Physical strength has always been one of the most desired characteristics in men. Being emotionally open is something that has always been looked down upon when it comes to men. “Boys don’t cry”, “Don’t be girl”, “Don’t be so sensitive, you’re not a girl” - these are only a few examples of what our society has always been throwing out to boys that eventually try to share. Because of this treatment, our boys become emotionally challenged and inexpressive, which in extreme condition can lead to severe anxiety, depression etc.
It is true that nobody wants to raise a crybaby but don’t we all want our kids to be more open about their feelings and emotions so that we can always be there for them to boost up their confidence. It is very important to teach your kids to recognise and manage their emotions so that they learn to express and cope with their vivid emotions. Emotionally stable children show less behavioural problems and feel more adept.
Here are 5 ways you can help your boy to open up about his feelings:
Allow boys to see grown men being vulnerable:
The father is always the first role model of a boy. Let your man teach your kid the importance of emotional fitness and that being vulnerable at times is not a big deal, even for a grown man. Your child needs to learn by witnessing the male members of the family that emotions of men are no different than that of women and there’s no need for hiding them.
Don’t stop them from expressing themselves, rather show empathy:
Your child is going to reflect your energy and will mould according to how you shape them. From a young age only, teach them to express themselves and open up their emotions to others in proper manner. Never stop them from expressing as that will only push them to hide and bottle up their feelings. If this persists for a longer time, either it will make them cold, closed and restrained from inside or will end up overflowing through an episode of meltdown.
Empathize with your child, talk to them, share your own stories and teach them to focus on the positives.
Let them recognise and understand their feelings from a young age:
Young children deal with as many emotions as adults do but they often do not understand or have the words to express how they are feeling. Because of this they sometimes act out these emotions in very physical and improper ways. Therefore it is very important for us parents to teach our kids about different emotions and how to not lose their head and calmly express it by talking about it.
Make them aware of the consequences of their actions and others’ feelings:
As parents, it is our duty to teach our kids to recognise others’ feelings and that their actions may have detrimental consequences. It is important to set clear guidelines about what is acceptable and what is not. Teach them to never hurt someone with any physical or verbal means or be destructive to others or their property, no matter how angry or frustrated they feel.
We can help them cope with their extreme emotions and teach them how to control their behaviour.
To get the kids to be expressive, you need not force them to talk all the times. Like adults, they may also sometimes need some space to get calm and composed. In such times, try to involve them into some creative or productive ways of expressing their emotions. Some kids may love indulging themselves into meditating, painting or writing etc whereas some may flow their energy through sports. Find new techniques that will benefit your child in multiple ways as well as help them convert their emotions into something positive or creative. Encourage them to be expressive through these means rather than engaging into any unfavourable way.
Don’t you hate it when your hubby dearest won’t ask for directions or read the manual first, even if they do not know the way? Men from their early childhood tend to learn to be independent and that they don’t need help with anything as real men can figure it out by themselves. Do not let your boys grow up like that, teach them to ask for assistance when they need.
Connect to your child in a deeper level by making them comfortable to talk about anything in front of you, which will help you to know what’s going on in their inside, what is bothering them and what can be done to improve the situation.