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Let Him Feel His Feelings: 4 Reasons Why Boys Should Learn To Express Their Emotions
  • From a young age, boys are taught to believe that they should suppress their emotions, that it is “not masculine” for them to cry or be sad or express affection towards others. While many may think that this sort of outlook will make their sons stronger, research says that it has the opposite effect. Here are four reasons why it is important to raise boys who know how to deal with and express their emotions.

    Why boys need to learn to be in touch with their feelings

    1. Because boys have emotions, too.

    It’s commonly thought that girls are more emotional than boys, but the reality is that boys deal with big feelings just as much as girls do. Unfortunately, Greater Good Magazine writes that boys are raised in “a world inhabited by a narrower range of emotions,” where only specific emotions like anger are allowed or even encouraged, which leads to other more vulnerable emotions like sadness being ignored.

    2. Because emotional suppression can lead to negative behaviors.

    In connection to number one, research suggests that men who suppress their emotions tend to engage in behaviors like substance abuse and violent behavior, which might be caused by the lack of the skills to regulate emotions that are developed when a boy is allowed to express his emotions, according to Greater Good Magazine.

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    3. Because emotional suppression has lasting effects on mental health.

    Dr. James O’Neil, a psychology professor who has studied men’s lives for years, tells Fatherly that “emotional restrictedness” leads to multiple unhealthy outcomes, including psychological stress and strain, low self-esteem, depression, anxiety, and a negative attitude towards seeking help from others.


    4. Because it helps build resilience.

    In an article for Motherly, Deborah MacNamara, author of Rest, Play, Grow: Making Sense of Preschoolers (Or Anyone Who Acts Like One) says that allowing kids to journey through their “big and upsetting” emotions helps build “true resilience,” which means that they learn how to deal with those stress and problems that life can throw in their way.

    Sometimes, your child's tantrums can be caused by an empty 'emotional cup.' Click here to learn more.

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