Friday, 3 June 2011

Man Up!

Don’t let the tough-guy, taekwondo-kicking, always-on-the-move thing fool you – my kid is as sensitive as they come. Talk about wearing his heart on his sleeve – he’s practically got it tattooed right on the middle of his forehead! I’m pretty sure “The Fox and the Hound” scarred him for life,  and I have yet to find a Disney movie that doesn’t have at least one scene where I assume my position as “World’s Meanest Mommy” for “making” him endure such an appalling experience.

When he gets frustrated, the tears come. If one of his buddies has something less-than-positive to say about his choice of game/snack/superhero/etc., the lip starts a-quivering. If he thinks I’m upset about something – poof! My sad little shadow is glued to my side.

So here’s my dilemma … we talk about encouraging kids to be “real”, express their emotions, be themselves, and all that other good stuff. Heck, isn’t Sensitivity usually on the list of “must haves” for the ol’ Perfect Mate Checklist?

Sounds great – my kid is sharing and I’m raising the next "Perfect 10". Perfect.

Not perfect. For as much as everyone sings the Sensitivity Song, there is also an equally strong assumption out there that no one likes a Weeping Willie. Society likes its men strong, in control, with just a hint of softness that only makes an appearance during the fleeting, yet appropriate situations.

So “How much is too much”? I shudder at the “Boys don’t cry” battle cry and, quite frankly, I love the extra hugs & cuddles when he’s upset and only Mommy can fix it.  I don’t want to downplay what he’s feeling, but not keeping it in check at some point sets him up for a whole world of hurt.

Let him cry? Don’t cry at all? Cry for a minute & a half, then man up? This parenting thing is a lot of work! I think for now, I’ll just go with the flow, enjoy the hugs… and ditch the Disney movies!
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