Most men, in my experience, would rather have a root canal than go to a therapist. The thought of sitting for an hour in a chair talking about feelings is nightmarish.
In a strange way, sometimes I’ve found the only way to get a man I’m counseling to turn on his brain is to activate his body. Some of my best counseling sessions with men have taken place far from my office. I’ve counseling men while running in the neighborhood, hiking up a mountain, biking to the beach, walking to get a coffee.
Not only do these venues allow for the male brain to do what it appears to do well — connect perception to action — but it also provides the large space males may need to express themselves physically. A man who would stay emotionally closed sitting in an office chair may release his emotional energy through waving his arms or sprinting ahead.
Intense emotional expression can be accompanied by intense physical expression. By moving into the great outdoors, space is provided for that synergistic expression (to say nothing of potentially saving my office decor).
GIVE HIM SPACE
A boy is wired for action. In the midst of intense emotions, he may react physically. He may slam a door, wave his arms, or slap a table. As long as these expressions are not personally directed, allow him some space to physically react.
GIVE HIM TIME
This concept bears repeating. When a boy is in the throes of a physical response to intense emotions, asking him to shut down that nuclear reactor so that he can sit still and talk is unrealistic. Depending upon his age (and the weather), get him outside. Play a game. Let him run the bases. Take the dog out for a walk. Go on an errand. Get him out and moving.
To learn more about raising boys, you can purchase Dr. Jantz’s new release, Five Keys to Raising Boys. In this guide, you will learn why your son is so different from your daughter. Using biblical principals, these Five Keys to Raising Boys will help you discover that boys will be boys — and what you can do about it.