- You are too sensitive
A very common expectation among boys is to tell them to suppress their feelings. A boy is expected to stay strong and no show emotions of vulnerability and weakness. Saying to your son that he is too sensitive invalidates his feelings. Unconsciously, you are telling your son to suppress his feelings and neglect his emotions completely.
- Boys don’t cry
Similar to the previous phrase, this phrase also implies that boys are not expected to show softer emotions. Any sign of weakness and vulnerability will label them as ‘girl-like’. Crying like a girl is another phrase that boys get to hear in their lives. Suppressing emotions can lead boys to grow up to become angrier men who face difficulties with relationships.
- Why can’t you be more like….?
The one most harmful thing for children is being compared to another child. This child can be a sibling, a cousin, a classmate or even a neighbor. This puts them on the path to achieve perfection which leads them to fail and lose their natural talents and abilities. It also leads boys to get depressed and exhaust themselves for the wrong reasons.
- You play like a girl
This phrase directly indicates that girls are weaker or inferior to boys. For a son, this is the most confusing statement that he hears in his childhood. The strongest role model for him is his mother followed by grandmothers, aunties, and sisters. But as the child grows up, he begins to believe that girls are weaker and lesser than him. This will also lead to problems in his relationships in the future.
- You must win!
This statement is very harmful which will continue to affect your son as he grows up. He starts to believe that winning is extremely important and he will do anything to make sure he gets it. In the process of trying to win the game, he will not enjoy the process. The sole purpose of being a part of a team is to learn teamwork and enjoy the game.
- Boys will be boys
The most damaging statement is boys will be boys! This phrase gives your son the implication that he is not responsible for his misbehavior, for acting out or being generally very bad. This gives him the permission to be irresponsible for his actions. This also leads to boys to turn into men who abuse their wives mentally and physically.
- That’s what girls do!
Socially we are now accepting girls to have shorter hair, dress like boys and work and play like boys. When it comes to boys doing the opposite, we immediately discourage the behavior. If your son likes to cook meals and look after his room, do not say that’s what girls do! This can damage his will to nurture. Boys who take responsibilities of helping their mothers at home with chores are great caregivers when they become a father.
Boys and girls should be raised in a similar way except for the differences of nature.