Psychologist reveals why boys and girls SHOULD be raised differently

This lady sounds a bit mixed up to me.  She is rejecting the now rather old idea that males and females should be the same.  But what she is advocating seems little different from that. She "believes both sexes must be taught to embrace masculinity and femininity"

A more traditional view is that men should be men and women will be glad of it.  When one looks at media reports of romances between public figures such as sportsmen and movie stars it is very noticeable that attractive and very feminine women regularly team up with big, well-built and fit men -- often sportsmen -- who give no signs of anything feminine.  The partners concerned could be almost a parody of traditional sex roles.  Women with choices like real men, not wimps. A big fit body attracts and all the rest is incidental.

Some years back, I actually did some survey research into the androgyny hypothesis -- that it is healthiest for people to be big on both male and female traits.  I found the opposite.  The healthiest were those who rejected both male and female traits.  They rejected stereotyped ways of behaving in favour of what they individually were

So boys should NOT be told to embrace femininity.  They should be set free to become whatever is right for them.  They should be given freedom to become themselves

A psychologist has revealed why 'boys and girls should be raised differently' in an era where calls for the two to be treated equally steadily grow louder.

Mother-of-two Megan de Beyer believes both sexes must be taught to embrace masculinity and femininity beyond the socially constructed roles they are conditioned to identify with.

The South African author, who in February published 'How to Raise a Man: The modern mother's guide to parenting her teenage son', says a healthy balance of the two traits is essential for developing independence and emotional intelligence.

Parenting should change at the age of 11, Ms de Beyer reveals, right before adolescence when the bulk of emotional maturing and the 'unfolding of masculinity' occurs.

'We need to become more conscious with our parenting and recognise the subtle but complex difference between socially constructed identities of boys and girls,' Ms de Beyer told Daily Mail Australia from her farm on the outskirts of Cape Town.

Her argument contrasts with the iconic activist slogan 'raise boys and girls the same way', widely used in the '#metoo' movement to discourage cultures of toxic masculinity and the wrongful protection of powerful perpetrators of sexual abuse.

The phrase - which has become synonymous with gender equality campaigns and is often emblazoned on T-shirts, posters and bumper stickers - calls for children of all sexes and orientations to be treated equally.

But Ms de Beyer believes instilling values typically associated with the opposite sex is the key to creating a more compassionate society that supports men and women in achieving their goals, whatever they may be.

Parents subconsciously raise boys to be strong, independent and less expressive of their emotions, Ms de Beyer says, which can leave them feeling 'disconnected and isolated' and prone to mental health issues.

In 2017 roughly 75 percent of Australians who died by suicide were men, according to figures from the Black Dog Institute.

Meanwhile Ms de Beyer said girls are instinctively brought up to be accommodating, understanding and less assertive, which can lead to insecurity and a lack of confidence in adulthood.

How to raise boys to be more in touch with their emotions 

1. Self-awareness: Mothers must be clear in their own definition of masculinity.

They must understand the complex and multi-faceted nature of being a man, which involves softness and vulnerability as well as strength and leadership, if she wants to raise an emotionally mature son.

2. Let go of personal experience: Mothers must be aware of their personal experience with men and the situations they have faced during their lifetime. 

3. Focus on humanisation, not emasculation: Mothers must strike a balance between the two to promote emotional intelligence and traditional male traits. 

Ms de Beyer said parents - mothers in particular - must be clear in their own definitions of masculinity.

She believes mums must understand the complex and multi-faceted nature of being a man, which involves softness and vulnerability as well as strength and leadership, if they want to raise a son who is empathetic and emotionally mature.

'There are many ways to be a man, and we need to welcome all of them back,' the holistic parenting expert said. 

Ms de Beyer insists mothers must be aware of their personal experience with men and the situations they have faced during their lifetime.

They should reflect on these to work through difficult emotions they may have faced in relation to domination, broken relationships and poor communication so they can teach their sons to be well-rounded individuals.

'Mums must heal their own wounds around masculinity so they don't bring that into their relationship with their sons,' Ms de Beyer added.

She said mothers with 'masculine wounds' can often overreact to displays of masculinity - such as aggression, territoriality and arrogance common in adolescence - in a bid to protect themselves from 'toxic masculinity'.

But Ms de Beyer admitted there is a 'fine balance' between emasculating boys and humanising them that is not always easy to strike.

'We need to make room for their emotional lives to let their inner voices shine through so they can reach their full potential,' she said. 

Raising girls with healthy masculinity

Ms de Beyer believes parents must be clear with language and communication in order to encourage a healthy dose of masculinity in their daughters.

She recommends using phrases like 'do things that make you feel proud of yourself' and 'I love how independent you've become' to show young girls it is good for them to be strong and stand on their own two feet - traits historically applauded in boys.

Other statements that reinforce positive masculinity for girls include 'it's brave to do that' and 'you are behaving very honourably'.

Ms de Beyer believes use of this language will encourage girls to embrace their masculine side while they develop the classic - and equally important - feminine characteristics of collaboration, kindness, care and compassion.

She said it's vital to create a 'blend of the two'. 'Don't stop either, with boys or with girls,' she added.

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