I’m Raising a Boy in the #MeToo Era. This is What I Want Him to Know.

Oh my precious baby boy, who really isn’t so much of a baby anymore. You are only two, and your world is both exhilarating and scary. You have boundless energy and innate curiosity. You are testing who and what is safe, and learning appropriate social behaviors. To be honest, the prospect of guiding you as you grow into a child, then a teenage boy, and finally into a man, is daunting. Raising a boy in the #MeToo Era presents all kinds of unavoidable questions and concerns about masculinity, sexuality, and consent. Yes, you are only two, but I’m already picturing you at 10, 15, and 20. And as you grow and reach those ages, there are some fundamental truths about being a boy that I want you to learn :: 

You Can Cry

I'm Raising A Boy in the #MeToo Era. This is What I Want Him to Know | Houston Moms Blog

Crying is a human emotional response. When you are hurt, or sad, please don’t try to hold back your tears because you want to look tough and masculine. Anger is often accepted as an appropriate male emotion, but tears of sadness are seen as weak. This is a lie. I never want you to have to conceal your emotions because of your gender. I never want you to turn to substances or unhealthy addictions in order to bury your true feelings. And I never want you to feel like you aren’t brave or strong because you cry. Your emotions are valid; please don’t try and hide them because you are a boy. 

You Can Play with “Girly” Things

I'm Raising A Boy in the #MeToo Era. This is What I Want Him to Know | Houston Moms Blog

Listen, let’s talk about pink. Pink is simply a color. There’s really no such things as “girl colors” and “boy colors”, or even “boy toys” and “girl toys”, ok? So if you like pink, or ponies, or playing dress up in a princess gown, go for it. Painting your nails alongside your sister is fun. Playing with so-called “girl toys” is not going to change your sexuality or your masculinity. Also, pretend play with baby dolls and play kitchens is practice for real life. Real men hold and feed babies. Real men cook. And if an adult has a problem with you running around the backyard in a tutu with a baby doll, that’s on them. 

You Don’t Have to Play Sports

I'm Raising A Boy in the #MeToo Era. This is What I Want Him to Know | Houston Moms Blog

I’m going to start here by saying sports are wonderful. I grew up playing sports, and have priceless memories of my time on the softball field that I think about every single day. Your daddy is a coach, so half his life is spent on some sort of athletic field. Sports can be a wonderful avenue to develop self confidence, social skills, and discipline. But playing a sport certainly isn’t the only way to achieve these goals. As you grow, you will figure out what lights a fire inside you. Maybe it will be baseball, and maybe it will be theater. Maybe you’ll be in the band, or write for the school newspaper. For too long, our society has embraced the false narrative that being a boy always means pursuing some athletic endeavor. This could be true for you, but it doesn’t have to be. 

Boys Will Be Boys is NOT a Valid Excuse

I'm Raising A Boy in the #MeToo Era. This is What I Want Him to Know | Houston Moms Blog

There are many men who have gotten themselves in a lot of trouble recently for their behavior towards women. Being male does not give you license to treat females {or anyone for that matter} disrespectfully and like objects. This is what toxic masculinity looks like. You will never get a pass for inappropriate behavior {sexual or otherwise} just because you are a boy. I will raise you be a boy who is a good human, and who understands consent. No means No, whether you are saying it or having it said to you. 

Make Your Friendships a Priority

I'm Raising a Boy in the #MeToo Era:: This is What I Want Him to Know | Houston Moms Blog One of the saddest things about our society today is that grown men struggle so much with friendship. Non-sexual intimate  relationships are so vital to your emotional health, and I hope that throughout your life, you foster close friendships with other boys. Having and keeping close friends requires you to be vulnerable, and I hope that your dad and I can model what that looks like with our own friendships. Learn to invest in your friends:: pay attention to what they are going through, tell and show them that you love them, hug them, and don’t be afraid to reveal your emotions to them. 

It is truly my honor to be your mom, precious boy. I hope that as you grow, despite the negative messages and expectations from society, I can foster true, healthy masculinity in you. In response to #MeToo and all the toxic masculinity that has been revealed, my generation must raise a generation of men who are strong and protective, but also kind and vulnerable. You will be a part of that change. 


  1. What a great post. I’m a mother to a 6 month old son and I too worry about a lot of the points you raised, especially the first – Crying. It is true – boys should never feel like they HAVE to conceal their feelings just because they’re boys. Thanks for the post 🙂


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