Rev Njue: Why we should teach boys to cry 

Father and son

The portrayal of today’s man not only demeans and redefines men in a harmful and unhealthy way.

Photo credit: Pool

What you need to know:

  • The father is a boy’s first role model when it comes to masculinity.
  • It takes a concerted communal effort to instil values in young men, which begins at home and extends to schools, churches, athletics, and other social situations.
  • It entails placing influential persons in our young men’s lives to teach, model, mentor, and coach them on living by healthy values.

We urge boys not to be afraid, vulnerable, cry, or be weak; instead, they should act powerful, even if they are worried or nervous on the inside. Even in the most heart-breaking situations that men face, society expects them to act like superheroes.

The purpose of this article is not to oppose the elevation of the girl child in society. It is necessary to address the marginalisation of the boy child. When you consider how young men are portrayed and what is expected of them, we have a long way to go. The portrayal of today’s man not only demeans and redefines men in a harmful and unhealthy way. I it also reduces our expectations of men in general. 

Automatic mode

Men are trailing behind when it comes to preparing the boy child for the future. Women take the lead in organising baby showers and bridal showers for girls, while men are expected to know how to parent and run a marriage automatically. Society has worked hard to protect the girls while neglecting the fact that boys also have insecurities.

Many parents will always want to know where their daughters are; however, the boy child will be assumed to be safe wherever he goes. Even though men are supposed to lead in many ways, this phenomenon has resulted in failed marriages, dysfunctional families, depression, suicide, and increased crime. Recent studies indicate that women provide for 60 per cent of homes. This rising trend has resulted in men who have no idea who they are and measure their success by what they own, who they know, and what they do.

Many households lack a positive male role model or an environment conducive to healthy relationships; schools are more concerned with motivating the intellect, while certain educational institutions are slaves to decaying societal moral structures. Many churches fail to keep in touch with young men regularly, athletics places a premium on winning, and social settings and social media are unrealistic, value-free, popularity-based, and elitist. 


A communal effort

It takes a concerted communal effort to instil values in young men, which begins at home and extends to schools, churches, athletics, and other social situations. It entails placing influential persons in our young men’s lives to teach, model, mentor, and coach them on living by healthy values.

Long-term programs that frankly address the need for positive masculinity, as well as the ability to handle men’s day-to-day issues, are required. The program must include critical components that enhance leadership, spiritual formation, entrepreneurship, marriage, family, and employable skills. Traditional traditions can teach us a valuable lesson. Following circumcision, the boys would be sent to a camp for at least two weeks to be educated about manhood and mentored.

They would be instilled with good concepts and values, preparing them to become responsible people.  

Further to reviving the lost culture of manhood, dads must take responsibility for their sons’ emotional well-being. Fathers are prone to being workaholics till they fail to present a positive image of manhood. As trustworthy mentors and seasoned advisors, boys will naturally look up to their fathers. The father is a boy’s first role model when it comes to masculinity. When a father is missing from his son’s life, he may have difficulty growing up emotionally stable. This isn’t to say that boys raised by single parents can’t grow up to be responsible citizens. However, such boys from single parents should be exposed to self-awareness programs and introduced to trusted male figures.



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