I am going through something that I honestly don’t feel as free to discuss as I’d like to. This fact makes me very angry. The problem is, I am unfamiliar with exactly what to do with my anger, as I never felt able to express it in a productive manner.
Something happened that made me cry. My 4 year old son started to cry in anger because it was time for him to get ready for bed and he wanted to keep playing a game. Most parents (that I know), when faced with their child’s anger, seek to shut it down immediately. There is no room for a child to even learn to express their anger or process it in a productive way. Perhaps this is why there’s so much rage just beneath the surface with so many adults- they weren’t allowed to express and work through their feelings as children.
I hate how boys aren’t “supposed” to cry. What are they supposed to do with their feelings, then? I hate how anyone who cries and makes others feel uncomfortable must stop, suck it up, shake it off, or get over it. That is stupid and I am tired of it.
I don’t know how, but I believe God will help me to help my son learn to manage his feelings appropriately. I will not shut him down. I won’t make his moods or behavior about me and take it personally. I will help him as best I can and I will do my best to protect him from other adults who have faulty thinking in this area and are broken themselves. I will not allow someone else’s insecurities and inabilities to break my son. When he needs to cry like he did today, I will do my best to be available to help him through it in anyway I can. I will hold him as long as he lets me and talk things through with him as best I can. I will remember that he is, after all, a little boy (of 4) right now. He is learning and growing. I want to help him along. Lord help me to do this right. We don’t need anymore broken men.
As Frederick Douglass said, “It’s easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.” Let’s build strong children.