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"Boys Don't Cry."

I was so naïve when I first became a Mum to my boys 💙. I thought this phrase was no longer relevant. I imagined no one thought this way anymore. How wrong I was ❌.

Recently, one of my boys badly broke his finger. Many hours spent in A & E 🏥 and, whilst there, 3 different medical professional told him, “Don’t cry, you’re fine.” Twice when his broken finger needed to be manipulated and once when he was told that sport - his passion - was completely off the cards for 12 weeks. Inside, I raged.

Of course he cried. He was in pain AND desperately disappointed ❤️‍🩹. I couldn’t understand why he was being discouraged from honestly and openly sharing his emotional world with those around him 🌍💙. I couldn’t understand why he was being encouraged to say he was fine; a counsellor once told me that FINE stands for FEELINGS INSIDE NOT EXPRESSED.

I was struck recently by the boxer Paddy Pimblett who encouraged men to speak about their feelings. As I followed the dialogue around this closely, one comment resonated so loudly. “Rather than encouraging men to speak, we should instead get curious about why no one seems able to listen when they do.”

We need to be able to listen to boys without reshaping, diminishing or trying to convince them that they feel differently than they do. We need to do better. I’d love to hear your thoughts on this. I’m trying to raise boys who speak honestly about their feelings but I worry about whether they exist in a world that offers them a safe space to do this. I don’t want them to be FINE. Nor do I truly believe anyone else does. Because FEELINGS INSIDE NOT EXPRESSED rarely, if ever, leads a person to a good place 💚.

🎵-Crying is one of the beautiful, original songs written by Grammy award winning singer and songwriter Amy Wadge, (@wadge1975) for The Worry Wizard’s animation and toolkit, ‘Together not alone’ (link in bio) ✨ Designed to support and guide adults to share gentle and honest conversations about grief and loss with children 🤗.

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