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When crying is associated to sadness, or pain, why do we still tell our boys not to cry? It is time we accepted that boys cry too!
Running around the park, from one tree to another, my son was having an amazing time. With the increase in excitement, his pace increased and even before one could react, he landed on the ground with a loud thud. He bruised his knees and elbows.
Just like any kid his age would, he started crying with tears rolling down his small face. He was in pain, so I rushed to grab him in my arms and started calming him down. Though the bruises weren’t too bad, it was. the suddenness of the fall that shocked him.
And as I was busy calming him down, a concerned couple saw the commotion and came to check if everything was okay and if I needed help. It was a very kind gesture. However, it wasn’t just the gesture that caught my attention. The couple’s words of comfort were the ones I took back with me. ‘You are strong boy and boys don’t cry,’ was what they’d said.
I pondered over this. And it was no longer only about the couple. Their intent wasn’t bad. But the damage one does, unknowingly, with such comments is what we need to look deeper into.
I pondered over this. It was really not about the couple anymore. The intent of the couple was not bad. But the damage that one can do, unknowingly, by passing such comments is what one should look deeper into.
Crying is a way for one to express their emotions and we all know it is extremely important to express emotions instead of suppressing them. I strongly believe crying relieves stress and helps you move on. And I am sure there is another reason why humans possess this way of expression. We are lucky to have the ability to cry out loud and vent.
We are all strong in our own ways and in our own areas. Some people are physically strong, others emotionally but the emotions spare no one. The emotions of pain and sadness are imminent parts of our lives. Thus, it is important to let our kids express their emotions in the ways they deem fit.
No matter what their endurance technique is, one should let them figure that out, with no association to strength or power. Accepting an emotion and having a free mode of expression can solve many of the issues we have today.
As normal as it is to let out a hearty laugh when one is happy, letting out a wail when one is sad or in pain is just as normal. Laughing and crying are ways of expression and not a measure of strength.
We often hear this or a version of this – Boys don’t cry. Well, why not! If they haven’t been crying and been suppressing it, this needs to change. The problem is that crying which is gender neutral is associated to the female gender! Girls cry, boys don’t.
Boys are constantly consoled and asked, ‘Why are you crying like a girl?’ We can only imagine what happens from there on, when such ideas are planted into the heads of little boys. Crying is no longer an expression but becomes a test of strength. Our boys grow up, not only suppressing their sobs but also fail to understand the many emotions associated to it. Thus, looking down upon the opposite sex for expressing their feelings and crying.
I needed to explain all this to my son. Taking him into my arms, I told him it was completely okay to cry. I had to clear that provocative thought of his head. Such things make their way into the cute little heads unconsciously. They stay there feeding onto the bits and pieces they see until they become a permanent settlement there.
Getting rid of such thoughts right then and there would mean making a better tomorrow for our kids. So I ensured that I explained this to him well enough. Crying is associated to sadness, like laughter is to happiness and there should be no shame in either of it.
So now, every time he cries, or sees me cry, he tells me, ‘Mumma, it’s okay to cry.’
Picture credits: YouTube
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