issue, and confident enough to know my Mother would not side with my Brother on such matters. I respect the power of parenting. I acknowledge a Mother’s Method in raising a man who respects women can be challenging and complex.
My Mother is older now, but she still possesses the power of a parent. To this day, each of my grown brothers in response to my Mother, with love and respect answer ‘Yes Ma’am’ or No Ma’am’.
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