“Don’t be a mama’s boy”, “be a brave little man”, “wipe your tears before someone sees it”
Hear these crazy statements so often, wherever I go. Little boys seen lonely or cornered.
These words seem innocuous, we tell boys they can’t feel vulnerable, deny their emotions, keep it at bay. Just to be stoic, cool.
Parents assume giving boys attention, validation, love makes them dependent or clingy instead of strong, free, independent. Logic is expected to win over emotion, head overrule the heart.
Boys do cry! We need to appreciate, embrace it lovingly, give them warm cuddles. They have the right to express emotions, pain, fears. Freedom of expression to be who they truly are, their core sensitivity. Vulnerability is strength. A rare masculine trait to be respected, cherished, encouraged.
As humans, stifled emotions impair ability to feel authentic, secure, appreciated, open. We feel uncomfortable giving, receiving compassion, empathy. Emotional interactions may feel alien, intense, un-natural, unsafe.
Creating a non-critical, non-judgemental environment, surrounded by unquestioning love is what boys genuinely need to feel safe enough to reveal deepest secrets, precious desires, aspirations, dreams.
Let’s give them the priceless gift to be who they are, their emotional space, freedom.
Boys don’t cry, but real men do…