By Tracey Lipsig Kite, LCSW, Educator and Trainer, Jewish Child & Family Services
“Do girls abandon our bodies because that’s where we’re shamed and boys abandon their emotions because that’s where they’re shamed? Little boys: Don’t feel. Little girls: Don’t hunger.” Glennon Doyle Melton in Love Warrior
Our culture today (often unconsciously) pushes girls and boys into separate boxes, and handicaps them emotionally. Despite our efforts to the contrary, we continue to tell girls, in subtle and not-so-subtle ways, that being nice, beautiful, smart and successful are expected; expressing anger is not OK. We tell boys that being tough, strong and a leader are important, and the only emotion that is OK for them to express is anger. To further complicate things, most people aren’t aware of having taken in those messages, so we may be passing them on to our kids without meaning to. Two JCFS parenting sessions of particular interest over the past two years are: Girl Drama and Raising Emotionally Healthy Boys.