Why can't boys show their emotions?
Created by Sugandha Tiwari Updated on Sep 28, 2017
As I write this I recollect one of my experiences of accompanying grade 6 students on a school trip to the hills. During the journey it came across as quiet a surprise to all of us when this young sixth grader boy suddenly started crying. I was the teacher in charge for a group of 8 students and he was one among them. Some of my colleagues shared that this is not new; they said "This boy often gets quiet sensitive".
As I took on further inquiring into the whole thing I figured out his real emotions and got present to his sensitive, emotional, vulnerable and sad world.
Why Is It Difficult For Boys To Show Emotions?
Boys, from childhood itself are always discouraged to cry, they are simply not allowed to feel weak and shed off their tears to express pain. But the interesting fact is that boys do cry, boys do feel a lot of emotions, they too get affected by different stuff in their lives. Whether it is loss of a broken toy or losing a soccer match, sadness of being away from family in a hostel for long or fight with a sibling. They are as much human as we women are.
Crying Is A Vent Even Boys Need!
Boys in fact are much weaker in terms of handling their emotions, moreover society and the culture completely thwarts their basic desire to cry out loud. They only get to hear phrases like "Come on be a man, stop crying, boys don't cry". As a result boys resort to aggression, anger, abuse or alcoholism to let their heart out.
How These Suppressed Emotions Disturb Your Son's Adulthood?
Their suppressed emotions can often become a big cause of concern in the later years of their life when they are bombarded with the pressure to handle several responsibilities and not given the permission to even fail. The pressure of not failing often affects their health also as adults. We often hear some men committing suicide because of debts or failure in business etc. It is indeed a torture for them to sometimes continue to remain strong when they are actually feeling weak, remain silent when they should talk about their fears and worries , struggle alone when they need loving and comforting guidance and arms to wrap them around.
What Can The Parents Do To Help Their Son Vent His Emotions?
What is important to understand is that it's not necessary if for ages something is being practiced, it cannot be changed. So, what is it that you as parents can start practicing and make an effort to alter your son's world?All these tips can very well be used even for your daughters, however for now we are focussing on bringing up male child.
- From a young age, every time your son loses something for eg, a toy, a match or anything else and is feeling sad about it, talk to him. Don't ignore his emotion, help him to express himself. Let him know, "it's ok to cry."
- Use feeling cards and talk about feelings of others in stories or a movie or cartoon
- Simply start listening more to your son. Boys often open up more when they are being heard. They don't need your advice always; instead they yearn for your compassionate and patient listening
- Everyday towards the end of the day or any other time that works for you, sit with your son to have conversations about his life. It could be related to any academic pressure, fight with a close friend, any upsetting behaviour by peers or school authorities including teachers or liking/rejection related issue towards a girl in class or neighbourhood
- Make sure to talk to him about any regrets if he may have, it could be something he might have done or said that he is feeling bad about
I was really keen to pen down these thoughts since I feel culturally we as women have a lot of options to cry our heart out either by gossiping with other female friends or just simply speaking to our sisters or mothers about it and that goes trueeven for our children. Girls can cry openly and lighten up themselves but the same does not apply for boys. They don't even speak about their emotions with their male friends. So, let's just create a new paradigm shift in our ways of parenting and try making our boys emotionally healthy adults with the ability to create healthy relationships both with themselves and people of their lives.
Do you agree with Sugandha's idea of letting our son's know that it's ok to cry? Please do share your views and feedback as we would love to hear from you.
| Sep 28, 2017
very apt and quite an informative blog keeping in mind the pressure that boys face everyday because of their peer group, family and societal pressure.. to not give a vent to their pent up emotions by talking it out or even cry in a group setting. i am sure they might be shedding tears behind closed doors to avoid being called a sissy . hope mindsets would change with time and boys would be able to open up and cry out freely .