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Even as little kids, boys are taught that they need to “man up” and be tough. They learn that emotions are more of a feminine thing, and this often leads to boys not knowing how to express their emotions properly, and growing up into adults who don’t know how to deal with their emotions.
We at Bright Side found that one study suggests that boys need emotional support, and this can be a real game-changer in the parenting techniques that are applied to raising boys.
Boys’ and girls’ brains develop differently.
Compared to girls, the male brain is heavier, with a larger hypothalamus. This is because boys receive a surge of testosterone in the third trimester of pregnancy, which, apart from making their brains heavier, also promotes greater muscle bulk. This aids in the boy’s physical strength, but at the same time makes them lack certain qualities like the self-regulation of emotions.
Girls mature quicker than boys.
Girls brains develop at a much quicker pace than boys. Boys catch up to girls around the first 6 weeks after birth. And still, boys continue to develop their brains at a slower rate compared to girls, even after they get older. According to one study, the brain of a newborn girl is psychologically similar to the brain of a 4-to-6-week old boy.
Boys are more vulnerable to maternal stress and birth trauma.
The study also points out that male embryos are more vulnerable to maternal stress, suggesting that even at the point of conception, males are more vulnerable than females. Furthermore, male fetuses are prone to disorders like cerebral palsy. Also, boys have higher chances of being born prematurely. All this leads to boys being more vulnerable to birth trauma and unresponsive caregiving, which suggests that not showing boys the same dose of emotional affection as girls is definitely not advised.
Tips to raise boys in an emotionally-positive environment
Encourage your boy to express his emotions by building trust. Listen to his thoughts and problems carefully, and don’t rush to give him advice or a solution to his problem. Read him books that promote nurturing, empathy, and gratitude. Start talking to him about feelings and emotions from a young age. Give him unconditional love every day.
Do you agree that the age-old stereotype suggesting that boys don’t need emotional support is outdated? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
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