Being sensitive oftentimes starts as a struggle in our not-so sensitive world. It may be doubly so if you’re a boy and you feel things more deeply. Of course, there are certain families and cultures where being a boy is still equated with being tough (not highly feeling). Today’s highly sensitive boy can only truly thrive if he learns how to embrace his gentle nature (emotions) and also develop his strength (physical, mental, spiritual) so he can be fully himself.
One of the things I’ve recognized is that sensitive boys who’re mentored (formal or informally) are better equipped to handle challenges, develop self-confidence and share their unique gifts than their counterparts who only learn by trial and error. Specifically, I believe sensitive boys need a mentor because many times:
- Men in their lives may not be highly sensitive. They love little Larry or Luke but they may not instantly “get him” so helping him manage his emotions may not be their forte yet they want him to be strong and soft — something they might not have learned fully themselves.
- Emotions aren’t necessarily discussed among men. Helping a boy learn how to skillfully handle their emotions and discuss them sets him up for more life success. Just today, I was on Skype with Noah who said, “thanks for helping me” after we role-played how to handle a particular situation.
- They are different. Imagine being a zebra in a herd of horses. Now that’s how a sensitive boy feels in his classroom unless he’s in art, acting or some sort of specialized school for “zebra’s” where most kids are sensitive. Helping a sensitive boy embrace his sensitivity as a good thing helps him in every area of his life.
Over and over again I see how mentoring can be a life-changer for many boys, especially if they are struggling with outbursts, making friends, being teased, feeling confident and handling their intense emotions. Once you find someone that can genuinely help your child manage their intensity and turn their struggles into strengths keep that person on speed dial. They may not have all the answers but the support and guidance can be invaluable!