Kellie Cathey, LSW
Those Tears of Victory--4 tips to Connect with Your Son Using Super Bowl LII
Where were you where it happened?
You know, the fumble.
2:21 left in the game. When we won it.
I was with my closest friends. I think I may have melted into my sister. Surrounded by connection.
The moments after, the Eagles unraveled in tender joyful moments of celebration.
Representing one of the greatest stories in sports of resiliency, persistence and humility.
Because Super Bowl LII was so much more than a sports victory.
Super Bowl LII is proof. We are moving toward a different society for men.
Because after the victory of the Eagles, men from arguably the most aggressive sport, fell into their tenderness.
The first thing Nick Foles did was celebrate the sweet moment with his daughter.
Chris Long cried tears of joy on the sidelines for moments of witnessing his own greatness.
Right after they won, Foles kissing Celek in celebration.
Because what they are showing us, is that even though they play 'toughest' sport in America,
they are tender too.
The Eagles are showing boys that even with aggression, there is room for sensitivity. Even with toughness, there is room for tears. Even in the face of challenge, there is bravery.
We need true bravery in the world.
In my Brave Boys group, these are the messages we speak about.
We speak about boys having the space to have the whole human experience and to not limit parts of themselves that may be turned off by society's messages of being 'tough'.
We talk about being a Nick Foles, standing in his vulnerability and strength. We talk about being a Chris Long, having his tears while celebrating his victory.
Creating the space to talk about these messages with your son sets him up to see how being tough AND tender is what true bravery is.
Using Super Bowl moments to help you son learn messages about being a man is a way for you to connect with him over things that may be uncomfortable to talk about.
Let's being with some of the most exciting moments.
1. Chris Long's Tears
Let's talk about the tears. After the victory, Chris Long brought his father and son onto the field, where he stood and cried with his father in victory. How beautiful is this moment? Not only was Long strong enough to share his emotions publicly, he did so standing next to his father who did the same.
Long's modeling shows boys that showing emotion is a natural part of life. From a young age. boys hear messages that showing emotion makes them weak when in reality, it's the opposite. NOT showing emotion makes them pent up and aggressive. Showing emotion makes them human.
2. Nick Foles kissing Brent Celek
Kissing. One grown man kissing another.
Can we talk about the taboo this has in society? Foles kissing Celek is an act of pure bravery. Defying every. single. male. stigma. that exists in our society.
Teaching your son how safe touch is a natural part of being human is so important. By nature of stigmas in society, boys are deprived of platonic touch. How often do girls feel free to give hugs? All the time, right? Not boys. The homophobia that surrounds men touching men is so common that boy's bodies are hungry to feel felt because physical touch is an essential need for human survival.
Creating spaces where he feels his natural urges for physical affection are honored will help him get those needs met, decrease aggression and help with self-soothing.
3. Foles, Foles, Foles
He said, "We all are human, we all have weaknesses, and I think throughout this, just being able to share that and be transparent."
Vulnerability, humility and transparency.
Although this is a message for boys, this is a messages that shines through for all human beings.
Our deepest triumphs often come from our greatest struggles.
Foles modeling this message shows such strength for boys. Someone they look up to, a football player, is communicating the message that not only is it okay to fail, but failure is necessary for success. Talk about relieving the burden of being perfect. Even more, in this moment, Foles showed us how being vulnerable empowers others to be vulnerable too.
Talking to your son about sharing his struggles, sharing his feelings and sharing his failures is essential for his emotional resiliency. When he shares his emotions and finds support, he is able to see how his struggles are actually his strengths.
4. The Win
What does our winning the Super Bowl actually represent?
But most of all, it sends us the message of resiliency.
Above all else, talking to your son about persistence, determination and humility are key when talking how the messages from the Super Bowl.
Because these are the qualities that make him strong.
Not being emotionless. Not ignoring how he feels. Not 'toughing up' and not crying.
It's his resiliency that is his true toughness and grit comes from.
Resiliency is where his true strength lies.
That is all of our true strength.
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