So yesterday, I went on a mini twitter “rant” about one of the major things I have noticed while raising a son. A common phrase I hear parents say to their boys are ” I am not babying you,” and ” Don’t cry, be a big boy!” and I feel that our community has a hard time deciphering whatever they think “babying” is versus having emotional intelligence and nurturing a child.
It seems more widely acceptable for a baby girl to be able to cry and express her emotions, and when it comes to our boys and young men, from a young age they are conditioned to hide their emotions and not express them. Over the years, they will have probably heard that statement so much, they begin to unconsciously repress all of their emotions and eventually grow into emotionally unavailable men.
I understand that for most of us, our parenting skills and methods are based heavily on our childhood and how we were raised coming up. I mean what can you teach your child other than what you know and have been taught as “right?” – But at what point do we sit back and notice our own wounds that stemmed from childhood and realize which parenting methods could’ve been better, don’t work currently, and actually change them? Why is there such a negative stigma behind crying and releasing? Why is it okay for a child to express their happiness but not their sadness? How can we change this?
I’m still in the early stages of motherhood and I’m really big on letting my son express himself. He is not able to have full conversations with me or use words to express how he is feeling just yet, and sometimes all he has is his emotions. I feel that taking that away from him would be unfair. Imagine a world where you couldn’t express yourself or share your emotions?
One of my biggest takeaways from being a mom thus far is that you will literally have to come face to face with healing your inner child through raising your child. Whatever fears, anxieties, thoughts or patterns that caused triggers for you as a child, will come up in some way, shape, or form through raising your child. While this may be a scary and unnerving thought to some, I truly feel that we can heal ourselves through facing those pivotal moments with our children, simply by being what we needed in those times as a child.
What are some things you needed as a child but did not receive? If you are a parent now, how do you go about giving those things to your child?