We have always taught our kids to treat others as you want to be treated, never to hit or push, but we also taught our boys it is never ok to be rough with a girl, and I am now seeing the downside of it.
My 8 year old son has played co-ed sports since he was 4 but this is his first year playing on a co-ed basketball league, on his team there are 2 girls and most of the other teams are the same way, but this last weekend the team he played against was about half girls, and I noticed he wasn't playing to the fullest of his ability. He seemed to be holding back a bit. So at half time his coach called him over & talked to him then he came over to get some water, I asked if he was ok & he said he was, so I asked what his coach said & he said the coach just asked if he was ok. So in the 2nd half his playing was the same as the first half, at the end of the 3rd quarter I told him he was doing good but it seemed like he was holding back, and he blushed & said "momma" so I felt bad like I embarrassed him, then on the car ride home I told you "you played good today buddy" and he said "why did everyone ask if I was ok?" and I told him that it was because he seemed like he was holding back a bit & said "like what" and I said "well you didn't seem to be trying for the rebound like you usually do, and a few times you didn't seem to block your player" and he said he was fine, so I didn't press any further I just assumed he was having an off day. Later that evening my husband told me he asked our son what was going on & he told him "daddy I can't push a girl".
He explained to him that it is ok to block a girl in a sport as long as you still have good sportsmanship, just like he does to the boys. I hope my husband's talk with him was able to clear things up. I always thought I was teaching my son to be a gentleman, but I never thought it would affect his sports, lol!