Society is reeking with teen violence; racial, bullying, school shootings. Why now? What has changed? This topic hit me full force when I watched the video below on the way we are raising our children. Little boys are taught from a young age to “Man up,” “Don’t be a wimp,” “Toughen up,” “Don’t be a girl,” which translates to don’t express anger, don’t talk about feeling depressed, boys aren’t allowed to be sad, emotions are forbidden. Respect is often attributed to violence among peers who are usually taught from a father, or a father-type figure.
Can a boy still become a man when he has tears rolling down his eyes? YES. He becomes a man who is capable of expressing emotions and allowing his anger to be released. Anger that is held in and oppressed can bring about a foundation of bitterness and unfortunately an explosion of emotions that deems that child to having a conduct disorder instead of just feeling misunderstood.
Moms, Dads, Educators and individuals who directly care for little boys…. give the same amount of emotional confidence to those little boys as you do little girls. Stop pretending these tiny creatures should show no emotion. Affirm his anger, let him talk about it; tell him it’s ok to cry, comfort him. Be comfortable in your own emotions to share the anger, the pain, the hurt.
Maybe, the violence can be curtailed one little child at a time.