Break the Stigma
A few years ago I had a family member in the hospital very sick. One family member said to me about my male teenage cousin's response to his dad being so sick, "he even cried and he never cries". I reflected on
that later, about how my cousin crying was a reflection of how upset he was, because of how rarely he does cry. I thought about how being a teenager is hormonal and hard. If anything, I would think the tears are coming as much if not more during teen years than when kids are toddlers. And I see this all the time. Our society is STILL trying to teach males to not feel the feels. To stuff the feels down. That they aren't strong if they express the feels. All of this negative messaging regarding something so simple that has NOTHING to do with gender; emotional awareness.
Teaching children how to identify emotions they feel, and then adequately express them using self regulation are healthy tools to have. Not having the skills to be able to do that can lead to a laundry list of issues later on in life. To name a few, depression, anxiety, shut down, (in a relationship this can be termed as "stonewalling" or "emotional abandonment") and more. This is a pretty big leap, but has anyone else noticed that in all of the school shootings going on across our nation, that as far as I know it's only been male shooters? Please correct me if I'm wrong. Of course other things come into play and I don't want to get into politics, but it's just something I've noticed and I think theirs a correlation there.
I am seeing more and more that women today are asking their men to show up. And yet, a lot of men just don't have the tools that they've never been taught. I feel bad, quite honestly for the position many men are in today for that reason. And applaud the men who are trying to figure it out. They shouldn't get an out just "because they're a man".
So, do you male children a solid and teach them emotional regulation, (not stuffing their feelings away) emotional awareness (by labeling their emotions) and healthy coping skills.