A mom who was attacked for “babying” her son after he was hit in the face at a basketball game has written an open letter offering an important reminder to parents about boys’ mental health.
Jaime Primak Sullivan took to Facebook to share how her eight-year-old son, Max, was on the verge of tears after a ball hit him during a basketball game.
Jaime told how she instantly ran to her son to calm him down, explaining: “He finally took a breath, and I wrapped my arms around him as he cried into my shoulder.”
“A voice came from behind me: ‘You need to stop babying that kid’. My mind registered the sentiment, but I kept focus on Max.”
Jaime wiped away her son’s tears and sent him back to join his team, but she couldn’t shake her anger at the woman’s words, and the suggestion that she was “decreasing” her son’s masculinity.
“This notion that boys can never hurt, that they can never feel, is so damaging to them long-term,” Jaime wrote, “This pressure to always ‘man up’ follows them into adulthood, where they struggle to fully experience the broad scope of love and affection.”
“The only emotion they healthy learn to express is happiness, then we wonder why they are always chasing it.”
Jaime continued to say boys are wrongly taught that sadness is “weakness”, and talking about their fears or short-comings makes them “less of a man”, leaving boys unable to mourn, struggling to grieve, and afraid to cry.
“Love is a verb,” she added, “It is something you do. It is not the same as babying, coddling, or spoiling. It is something my son deserves.”
“I will always love him when he is hurting and my prayer for him is that he is always open to receiving love so he can love in return and keep that cycle going.”
Jaime’s post clearly struck a chord with many parents — it was liked and shared thousands of times and many parents agreed that boys needed just as much love and tenderness as girls.
“I would have been right in the muddle of the court straight away if that happened to my boy,” wrote one mother, while another added, “He is still a child. That crap hurts.”
What do you think?