I am a grandmother to seven grandsons and two grand daughters
It hurts my heart to know how many boys suffer from depression during there teenage years. Sadly, many of them go on to commit suicide.
Some use drinking and driving as a means of shortening their lives. Others use drugs or huffing. Some find the pain of being alive so unbearable that they take extreme measures to end their lives.
One of the greatest gifts we can give our sons is our time.
One of my sons suffered through a bout of depression and I would often just go and sit in his room, not talking, not trying to get him to talk. Just allowing the space for him to talk if he chose too but content either way to just be with him and for him to be with me.
I have always made it a practise to hug my sons and tell them how much I love them, regardless of their age, or how uncool it was and,bless them they always hugged me back and said "I love you too Mum." even when it was not cool.
Sadly, some parents stop hugging their kids when they reach a certain age.
I remember clearly when my father stopped hugging me. Every night I went and sat on my Dads lap and gave him a hug and a kiss good night. When I was around 11 he picked me up off his lap and told me I was too big for that now. I was devastated and refused to even kiss him goodnight for days.
I realise now that I was probably starting to develop breasts and he felt it inappropriate to have me on his lap. How sad. I was his daughter and he was the only means of male affection in my life. It is never inappropriate to hug your kids or show them affection.
Yes, some people are sick and twisted and inappropriate with their kids. Most are not. Don't refrain from hugging or being affectionate with your children in fear that "someone" will misconstrue it. that is political correctness gone mad and has no place in your home.
Our kids look to us to learn how to be in a relationship. They look to us to learn how to express emotions. They look to us for support and nurturing throughout their lives and our job is to let them know that they are loved, unconditionally regardless of the choices they make or the lifestyles they pursue. They need to know that we are proud of them, of who they have become.
We say that we want our men to be different in this world. That we want them to be more in touch with their softer side, more open and vulnerable with us. We say we want them to be strong and virile and yet soft and gentle.
It starts by raising gorgeous boys, by allowing them to cry, by teaching them the names for their emotions and allowing them to express them all. It starts by hugging our children all the way through their lives and telling them repeatedly how much we love them.
My son came out of his depression and is living a great life and I still tell him how much he means to me when he rings home or when I see him. I do this with all of my sons and daughters. I am so proud of them all and the lives that they are leading and yes, I tell them that too.
Who do you need to reach out to and hug? Who would love to hear you say "I love you" ?
For the world to be the delicious, loving place that we dream of we need to start reaching out and saying those magic words and hugging each other. So get to it! Go hug someone now!!