A mum judged for ‘babying’ her eight-year-old son after he got hit in the face playing sport has written a Facebook post about letting boys express their emotions.
In the heartfelt message, mum Jaime Sullivan explains how she was accused of ‘babying’ her son for comforting him when he got hit in the face at a school basketball game.
‘”Max got hit in the face”, I said to my husband as I instinctively jumped up from the bleachers. In that moment, I saw Max start to run around the court in my direction as the silent cry began. He couldn’t catch his breath. My feet couldn’t move fast enough. As soon as we connected, I got down on one knee.
‘”Catch your breath buddy.” He tilted his head back. “Max, breath. It’s okay.” He finally took a breath, and I wrapped my arms around him as he cried into my shoulder. A voice came from behind me – “You need to stop babying that kid.”‘ Jaime wrote in her Facebook post.
Reflecting on what had happened after, Jaime wrote about how this attitude towards boys’ feelings – teaching them that sadness is a weakness – can have a detrimental effect on their mental health in later life.
‘This notion that boys can never hurt, that they can never feel, is so damaging to them long term. The belief that any signs or gestures of affection will somehow decrease their manhood – this pressure to always “man up” follows them into adulthood where they struggle to fully experience the broad scope of love and affection.
‘The only emotion they healthily learn to express is happiness then we wonder why they are always chasing it. They don’t mourn properly. They struggle to grieve. They’re afraid to cry. It all spills into the way they husband and father and I hate it.’
Jaime and her eight-year-old son
The post struck a chord with many parents on social media, being shared over 3,000 times and receiving over 16,000 reactions.
Many parents expressed their own views on the subject, most of whom agreed with Jaime.
One mum wrote: ‘When boys are taught not to cry, they grow up to show no emotion to their wives except rage. GREAT JOB MOMMA! We have 2 grown sons now!’, while another also agreed saying ‘The stupidity of some people ! my son is 13 and still runs down to kiss me when I leave the house or before he goes somewhere ! That’s what parents are for to be there for you always.’
However, not everyone agreed with Jaime’s reaction when her son got hurt. One Facebook user wrote in the comments: ‘I get where you’re coming from but next time keep your butt off the court and let Max, his coach and team mates learn how to handle it… mama can’t be running on the court every time he gets hurt!! Lol!!’
Do you agree with this mum’s message? Let us know in the comments!