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National Happiness Happens Day: Helping teen boys stay happy by expressing themselves

August 7, 2017 0 Comments

Adolescence can be a turbulent time for many. There are several issues which are characteristic of this formative stage, including those related to self-identity, mood swings, relationships and adoption of unhealthy habits such as substance abuse. Boys and girls cope differently with such challenges. On top of it stereotypes forced onto them by society can complicate things such as the expectation that boys become strong and masculine. This could result in them denying their basic personality and become someone they are not. It is typical of teen boys to exhibit flashes of behavior which demonstrate aggression, violence and strength. Often when boys express emotions such as sadness, pain or suffering, they are labeled weak. This could result in them refraining from disclosing their feelings. The fact that media and popular literature supports such ideas also complicates matters.

This can also have adverse consequences. In the absence of an outlet to express their emotions freely, teen boys may experience extreme loneliness and isolation. Studies have pointed out that young males have consistently higher suicide rates than females. Further, mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety are often overlooked in teen boys.

As the United States celebrates National Happiness Happens Day on Aug. 8, youngsters should take a moment to reflect on the importance of being happy by openly expressing their feelings and giving vent to their emotions. Happiness is unlimited and contagious. Parents and educators can especially help teen boys in expressing their feelings so that they can be emotionally secure and happy.

Better emotional health during adolescence reflects in adulthood

Teen boys who can freely express a multitude of emotions in healthy ways will have better mental health not just during adolescence but also in adulthood. Past research shows that the progression from boyhood into adolescence, in some, is marked by a higher level of toughness, detachment from friends and emotional unavailability. Helping preteen and teen boys counter such internalizing behavior is important to improve their mental well-being as they transition into adulthood.

Parents and educators can use the following tips to encourage young boys to be more open about their feelings:

Road to recovery

Masculinity for boys needs to be redefined to include empathy, expression and compassion. For this to happen, social and cultural stereotypes need to be challenged. Parents also need to use the right words and convey the right nonverbal signals to their sons to reinforce the importance of healthy emotional living. The fact that fathers are increasingly playing an equal role in parenting can help to expand adolescent boys’ notions of masculinity.

White River Academy is among the leading therapeutic boarding schools which help vulnerable teens cope with the stresses of adolescence. Equipped with state-of-the-art facilities, the school’s experts follow a holistic approach in helping teenage boys achieve optimum emotional well-being. If you are looking for therapeutic residential schools for your teen son, call our 24/7 helpline number or chat online with our experts to know more.

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We would like to thank all the wonderful staff at WRA for the great parent weekend. We enjoyed it and felt that we learned valuable insights on Positive Peer Culture and the values we must have and the importance of family commitment to each other...