Monday, July 11, 2011

About Boys

Many men work around their childhood shame and trauma, or take years untangling and overcoming it. Some men live with it every day, thinking it's just a natural part of everyone's life. Some are timid; some are bullies If their parents could have planned ahead to avoid shame and trauma, how much calmer and creative and courageous might their sons have been? There are inevitable sorrows enough without parents creating them. There are obstacles enough in life without parents setting them purposely or carelessly.

Young men who will thank their mothers and hug their dads and who want to come home when they have the option do not come from harsh, traditional, punitive parenting. If their mothers have been their allies and supporters rather than their owners and bosses, life is different. If their fathers have been their counsellors and partners rather than their trainers and overseers, those boys can grow up whole, in peace and confidence. about boys
photo by Sandra Dodd


  1. How lovely to see a picture of my boys on your blog Sandra. I am not sure if it because I had a girl first or because I am a girl but a boy has been a real challenge to me. Every day I try to make it better than the one before.
    I have been dropping the pleases by the way.

  2. Absolutely beautiful, Sandra. Your second paragraph says it all - thank you!

  3. Don't you think it is the same for girls? I recognize that this is kind of more "difficult" for boys and men to express their emotions and to be what they are for real in the kind of society that is ours, but I am a girl and yet I recognize exactly what I lived with my parents in what you write. Trauma and repression, even though my mother was present as much as she could, the fact remains that I was repressed and that I'm still suffering today and it make it difficult for me, especially in the past years, to achieve a way of mothering my children and leave them free to be who they are.

  4. Edith, the quote is from an interview on a site about homeschooled boys, so I wasn't writing about girls.

  5. It seems that in many families there is a mix of an ally/supporter with an owner/boss mom and a counsellor/partner with a trainer/overseer dad. Many a man I know keep going back, too ready to dismiss the harsh part and its impact for the gentle. Never facing the harshness as it could mean loosing the gentle, too.

  6. It's nice to finally see someone other than me champion boys and speak out for boys. Our culture is saturated with empowering, positive messages for and about girls, while boys get shamed, pathologized and treated like they are problems. So many boys of all ages are suffering trauma- in my work with children I get to know the deep shame that boys feel about being male- shame this culture put into them. How refreshing to read something positive for once about boys.


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