Raising confident young men not as easy at it may seem
It might be a man’s world but boys sometimes need a little help in becoming strong, independent and self-confident, just as much as girls. Low self-esteem simply doesn’t discriminate based on gender. Boys are often not encouraged to discuss their feelings, as much as little girls, and may find it difficult to express how they feel about themselves or the situations affecting them.
Little boys are often praised for their physical attributes, instead of traits that really matter — intelligence, compassion and goodwill, for example. They are often not encouraged to play differently as not all little boys play with trucks, footballs or roll in the dirt. If they prefer reading a book, or playing with dolls, they often do not have the support that celebrates those differences.
Since low self-esteem is a thinking disorder where an individual views him/herself as inadequate, unlovable and/or incompetent, this negative view permeates through every aspect of their lives, through thought and behaviour. For little boys, this low self-esteem may manifest itself through violent or disruptive behaviour at school, or recoiling from all activities or conversation.
According to one article, for a growing number of boys, school is creating what some experts consider to be real psychological trauma.
“We’re seeing a massive effect not only on boys who are falling behind in school but also on those who seem to be doing fine,” said William Pollack, associate clinical professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. “They’re hiding behind a mask, feeling an angst and pain that go very deep and that lead not only to a disengagement from learning, but also from the adults who provide it and the parents who care for them. There’s a silent sense of shame that some will eventually outgrow, but that others who are not as lucky will carry with them for the rest of their lives.”
To help boys with their self-esteem and self-confidence, Empowered Me is conducting a workshop for boys ages 10-15 on November 26 (12-4pm) at McCauley School (9538 107 AVE NW) to help build their ability and confidence to better discuss their feelings and, once again, feel empowered. To sign up the young man in your life, please contact Harriet directly.