Teaching Boys to Cope with Feelings
Parents don't realize how they teach their boys to bury emotions. Simple phrases like "Big boys don't cry" create a lifelong effect, according to Dr. Pollack. Many boys feel they can't express their sadness, so instead they get angry.
- Give your son time for undivided attention and listening space.
- Don't prematurely push him to be independent.
- Let him know that "real" boys and men do cry and speak.
- Express your love as openly as you would to a girl.
When you are talking to your son, you should:
- Avoid teasing and shaming.
- Share your own experiences.
- Keep your statements brief.
- Don't press for fast responses.
- Really listen when your son finally decides to talk.
- If your son is a bully, teach him healthy ways to express pain.
- Create safe, shame-free zones where your son can go to retreat and talk about his feelings.
- Increased impulsiveness and depleted mood
- Increased withdrawal from relationships and problems in friendships
- More angry outbursts and aggression
- Increased risk-taking
- New or renewed interest in drugs and alcohol
Signs of childhood depression