Some boys are not tough. Some boys do cry. – The words of a six-year old boy in my living room today. I was amazed by this first-grader’s honesty and his grasp that gender stereotypes are wrong.
His dad was one of the contractors I hired to work on my house. I brought the boy inside for a few minutes while his dad checked on things. Right away the kid started crying and telling me he missed his mom. He admitted he gets to see his mom tomorrow. He sees both his mom and dad everyday, even though they are not married. The child tried to stop crying a few times while he explained that his dad gets mad at him and tells him to be tough. Boys are tough, dad says (with an angry voice).
Boys are tough? Is that the kind of encouragement a six-year-old needs while he is crying? I am not a parent, so I don’t know. But it seems like those words were spoken from a position of embarrassment or frustration.
This kid is clearly more sensitive than many of his peers. But with first grade just starting this week, and two parents who work a lot and live in different houses, I want to give him a break. I’m not sure what I would do for him if I was his mom. What I do know is that I love his truth-telling. That’s right. And some girls are not sensitive. Stereotypes are wrong.