Is It Okay For Boys Cry?

Last year, there was an incident that taught me something about motherhood. After my eldest’s math enrichment session, he went out of the class feeling frustrated and was on the verge of crying. My mother instinct tells me that there was something wrong with him. I was so eager to know what was going on that I immediately asked what’s making him sad but it’s as if there was nothing wrong with him. After 15 minutes of trying, he still wouldn’t tell me what was going on. At this point, my emotions have already heightened and I am quite furious because I wanted to figure out what’s making him sad before we could leave the premises. He started crying and at the same time, I am already annoyed with myself how in the world I cannot possibly figure out what was going on with my child. There were so many things running in my head and one of which was my fear of bullying. 

Then I realized, my son is pouring his emotions and more than anything else, he needs his mother--he needs me and the only way I can be there for him is to be beside him and stop bugging him until he is now ready to share. So I stood beside and hugged him. When he stopped crying, that was the cue that I needed to make an intervention.

Honestly, I get really sensitive when my children are feeling down. I just don't want them to experience every child's nightmare which is bullying. This is the very reason why I thought I needed to make early intervention the moment my eldest felt so down that day.

 
The Intervention...



Empathy. I hugged him so tight for a few minutes and eventually, he stopped crying. I started talking and told him, "I know how you feel right now. But it really breaks my heart seeing you cry. It is okay to cry but I want to know the reason why so that Mama can understand you better. Are you hurt? You had a bad score? If there is one person who will understand you better--it is us, your parents."

Apparently, he got sad because the toy reward he wanted was already gone. So I explained the virtue of waiting and the implications--that God has better plans for everything.

Apology. Growing up, I never had any recollection that my parents ever apologized to me and my siblings. I may not know the reason behind it, but I just know I had to do it to my children. I have to teach them to own up to their mistakes by being an example to them. So right after all the roller coaster of emotions, I apologized to my eldest for being impatient to him. I told him that I always wanted the best and explained to him that when he gets sad and lonely, I get sad as well. 

Reassurance. It is best to remind our children that we are always there for them whenever they need us. Our unavailability might lead them to look for comfort elsewhere as well as the feeling of emptiness. Let us always remind them of our undying love as a parent to boost their EQs. 

So, is it really okay for boys/men to cry? YES. Why not? After all, they are humans, they have emotions, they are human beings and are bound to get hurt. Instead of living up to the machismo norm of strong boys don’t cry, I would like to urge parents to allow your boys to pour out their emotions. 



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