Should Boys Cry?

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Why are you crying like a girl? (Like say girl no be beta pikin!) Don’t you know big boys don’t cry? If you cry, it means you’re weak, mummy’s boy! (Even the mother is blamed here).

Unfortunately, our society has forced men to hide their feelings and emotions. Boys are human and should learn to let out theese feelingsbefore they become toxic.

Study after study shows that boys and girls differ in some parts of their temperament, but not in others. Boys and girls don’t differ in how shy or fearful they are, or in how angry, sad, happy, or emotional they are. Young boys and girls do not differ in how much they cry. Mothers, for example, discuss feelings of sadness for longer and in greater detail with their daughters than with their sons. Boys are often reprimanded for crying and showing sadness.

In the book “Why Boy’s Don’t Talk — and Why It Matters” (McGraw-Hill, 2004), authors Susan Morris Shaffer and Linda Perlman Gordon say we need to find ways to connect with our sons because, “when boys don’t talk, we assume that they don’t feel…We don’t get to fully know them; we end up validating only one part of them. It matters because when boys don’t talk, it inhibits intimacy….we shortchange their emotional growth; as a result, parts of boys remain hidden.”

Here are a few ways to prevent our sons from growing up to become like robots:

1. Teach and talk about feelings at home. From a very young age, read stories about feelings with your son.

2. Have a deck of feelings flash cards for kids to help them develop their feelings vocabulary.

3. Be ready and available to listen to your son without asking questions or offering a lot of advice.Kids will often open up when parents say less and listen more.

4. Develop family routine such as a regular time to check in with each other about the day. This can be anytime that works for both of you — after school, over dinner or at bedtime. These can be adapted as your son grows.

I hope you find this useful. Do share your thoughts as a man. How do you manage your son’s feelings? Feel free to share and drop your comments in the box below.

Cheers!

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