Friday, June 20, 2008

The Lies Boys Believe

All this week the kids have been in VBS (Vacation Bible School). They have had their fun and I'm glad about it. They have only gone to one VBS a summer. Since we home school, I haven't volunteered to help with a VBS. This is sort of their summer break away from mom and my summer break to get a few things done. It is just enough time for me to get errands ran and my to do list empty so I can fill it again! Although I've enjoyed the few free hours, when they are there they are constantly on my mind, hoping they are ok, wondering how their day is going etc. They have always come back really happy kids. I hope they will continue to see VBS as a happy time and later on contribute back to it in helping.

So on my journey to get things done yesterday I went to the library. I'm a self help kind of reader. I like to read books that will generally give me good ideas about life improvement. I've read fiction books that I liked, but I'm a sucker for a facts and proven methods. Some aren't so great so you take the good and dish the bad. I picked up a book called 200 Ways to Raise a Boy's Emotional Intelligence by Will Glennon. I thought, "Hmm there are so many books about girl issues, what about my boy?" So I inquired and checked it out. Within a few pages my thoughts focused on my son and how today's culture has effected our view of how a man, a son, a boy is supposed to be. There is one chapter called Exploring Your Own Assumptions that talks about our ingrained thinking of how men are "supposed" to act. The "don't cry" theory is addressed among others. The stereo type of men shouldn't cry, and non emotional so they aren't wimps is an oppressive way to stereo type. Women have had feminist rallies stating, "I'm equal andI can do whatever a man can do!" while if a man shows emotion (other than being a sports fan), they must be gay! Not true. I thought to myself, I really appreciate when my husband shows his emotions. It lets me know he cares. I appreciate him expressing feelings. It means he it says to me that strong and intelligent. I want my son to do that too.

For a while I questioned my son's crying. Why does he so easily moved? I worried that he might be the type to wear his emotions on his sleeve or be teased. I struggled with the stereotype in this situation. I didn't want to emotionally cripple him by telling him not to cry but I didn't want him to be a wimp either. This book gave me confirmation in telling me that it is ok for my son to cry. I'll continue to comfort him without worrying if his emotion is normal. I'll let him get his emotions worked out just as we confidently let the girls work theirs out. He's my son, and I am his mother who is very proud of him.

my son

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