A Message For Our Highly Sensitive Boys

Highly sensitive boys don’t match up to male stereotypes. Society’s expectations are causing our boys serious mental health problems. And it needs to stop.

What if we teach our sons instead that there is no right way to be a man? Start early. Let boys be individuals that grow into unique men, loved for who they are and not what society thinks they should be.

A Message for our highly sensitive boys: There is no right way to be a man

There are stereotypes and expectations about how men should behave and be. Google “How to be a Man” and the world and his dog has advice on the topic. What if we teach our sons instead that there is no right way to be a man?

We’re all unique, regardless of gender. We all experience the world differently. We process stimuli around us in different ways. We think diversely.

We all out our emotions in a unique way. Some people hide emotions, bottle them up and let them ferment. Some cry. Some cry silent tears. Some cry hidden tears. Others cry with raw primal emotion for loved ones to see. Some out emotions with rage; after all society accepts that readily from a male.

Our childhoods are diverse and we are all moulded by our childhood, by the events that make up our lives. How we cope with what life throws at us cannot be determined by a stereotype or an expectation of peers.

Some men are breadwinners. Some men are stay-at-home dads.

There are boys who love team sports. There are those who prefer individual sports.

When we tell our sons that ‘this is how to be a man’, that there are traits that are male, and others that are not, we cause irreparable damage to that young boy.

A teenage boy that feels different, who doesn’t match the stereotypes thrust upon him, will feel he is lacking.

A man who feels he doesn’t live up to the expectations of how a male should be will hide his true self.

And nobody wins.

Wouldn’t it be something if we stopped saying ‘be a man’ and replaced it simply with ‘be yourself’.


The fact is that There is No Right Way to Be a Man. And that’s the message I am raising my sons with. This post first appeared 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.
This entry was posted in My Articles, The How and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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