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  • Writer's pictureAndi

FATHERS, MEN & BOYS




Since I focused on mothers for Mother’s Day, I feel it only fair to give fathers, men, and boys their fair shout out since Father’s Day is celebrated today in the USA.


When I went shopping for cards, I found it interesting that the cards for Father’s Day are about taking a break by playing golf, fishing, breaking out those house improvement tools, or sleeping in a hammock. I am so blessed to have my father around to celebrate Father’s Day with but golf was never part of his relaxation repertoire, he would have gagged if he were to touch a squishy worm as fish bait, and he would most likely end up in an ER if he attempted to use a drill or other tools. My dad does however crush the hammock relaxation with jazz music and wine. Luckily there was a perfect card with a bear in a hammock that my daughter found. I am also blessed to have my father-in-law around to celebrate Father’s Day with as well. He is extremely handy and as a retired physician can read and build just about anything if following directions. He relaxes by reading and thrives through continued learning at age 89. There were no cards depicting continued learning, so a more generalized card was more appropriate.


I started thinking about males and society and how our gender allows for different emotional actions. When did you last see your father cry? What emotion would that have evoked in you? For me, I would have been rattled more so than seeing my mother cry. From very young ages, little boys are told to suck it up and to suppress their feelings, but aren’t we all human with a full spectrum of emotion? We must remember that men also have feelings and get emotionally hurt even if they don’t show it. I am grateful that communication was always important to me even before I focused on “conscious” parenting so I would regularly check in with my kids and look for signs of stress. Society wants boys to be tough, but then we want our husbands to be sensitive and understanding. It’s not unusual for men to express fear as anger, where women often show up with anxiety and tears.


For parents: Teach your boys that expressing emotion is important, valued, and safe. Never dismiss their feelings as it’s not unusual for a child with a tough exterior to be incredibly sensitive at their core. Their toughness might be an ego shield that they built for protection. For the parents who have both boys and girls, check in and see if you treat them equally when it comes to them expressing their emotions. Remember that society puts us into gender buckets and sets expectations accordingly.


For the men who are not fathers, you are still a parent to the little boy inside of you. Take a moment to reflect how you were you allowed to express emotions while growing up? How did your father express his emotion? Regardless of our gender, it’s important for our emotions to surface and get released.


If this resonates with you as a parent, or how your husband manages his emotions, I am here to help if you need guidance for a Do Over.


~Andi






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