Real boys

Many boys today hide behind the mask of masculinity.They feel it is necessary to cut themselves off from any feeling that society teaches them is wrong for men and boys-fear, uncertainty, feelings of loneliness and need.Boys are not expected to reach out to anyone for help and therefore they try to handle problems alone. It is hard for boys to express themselves to the people that love them and want to give them the affection that everyone needs. A boy that's having problems may seem cheerful on the outside while keeping inside the feelings of being troubled, lonely, afraid, and desperate.If you are a parent, doing something the boy likes to do will enable him to open up.Then telling him experiences of your past challenges and difficulties shows him that others have been scared, embarrassed, or disappointed, the boy will feel less ashamed.
The myth that "boys should be boys," feeling that they must fulfill the stereotype of the dominant and macho male gets boys into trouble where they can't live the way that comes most naturally to them.The Boy Code says that boys should be tough, should demand respect from others, and should never act like a girl.If the boy acts and behaves in a way that is not considered manly, he is likely to meet resistance from society.He may be stared at or whispered about, he may be humiliated, he may get a punch or fought, or he may just feel terribly ashamed.Without safe places where they feel they can voice their pain and humiliation, boys begin to toughen themselves into men.They become cut off from their own feelings, and can't express feelings any more.
Pollack, William S."Real Boys."Random House Inc., New York, 1998

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