Are We Holding Our Sons Back Emotionally?

One of the things, I believe, that held me back emotionally growing up was the saying “Boys Don’t Cry!”

We as a family, were all outside cleaning up the yard…well my parents were…my sister and I were playing. That’s what six and three-year olds do.

But anyway…as we were playing in the clovers I ended up being stung by a bee. Well, as with most six-year olds that freaking hurt and I yelled. Mom came running to find out what was going on. She pulls the stinger out for me because at that age I didn’t know what to do.

Here I am crying because it hurt and my dad comes up to me and goes stop crying, “boys don’t cry.”

So, I stifled my cry and wiped away the tears because dad said so.
I heard that saying a lot growing up over the years.

I hear this same saying ALL the time, even now, from parents and you know what? It ticks me off!

You want to know why?

Because boys do cry!

Boys get their feelings hurt, they get their bodies hurt and they have emotions. 

They have a right to cry because all of these factors are a biological response to what is happening to them at that moment.

Since rededicating my life to the Lord several years back I actually cry now. Sometimes I even apologize to people for being so emotional now.

But you know what? It shows that I care, that I empathize, that I hurt, that I feel sorry when I hurt someone else’s feelings, and that I love.

I accept my tears now, because I know by trying to stifle them I am also trying to hide how God made me.

I understand that there are times when tears are just a means to get attention. Heck my son still does it. But please parents do not say to your son that boys don’t cry.

Allow them to have feelings and show their emotions and their hurt.

Allow them to be and become who God created them to be.

Check out this beautiful post entitled Embrace Your Beautiful Tears by Kranti!!

Here is another awesome post by Vaishali entitled Men Don’t Cry where she dives deeper into the stereotype as boys will be boys as well as how society is training our men to well..not be real men. Great post Vaishali!!

25 thoughts on “Are We Holding Our Sons Back Emotionally?”

  1. My dad used to whip me with a belt leaving welts on my body and then say “stop crying or I’ll really give you something to cry about”. It’s interesting what your post stirred this morning… My dad was a rageaholic, my mom was depressed and suicidal, and as early as middle school was doing drugs yet the elephant in our house was “don’t show emotions”. I’d have to agree that is one of the most emotionally stunting and life crippling things parents can ever do. Thanks for shining light and dark areas, it helps to know we’re not alone! Take care brother and God bless.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks for sharing a part of your story.

      My dad said that one a few time as well while spanking me with a two by four paddle he made with holes drilled in it for wind resistance. I probably still have little red dots on my rear. I’ll never forget that paddle.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. A couple thoughts–we are admonished to circumcise our hearts, through the ongoing Holy Spirit sanctification process, the old ‘toughness’ goes away. All those coping mechanisms we were taught fall to the side and we feel everything more deeply — pain as well as JOY!! So I think as believers we can get more emotional than we were before being born again (regardless of gender). And that’s a good thing! Joseph was emotional, King David was also very emotional and Jesus wept!!
    My other thought is someone crying for attention. Like you get upset when you hear people say ‘boys shouldn’t cry’ I get upset when people say a child is ‘just doing it for attention.’ Because as a child who suffered a LOT of neglect–WHAT is WRONG with a child wanting attention/love/affection?? We are born craving those very things relationally! Indulge it while you can because he may not always crave your attention ❤️😊

    Liked by 3 people

  3. I find it so sad when people say this. You know who doesn’t cry? Those who are dead. But read about any godly man from the Bible and you will find tears. David was a manly man, a warrior, fierce and tough…but he wept often AND he sang, sharing his heart freely before the Lord! I wonder who would deny his masculinity because of those things? But a heart that’s dead, doesn’t cry. I wonder how many men have killed themselves to their emotions to try to be “tough”?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So true Heather. My heart was dead for years from killing my emotions not necessarily to look or seem tough but because I believed the lie. But I truly thank God for changing my heart.

      Thank you for the wonderful comment!

      Liked by 1 person

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