If You Love My Son, Please Let Him Be Exactly Who He Is

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“If you love my son…

I know you want the best for him.⁣

And I know he thinks the world of you.⁣

Your voice has weight.

Your words hold power.

So I hope you’ll understand why I’m asking this of you: please, don’t perpetuate these harmful social narratives.

Let him write his own.

Please don’t tell my son he needs to ‘man up’ when he’s afraid.

And don’t dismiss his fears, because they’re always real to him.⁣

Please, don’t tell him not to cry.

Crying is allowed.

Crying is healthy.

Crying is strength.⁣

Please remember that my son is not too sensitive. (And while we’re on the subject, neither is my daughter.)

His sensitivity is beautiful.

And I’m raising him to understand that feelings always matter.⁣

Please don’t suggest that certain toys are ‘not for boys.’

⁣Same with colors and movies and clothes.⁣

Don’t tell him he can’t rock a princess tiara.

Don’t tell him he can’t paint his nails. ⁣

Please, don’t assume my little boy has a ‘girlfriend‘ at this age.

If and when he likes someone, and it’s a reciprocated thing, the only thing required is a good and gentle heart.

And please don’t make him think that all his friends should just be boys.⁣

Please, don’t imply that who he is as a person is too much.

Because he’s not too weak or too quiet.

He’s not too shy, too gentle, too nurturing.

He’s neither too masculine nor too feminine.

He’s not too wild or too silly.

He is just the right amount.⁣

Don’t support any toxic behaviors with a ‘boys will be boys’ dismissal.

His behavior is sometimes too loud or too rough or too careless… and I won’t let him think that’s allowed.

We’re setting higher standards.

I’m so thankful to you, the ones who love my son.

But I just need you to know…⁣

He will always be free to feel what he feels⁣,

and to like what he likes⁣,

and who he likes, too.⁣

I want him to be exactly who he is.⁣

As long as he respects his own and others’ boundaries, and stays compassionate and kind.”

little boy playing with his toys on a rock
Courtesy of Cassie Gottula Shaw

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Cassie Gottula Shaw. You can follow her journey on Facebook. Submit your own story here and be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories.

Read more from Cassie here:

‘Right now, while my kids are young, I have the chance to instill an awe for the beauty of every skin color, every language, every culture.’: Mom stresses importance of teaching inclusion early

‘I’m beautiful, Mama!,’ she whispered, beaming. I found myself in tears as I watched my baby girl twirl.’: Mom learns lesson from her little girl’s winter coat, ‘She didn’t need affirmation’

‘We’re going to forget much about these days. This life is beautiful, indeed. Even in the hardest of times.’: Mom says ‘we do not remember days, we remember moments’

‘Look at you, puttin’ on lipstick to go to the cemetery,’ my husband teased, whistling at me. I didn’t plan to see a living soul there.’: Woman realizes during quarantine, ‘Fear is no match for God’s love’

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