Globetrotting Dad: Real Men Cry

Growing up it was always said that men are not supposed to cry:  A real man does not show his emotions.

Over the last six months my boys have cried on numerous occasions. It has frustrated me because I couldn’t understand why they were so emotional. Today is day 225 and I finally figured it out.

It’s simple: That’s what human being do to show emotions.

They laugh, smile and even cry. When my boys are smiling and laughing I have no issues but when they are angry or sad and the tears come  I begin to feel that I must take control of the situation.

Big Laugh E

Big laughs in China

That ends today. I’m making myself a promise that I will try to stop taking control of my kids’ emotions. I will stop being an emotional helicopter parent and let them sort out their emotions the best way they can because that’s what people do.

Sitting on a flight something that happens that has happened a lot on this trip. I’m watching the boys watch the movies “Puss & Boots” and “Tron”, both are laughing uncontrollably.

boys cooking laugh

This doesn't bother me. I'm vowing to not let the tears matter either.

Funny enough the moment has left me struggling to hold back tears and my eyes are filled with water. I look at my oldest and he reaches out to hold my hand because he can see the tears in my eyes.

At 9 years old he knows better than I do.

This could only happen here, on this trip where we have the time to sit and watch and learn. I will never second guess this year because this have been the best six months of my life. It has truly offered up the best life lessons that the boys (and their parents) will ever experience.

Elephant watching dad and C

The moments we are sharing together demand big emotions

I hope they will remember the 365 days that we are spending together with laughter, smiles, anger and sadness and they will realize that not only is it alright to cry, but that real men do it too.

 

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{ 9 comments… add one }

  • Jen Maier, urbanmoms February 8, 2012, 2:46 PM

    Great life lessons, mama!

    Reply
  • Maija @ Maija's Mommy Moments February 8, 2012, 8:03 PM

    How right you are friend. I have learned so much from you already and this lesson is just one more that I know will help make me a better mom. Thank you!

    Reply
  • Ivorysoap February 9, 2012, 3:04 AM

    What a great message and something that most people take years to learn. 

    Reply
  • NayChi February 9, 2012, 6:40 AM

    My DH made this realization not that long ago too. He, like you, didn’t know what to do when the boys would cry. He felt like he needed to ‘fix’ it.

    We had loads of conversations about it but it wasn’t until he realized it in his own that crying didn’t need fixing that we’ve all been at peace with all expressions of emotion.

    Great post!!

    Reply
  • Julie Cole February 9, 2012, 8:10 AM

    awesome, Ish!!

    Reply
    • Ish February 9, 2012, 9:49 AM

      Thanks Julie

      Reply
  • Sharon February 9, 2012, 9:29 AM

    It’s so important that we can show our emotions and not feel judged.  When we’re happy, we smile and laugh. When we are sad, we cry. How awesome for both you and the boys that you made this discover.

    Reply
    • Ish February 9, 2012, 9:48 AM

      Sharon I agree with your statement, I’m extremely confident that the boys will benefit from this lesson.

      Reply
  • Tara Gaston February 12, 2012, 2:13 AM

    Thank you so much for sharing this!  As a parent, I can totally appreciate what you are saying.  Specifically regarding emotions and boys in particular, I think we as a society need to do what you are doing in letting our boys thing, feel, emote — and to let them know it’s okay to do so.  I feel like too many men tell boys to “man up,” “toughen up,” “don’t cry,” and it causes boys and men to grow up bottling up their emotions. So many problems in this world would be fixed if we were all told it was okay to cry sometimes.  And then pick ourselves up and move forward.

    A wonderful read. Thanks so much for sharing from your heart. I teared up reading of you tearing up watching them laughing. I have had many of those moments watching my 20-month old daughter. They are just so precious.

    Reply

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