Teaching Sons to Identify and Share Emotions

Moms, teaching your sons that they are permitted to feel their feelings is so crucial for their future happiness. This article from Harpers Bazaar, Men Have No Friends and Women Bear the Burden, unpacks so much about what goes wrong when our sons learn that having feelings is not masculine.

  • They rely on their partners for emotional support, intimacy and even therapy. It can lead to burnout for their SO and end the relationship.
  • Men don’t seek out therapy when they need it. “Only five percent of men seek outpatient mental health services, despite feeling lonelier than ever before (in a recent British study, 2.5 million men admitted to having no close friends). What’s more, men conceal pain and illness at much higher rates than women, and are three times more likely than women to die from suicide. “
  • Shame for showing signs of weakness is the biggest cause of toxic masculinity, according to Brene Brown.

It’s not just men who buy into the idea that feelings are for sissies.  You’ve heard the moms that say things like “Football players don’t cry.” Perhaps you’ve said similar things (I certainly did), sometimes because of the cultural norms and sometimes out of your own desire to end the drama (dealing with children’s emotions can get tiring).

But if you want to give your son the best preparation for life, for having successful relationships, for feeling happy and secure, give them the gift of knowing that their very human emotions are okay. Help them learn how to deal with them both inside and outside the home. You’ll also be doing a great service to their future partners — indeed, the entire world.

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