Boys are confused and uncertain about becoming men. They are told they have to caring, sensitive, and believe in female equality … yet they are taught to be tough and macho. Most boys are taught not to cry …to stand tall and be a man.
Boys’ self-esteem can decrease when dealing with girls. A ‘nice’ boy tries to be sensitive and caring to a girl and he is ignored. Girls want to date jocks. The ‘nice’ boy will try to play the role of the more popular aggressive guy, and girls complain. What can boys do?
As boys grow older, their inner conflict grows. They feel more pressure to be a "regular guy" and not be seen as a sissy or wimp. And, as boys get older, they express false self-esteem to mask their feelings of weakness and vulnerability …often exaggerating conquests and their lack of emotions and tender feelings.
It's common for boys today to have girls as friends, rather than girlfriends. It gives them a comfort level and helps with their self-esteem.
Such friendships and role models help boys deal with the confusion, sadness, and anxiety of growing up. Yet, it is crucial for parents to create "shame-free zones at home where their sons can express their emotional sides so that they don’t fear being made fun of.
Schools have learned to listen to girls' problems and to take steps to help them, yet not much has been done to help boys. Parent’s must help their sons understand that they are admired, loved, nurtured and respected for who they are.
Self-esteem is built by realistic praise. Helping your sons grow up with strong self-esteem is one of the most important things you can do as a parent. You’re the primary influence on how your sons feel about themselves and their self-esteem. Who they are is a mirror of you!
It's imperative that your sons feel valuable and have strong self-esteem. Boys with high self-esteem have an easier time throughout life.
Behaviors That Build Self-Esteem: