Dealing with emotions
One of the biggest challenges in raising boys is balancing out the social expectations and stereotypes. Dr Bronwyn Harman, psychology lecturer and families expert at Edith Cowan University, acknowledges that there is still a belief that boys will behave in one way and girls in another. “This is socially and culturally reinforced, so it is really difficult to break the cycle that we have been brought up with ourselves,” she says.
Dr Harman also notes that while we may no longer hear the phrase “big boys don’t cry” in public anymore, it’s possible that it has just been rephrased to “don’t cry, you’re okay”. Girls are usually encouraged to express their emotions, however boys can often be told to “toughen up”.