We instinctively teach boys to be strong and brave, to not cry over silly things. This is particular true in this country, there is a stigma attached to boys who are emotional. And it’s doing more harm than good forcing them to suppress their feelings. This Mom’s post, puts a great perspective on this way of parenting.
People are quick to comment on other parents way of parenting, and in this case it was a typical instant judge. When someone says to you “You need to stop babying that kid.” – no doubt it’s going to get you mad. He is 8 YEARS OLD. Not 20. At this age he still needs the affection and attention from a mother.
I had a similar incident with my own son, at 6 years old.
I took him swimming at our complex pool and he knocked his chin on the wall. I saw it and the friend he was playing with also did. I watched as he got out the pool and came to sit by me. I knew he was in pain, but he kept on looking over at the friend who was watching him. I couldn’t figure out why he was being ‘shy’ in not telling me what had happened. He eventually told me, but with misty eyes. He was holding back the tears. Normally this wouldn’t have been the case.
I made sure there wasn’t a cut, gave him a hug and said it was all good and to go back and play. As my son got back into the pool the ‘friend’ said “did you go cry to your Mommy”. This made my blood BOIL. I wanted to stand up and shout at this kid. Who was he to shame my son for coming to his Mom after he got hurt? But I didn’t, I held back as I didn’t want to make a scene and perhaps make the situation worse for my son. However, thinking back I regret it. I should have spoken up for my son.
Stereotyping starts at a young age. Boys are taught to ‘man’ up, to hold in their emotions. Getting shamed by their own peers and so called ‘friends’. But I believe it’s teaching our boys to be less emotional and making it harder for them to empathize.