Tuesday, March 4, 2014

crying boys

I have been reading a few different things on anxiety. One thing that I saw repeated and that really spoke to me was the fact that tears of anxiety release stress hormone cortisol, as in, if you are anxious, your body is getting ready to "fight or flight", you are awash in cortisol and tears help you release it. (Don't ask me how getting teary-eyes and blurred vision help you deal with danger from an evolutionary perspective, but a good cry clearly can be therapeutic).

7 yo is very emotional and is easily moved to tears. In fact, just about on any given day, he finds something or other to cry about. Those tears just come, sometimes as a part of a fit, sometimes as a part of feeling helpless. One of the anxiety books recommended sitting down with an anxious child, especially a boy, and having a talk about the value of a good cry. It was encouraging parents to teach their child to release those tears. The premise is that it is not socially acceptable for boys to be anxious, and on top of that, it is not socially acceptable for boys to cry. So if you have an anxious boy, not only he is anxious about some original cause, but he is anxious in addition about those involuntary tears and how he will be perceived by others as being weak and emotional.

It seems to me that 7 yo is normalizing himself by openly displaying an abnormal behavior of expressing his feelings and crying easily... When he is calm, he can easily and spontaneously state how he feels and what bothers him. Maybe he is the normal one and we are all emotionally-repressed crazy people.

1 comment:

  1. i grew up with 3 brothers and 2 of them were frequent cryers well into their teens. my boys are still young but they also cry frequently. i was just wondering the other day at what age it is not "normal" for boys to cry anymore. it would seem that they would still be upset by things even at older ages.