Men have emotions, everyone knows it, it’s just we are rubbish as a society at allowing them to show them. (Unless they score a goal!) In the Channel TV series SAS who dares wins episode 2 , we see several men talking about their emotions, dark times and suicidal thoughts with refreshing honesty.
Men and boys need space, to be honest, to have a down day and to be hurt, angry and upset. The consequences of bottled up emotions are very ugly.
Comments like “act like a man” & ‘boys don’t cry’ do not help. Even saying ‘there-there it’s ok’, is unhelpful because sometimes it’s not ok! I’ve had two lots of counselling because I needed help to process what was happening internally but it took me ages to get over the shame of it.
As parents try to ask questions about how your son is feeling, don’t try to fix all the problems, just listen. Encourage them to see expressing emotions is a strength of character, not weakness and thank and praise them for telling you how they feel even if they express it with expletives!