I’m fearful that we forget about our boys.
That may be a damning statement to lead with, but it’s something that concerns me, and I bet it might worry you too.
I scroll through my Facebook newsfeed and scour the Internet for too many hours a day including the very hours I am expected to and should be present.
Article after article is about our daughters and how critical it is for us to raise them to be strong, self-sufficient, and capable. We tell them how crucial it is that they use their voice, own and tell their story, and never cower in the face of a man — one or many.
As a mother of two gorgeous — inside and out — daughters, I read all the articles.
I read them, and then I reread them, and I try my darnedest to use the suggestions, heed the advice, and pull out every ounce of wisdom and instruction with the hopes that it may guide me to motherhood success in the raising girls department.
But, please hear this.
I have a boy, too, and he is my world.
He is funny, clever, super-intelligent, curious, excitable, and emotional.
He has the awe-inspiring ability — with hardly trying — to bring a smile to your face with one word or facial expression.
He is as authentic as they come and he wears his (and probably mine, as well) emotions on his sleeve, and they drive most of his actions throughout the day.
He is loving and giving and open-minded, and he already embodies so many of the traits I seek to manifest in myself.
Yet, almost every article I read is about raising daughters, not sons. And, when I do come across an essay on raising sons, it’s about how and why we need to raise our boys with particular values for the sake of the females and daughters of the world.
This is something I’m not entirely on board with.
Yes, I’m happily on board with the notion of raising “good” human beings, but I don’t agree that we should be raising our boys (because in a collective sense, children of the world belong to all of us) a certain way for the benefit of the females of the world. Raising “good people” applies equally to all genders.
Our boys get to be their own benefit.
Our boys simply get to “be” just like our girls.
There may be a plethora of men with unimpressive character roaming around these days, but not by a long shot, are all men or boys morally deficient. This is not obvious to most because of the grand-scale of derogatory, unspecific, or general comments made about “boys these days.”
Listen, if I were to inform you about today’s boys based on my main man and letting him just be, here’s what I would tell you.
Boys are the best.
Boys are strong.
Boys are protective.
Boys are kind.
Boys are silly.
Boys are hardworking.
Boys are inquisitive.
Boys are giving.
Boys are fun.
Boys are intelligent.
Boys are forgiving.
Boys are complicated (in a good way).
And boys are important.
Boys are just as important as girls.
That bears repeating: Boys are just as important as girls.
BUT, boys will only be these things, if we, as their parents and a society, avow that they are.
I can only hope that most of the gents in our homes have an innate exceptional sense of self-worth that will persist despite an unfortunate lack of backing from the general public.
More articles need to assert the importance of raising both our girls and our boys to be strong, self-sufficient and capable adults.
It is imperative that our sons are also encouraged to use their voice, own and tell their story, and never cower in the face of other men (or women); one or many.
To raise a good human being — female, male, or nonconforming — we must perpetuate the belief that no gender is more worthy or in need of more attention, support, and love than another.
Our sons are just as important as their sisters and we need to tell them that.
Nicole Merritt is a mother of three and the Owner and Founder of jthreeNMe, an imperfectly authentic peek at real-life marriage, parenting, and self-improvement. jthreeNMe is raw, honest, empowering, inspiring, and entertaining; it’s like chicken soup for those that are exhausted, over-stressed and under-inebriated, yet still utterly happy. Nicole’s work has been featured by Scary Mommy, The Good Men Project, BLUNTmoms, Thought Catalog, Everyday Family, Motherly & many others. You can follow Nicole at jthreeNMe and on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.