I've been reading a book called Raising Cain: protecting the emotional life of boys by Dan Kindlon and Michael Thompson. It dawned on me after we were told that we'd be having another boy that I knew nothing about boys despite the fact that I grew up surrounded by four brothers, always had a father around and have been dating men since I was 15 - I've stopped dating them and settled on one in particular but you know all about that.
And as with anything worth knowing in life, I realize that nothing will beat my experiential knowledge still to come in the years ahead but I wanted to be prepared with some rudimentary insights into the psychology of boys.
I've begun to realize that there are a lot of myths when it comes to how we all so easily dismiss certain traits as "Aww it's just men - that's how they are". Most interestingly to me is the theory that men are not unemotional by nature but more likely due to nurture. The authors - both experienced and well established psychologists give tons of evidence that supports the theory that what's missing in a lot of boys' upbringings is the tools to express themselves emotionally. I won't bore you with a book report but I've found this a valuable read.
Coincidentally, in the last few weeks on our drive home from work and daycare, I've noticed that when asked about his day at school, Deaglan often mentions one of his friends and their emotional being that day. Last week he said Emma cryin. I asked him why Emma was crying and he said Emma tired. Today on our drive he told me about Jeremy just out of the blue Jeremy sad When I asked why, he said Jeremy hungry.
I tried to get him to expand each time but really how much can a two year old elaborate? I realized though that it's important during these conversations to let him know that these states his friends have been in are okay and good and normal. I tell him that when someone is sad, it's nice to give them a hug. Usually after these touchy feely talks we go back to looking for garbage trucks or the signs of a train coming. It's about balance right?