During the critical development of young minds, when children can begin talking and expressing themselves, many take on gender-specific roles. Gender roles are society’s unwritten rules of how a boy or a girl is supposed to behave. For example, according to society’s gender role expectations, boys are supposed to be masculine or the “tough guy,” while girls are considered to be feminine and emotional. Boys who do not conform to these stereotypical, heterosexual gender rules are seen as weak or feminine if they cry too much or express their emotions. Due to this social expectation, many boys learn from an early age to “toughen up,” keeping their emotions bottled up inside. These bottled-up emotions can lead to a variety of mental and physical health complications, including an increased risk of death.
At Kaizen Academy, we are dedicated to helping adolescent boys struggling with sexual addiction. Our boy’s residential treatment center in Utah combines research-supported methods with an individualized approach to help change unhealthy neuropathways that have formed from trauma or inappropriate sexual interactions. Our innovative therapies get to the root of the problem, providing boys with a safe place to explore and express their emotions to gain healing so they may return home with a healthier mindset. Keep reading to learn more about the important role emotions play in our teen boys or if your teen is struggling with behavioral issues like sexual addiction our experts can help. Reach out today!
The Importance of Expressing Emotions
Emotions play a big role in our overall physical and mental health. Emotions are what allow us to express ourselves and form connections with others, like our friends, family, and even school teachers. Being able to identify your emotions and healthily express them, helps us to cope with the challenges that life may throw. One of the best ways to express your emotions is to rely on and talk to others. Other people can help provide insight, advice, or even comfort allowing you to work through the big emotions and have that emotional support. Learning how to express your emotions has a lot of health benefits, including:
- Stronger connections with yourself and others
- Improved relationships
- Enhanced decision making and problem-solving skills
- Reduced stress and anxiety
- Increased confidence
- Reduced depressive symptoms
- And more!
Healthy Vs. Unhealthy Emotional Expression
Teaching teen boys the importance of expressing their emotions healthily can have great benefits as shown above. Unfortunately, due to society’s expectations young boys are not always provided with healthy coping methods and tend to express their emotions in unhealthy ways. At Kaizen Academy, we see many unhealthy coping mechanisms come through our boys’ residential treatment center. Some of these unhealthy coping mechanisms include:
- Denial: Many young teens deal with their emotions by not dealing with them, creating difficult situations where they may “explode” and act out behaviorally including risky sexual behaviors.
- Bullying: When emotions are suppressed, aggressive behavior may be chosen as a masking mechanism and a bully may emerge.
- Self-harm: Self-harm includes dangerous behaviors towards oneself like cutting, burning, and participating in dangerous activities. Self-harm leads to more emotional pain in the long run as it only provides the individual with temporary relief.
By providing our teens with a safe, home-like environment we can foster healing through healthy emotional outlets including:
- Therapy Sessions
- Healthy Hobbies & Relaxation Techniques
- Volunteer Opportunities
- Proper Ways to Ask for Help
- And more!
Encouraging Teen Boys to Express Their Emotions
Teens who are beginning to take on more of the stereotypical gender roles are often harder to educate about the importance of expressing their emotions. Emotional intelligence is a deep understanding of your emotions and how to properly express them healthily. Expressing a diverse range of emotions, including both positive and negative, will help your adolescent navigate more successfully as an adult with lower rates of depression. Unfortunately for men, many have lower emotional intelligence and are unable to express a diverse range of emotions due to society’s negative impact. Fortunately, Kaizen Academy has some helpful resources and tips for parents who are struggling to convey the importance of emotions to their young boys:
- Model behaviors & show vulnerability
- Encourage boys to read books that promote empathy
- Provide an open space for communication and expression
- Talk openly about feelings as early as possible
- Let them know it’s okay to ask for help
- Practice healthy coping mechanisms
Kaizen Academy Can Help
Kaizen Academy is a boys’ residential treatment center in Utah specializing in sexual addiction treatment. Our program is for boys ages 13-18 who are being angry, defiant, and exhibiting disrespectful behaviors along with a decline in academic performance, hygiene, poor self-image, experiencing anxiety or depression, or any other concerning behaviors.
We are dedicated to providing a home-like experience to combat teen boys’ emotions, sexual addiction, and other issues in a safe, accepting environment to ensure successful behavioral change. Help provide your son with the proper tools to navigate through society’s expectations in healthy ways. Contact us today to see if Kaizen Academy is right for you and your teen.