7 Things Parents Need to Teach Their Sons About Masculinity

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It's okay to cry and show a full range of emotions
We've all heard the phrase, "Boys don't cry." When I was growing up, I heard it more times than I can recall. If I even thought about shedding a tear, I would be teased or reprimanded. Parents have to teach their sons that it is okay to cry and express a full range of emotions - fear, joy, sadness, disappointment, love, anger, etc. Our emotions are what allow us to connect with our humanity and with one another.
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From an early age, boys are encouraged to "act like a man," "man up," "tough it out," or "suck it up." These expectations give boys a very narrow view of masculinity. I grew up in a single parent household, and people always told me that I was the man of the house and should behave accordingly. However, I had no idea what that meant. I had a steep learning curve and picked many of the wrong lessons by watching older men and boys in my neighborhood. It wasn't until I was in my 20s that I encountered more positive images of manhood and masculinity. Now, I work with young boys to help them cope with their own masculinity. Many of them are confused and have distorted views on what it means to be a man. But there is hope, and it starts with parents. It's crucial for parents to offer their sons a more holistic view of masculinity. Here are 7 things parents must teach their boys about masculinity. -By Frederick J. Goodall

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