My boys love hugs. Good flippin’ job because they are my absolute favourite things.
H has loved a big bear hug since he was small and R is definitely following in big bro’s footsteps. His current favourite is actually kissing which is, frankly, adorable so I am also enjoying this very cute phase whilst it lasts. Although he has taken to kissing anyone when we say goodbye. Might have to explain boundaries at some stage. But what a cutie.
Why am I wittering on about this though?
Well. At times I become really frustrated with the version the world has created of how things should be. This tendency to conform to a weird and, in my mind, hugely farcical notion, that boys should not cry, don’t like hugs, aren’t sensitive and should just be boys. I don’t like it and I don’t want to raise my boys like that.
They are young, they are free from the constraints of society. They see the world with such generosity and innocence, and I am determined that they should be as open and honest with their feelings, and as giving of their hugs as possible.
I read a really interesting article years ago when H was small about this natural inclination, in-bred reaction I guess, that there seems to be to say “don’t cry” “you’re okay” “be a brave boy”. And, actually, how much all of these seemingly little things can really hold boys and men back from talking about their feelings. It really stayed with me (I cannot tell you what the article or website was called now, I am sorry – children and lack of sleep have occurred since then). But the point is there. I remember thinking how much I didn’t want that, I didn’t want to make my boy feel that he couldn’t feel, that is was wrong to be upset or need someone to help.
So crying is okay. Talking about being upset or angry or hurt is okay. And hugs are definitely okay. The more the better. I feel about 3 times the person after a good hug, so imagine what it does for little people, who are learning and taking on so much new stuff every single day.
I know when H has had a bit of a tough day, or something has made him feel sad, or he’s tired. He will quietly sit next to me and just lean in for a hug. No words necessary. Just closeness. He is also very good at knowing when someone else needs the same. Let’s face it we all need that emotional connection sometimes.
As we drag ourselves towards the end of term, tiredness and emotional weariness are definitely at the fore (for us all!!) so a good hug is definitely top of our list at the moment.
Boys are not just boys. They can and should be encouraged to be open and honest about their feelings. I want mine to talk to me about anything. Always. And hug. Lots.
I hope they grow in to men who always feel they can do the same.
Parenting? One mahoosive adventure x