father kissing daughter

What sons need to grow into real men

I had a man commenting on this article I wrote a year ago. According to him, boys need real men that show their masculinity in order for the boys to grow into “real men” while girls grow to be women naturally.

I was stunned. First of all, what is a “real” man or woman? What is the definition and who decides that?

According to a dating and relationship expert what makes a “real man” is the male possessing “genuine self-confidence” and “true masculinity”. This blog suggested that “true masculinity” was achieved through the man knowing his own mind and remaining true to himself.

What caught my eye was this section however: A man who is a “real man” focuses on being the best possible version of himself by developing characteristics that make him able to go on improving and becoming a better person at each stage throughout his life.

When I think back to the practices of my parenting philosophies, I think… Isn’t that what all the guiding principles teach us to do? Isn’t that what we should all be doing in our day to day lives? 

We should not be aiming to conform to fitting criteria of a “real” anything, we should just be growing and learning so that all of us can continue to evolve into truer, better versions of ourselves with each phase of our lives that we encounter.

So whilst I thought that this criteria led mindset was long gone, obviously, I was wrong. So for all of you who want to know what psychological science has concluded for all of you that aren’t the “real”, “typical” parents; single mamas, single dads, homosexual couples and everyone else that doesn’t fit into the description of a “normal family”.

Here is a summary of what I learned from psychological research:

The parent’s gender, sexual preference, amount of parents DOES NOT MATTER FOR YOUR CHILD’S UPBRINGING AND WELLBEING.

Did I make myself clear enough?

Do you want to know what does matter?

How we behave. That’s it.

How we talk to our children, how we teach our children, and what values we bestow on our children through our words, actions, thoughts and reactions. 

What matters above all else for us as parents is the way that we nurture and encourage our children through being attentive, compassionate and respectful to their needs, wants, fears, talents and individualities. 

Isn’t it fantastic that we need science to tell us this?

If you are ever confronted with that closed mindset, try to broaden and open their horizons. Remember to remind that person that what truly makes us “real” is being true to who we are as people. What makes us “real” is being mindful, self-aware, listened to and respected, for all of our quirks and abilities, and what makes us “real” most of all is what keeps us trying every single day to strive to improve ourselves and our families.

Now all of you out there not being “real parents and families” go on and rock it, you’re doing a great job!