Wednesday, November 2, 2016
Man Box and Children
We all believe that men should act in a certain manner, always be strong and never weak. Do we realize that we teach our children from a young age how they should think and act, what they should like and dislike? My sweet nephew (first time Aunt here!) is only three months old, and I realized the other day that I was already talking to him about what it's like to be a boy! When he cries, I have caught myself talking to him, saying "Preston! What's wrong? Boys don't cry, they are strong!" I would then do what I could to make him feel better. I have also caught myself talking to him about playing sports - soccer specifically because of his cute chubby little legs. I am assuming that he will be a manly man and play sports. I do not say or do these things on purpose, it just comes naturally. I act out what I have been taught as well. In reality, I want Preston to grow up being able to express himself, including crying when he is sad. If he doesn't end up being interested in sports, I will be okay with that. I will support and love him no matter what! He doesn't have to be put into the man box. I will monitor my thoughts and words when I speak to him. I want to encourage him to be who he is, and not feel like he has to act and think like a man "should."