We recently purchased a house, and to make the transition easier for him, we allowed my son to pick whatever color he wanted to paint his room. He originally picked pink. (My son adores pink, and spent most of his toddlerhood wearing pink and purple pajamas.) I agonized over the choice. There was a part of me that was overjoyed...my son obviously is confident in what he likes, and doesn't feel the need to conform to what the world tells him about being a BOY.
My son is very sensitive. He cries easily, gets his feelings hurt often, and is generally more attuned to what is going on with people's emotions around him. He has always been kind of my little empath, reacting to the world around him and showing every bit of what he's feeling to anyone who may be paying attention. This causes MANY of the people around him, especially older men, to be very troubled by his shows of emotion. He has been told more times than I can count to "toughen up", "act like a boy", and "don't act like such a baby, girl, (insert insulting feminine word here)." I get very frustrated trying to teach him that it is OK to be that way, no matter what the world is telling him he *should* act like.
Kommentti: I'm a 39 year old single straight male. I was (and still am) very much like your son: sensitive and empathic. I don't have kids so you can take this with a grain of salt.
But in my experience, being sensitive AND an iconoclast is a recipe for an unhappy life. For example, if your son wants to go to school wearing pink, he's got to either (a) be insensitive enough that the taunts don't bug him, or (b) change into blue.
I am not a happy adult. My parents, as much as I love them, should have toughened me up, and they should have explained that societies have expectations of people, and if you fail to live up to those expectations you will be ostracized and you will be mocked (by both men and women). Unfair? Sure. So what?
I realize that's probably not what you wanted to hear. But as a parent, you have to balance between telling your kid How It Ought To Be versus telling him How It Is. For example, when someone says "real beauty is on the inside", that's how it should be, but the fact is that if your son is 5' 2" in high school and wear glasses, all the "inner beauty" in the world won't stop him from getting the shit kicked out of him in gym class.
perjantaina, elokuuta 22, 2008
Kuinka kasvattaa feministinen poika?
How to raise a feminist son: