Round Hole, Square Peg: The impact of society’s expectations on highly sensitive boys

Sensitive boys that grow into sensitive men who live their lives based on their unique strengths. Sensitive boys who become men who are proud of who they are, led by authenticity. Without masks. Without walls. Unafraid to be themselves.

That’s surely what parents of boys everywhere strive for. That’s our goal.

Round Hole, Square Peg: The impact of society’s expectations on highly sensitive boys

However, most highly sensitive boys find themselves feeling like a square peg in a round hole at some point in their lives. In school. At soccer, football or baseball training. Hanging with friends.

It’s impossible to feel comfortable as a square peg in a round hole.

Highly sensitives are often not enthusiastic about team sports.

They don’t like performing in front of others.

Highly sensitives are more interested in the issues of the wider world than they are in popularity contests in school.

Sensitive boys can’t easily hide their emotions and put on a brave face. School life is tough for a boy who wears his heart on his sleeve.

Highly sensitive children are conscientious. This trait too puts them in the firing line with their peers.

As a result, sensitive boys start feeling that there is something fundamentally wrong with them.

So, we need to change the shape of that hole. We need to adapt that hole to our boys, and not mold our boys to fit into that hole.

We need to change society’s gender characterizations. We need to change behavior expectations in our schools. In our sports clubs. With our peers. Society needs to accept both boys and girls for who they are. Individuals. With individual traits. All different shapes trying desperately to conform so they fit in a hole they should never have to squeeze into.

And it starts at home.

It starts by raising children who are sure of who they are. More importantly, it means raising children who are comfortable about who they are. Accepting of themselves.

One child at a time.

One step at a time.

Day by day.

Hole by hole.


This post was first published on The Good Men Project


About Amanda van Mulligen

Mother, writer, author, blogger. Born British, Living Dutch. I have three Dutch sons and a Dutch husband and I blog about Turning Dutch and raising highly sensitive children.
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3 Responses to Round Hole, Square Peg: The impact of society’s expectations on highly sensitive boys

  1. Pingback: How it Feels When an Orchid Child Starts to Flourish | Happy Sensitive Kids

  2. Pingback: Highly Sensitive Children Don’t Fit the Mould – And They Shouldn’t Have To | Happy Sensitive Kids

  3. Pingback: A Message For Our Highly Sensitive Boys | Happy Sensitive Kids

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