We have been conditioned to see crying as something painful, torturous, and weak. We fight crying with all of our might until we learn to embrace crying as a natural part of the human response system. Ironically, we learn that crying makes us feel much better. Partially, this is due to the fact that crying releases stress hormones and stimulates the production of a natural painkilling brain chemical called leucine enkephalin. Through his treatment and recovery, your son is learning how to make peace with crying again. Here is what he needs to know.
He needs to know that crying is good for their health, all-around
The idea that boys aren’t supposed to cry is one of the most damaging myths our sons adopt as fact. Crying is a natural, human, emotional response which serves many purposes in our lives. For boys, crying is a healthy release, a way to process their feelings, and a way to surrender the pervasive pressure that they need to be strong all the time. Though crying is not a weakness, many boys see it as a weakness, not realizing that there is far more strength in crying than holding back their tears. Crying relieves stress, making crying an important tool for stress management- an important part of your son’s recovery.
He needs to know that you cry, too
Parents feel the same pressure that boys feel when it comes to being strong. Mistakenly, parents believe that letting their children see them cry would be letting their children witness a moment of parental failure. Parents have feelings too, many of them. If your son has struggled with his mental health by way of addiction or alcoholism, your feelings are overwhelming. Crying isn’t a sign of weakness and there is no need to tell your son “I’m okay” when he asks you what’s wrong. Boys in recovery need to learn that it’s okay to not be okay. During not okay times, crying is okay too.
He needs to know that he can self-soothe, but that he has support as well
To let the baby cry it out and learn to self-soothe or rush to his emotional rescue? This is one of the first debates a parent endures with a tortured heart about parenting their son. Growing up, your son needs to learn how to self-soothe and regulate his emotions. If he has experienced addiction personally, emotional regulation is not one of his strengths, until he goes to treatment. In treatment he will gain many tools for self-soothing. He will also gain the communication skills he needs to ask for support. Addiction at a young age is tough. Recovering from addiction at a young age is even more tough. Your son will need to be reminded he can self-soothe and work through his emotions on his own. He also needs to know that he has support, a safe place to experience his emotions, and a safe person to confide in who can hold that space for him.
Stonewater Adolescent Recovery Center offers adolescent and teenage boys long term residential programming and academic support for recovery from addiction. Located in the rolling countryside of Mississippi, our green environment and disconnect from busy living offer the perfect conditions for healing. Call us today for information: 1-662-598-4214