No, I Don't Want My Son To Toughen Up
There’s a lot of stipulation that boys need to be tough. That “tough guys don’t cry.”
You’ve undoubtedly heard something along the lines of: “Don’t fret over him. He needs to toughen up.”
Or maybe even: “You don’t want him to be a sissy.”
Well, I’m here to say that no, I don’t want my son to toughen up.
I want him to show emotions. I want him not to be ashamed of having feelings, and to know it’s okay to cry sometimes. He doesn’t need to “be a man.”
He’s free to be human.
I want him to come to me and cuddle up next to me when he’s hurt, or just needs a friend to vent to.
I want him to cry on my shoulder if needs to.
I want to hear about his rollercoaster emotions. I don’t want him to keep them inside because he feels like he has to. Because “he’s a man.”
It takes a lot to be able to let those emotions out. To feel and understand them. Those are the people who are truly “strong.”
If he skins his knee, you best believe I am going to be there with kisses and a band-aid and some cuddles, just like I am for my daughter.
He is still a child. Boy or girl, they need love. Nurturing. Comfort when they are hurt. Not to be told to tough it out.
My reactions to my baby’s pain is not going to be based on their gender. Boys need comfort too. They need reassurance that everything is going to be okay.
And as he gets older, he’s allowed to feel. He’s allowed to have a broken heart, to cry, to come to his mama when he needs that love and comfort. I will always be here.
Because boys are allowed to be human, too.