That is the question put to me today when I was interviewed by BBC Radio Bristol.
This was in response to an article in the Sun newspaper earlier this week. Ant Middleton, ex-Special Forces, now TV star/hard man from SAS: Who Dares Wins, Extreme Everest and Mutiny, where Ant pushes those brave enough to join him to the limit and beyond.
Ant has been publicly criticised for his parenting, teaching his 9-year old son to control his emotions when he hurts himself, avoiding eye contact and saying that he should have a stiff upper lip. In contrast to his daughter, where he would offer his shoulder to cry on.
Being a Dad of twin boys, a senior manager in the UK civil service and a yoga teacher, I am open and encouraging about showing emotion. Demonstrating the highs and contrasting with the lows makes for a richer tapestry of life and makes life worth living.
As a parent, I am acutely aware that when my children cry they are not always hurt, but may be doing so for attention. They may also be learning how to experience pain and respond. Wrapping them in cottonwool may not stand them in good stead for later life.
Nevertheless, treating children differently because of their sex doesn’t necessarily teach them as much as giving eye contact, talking, and supporting them when emotional. If we do not encourage children to talk when young, what traits will this instil when adults?
I thoroughly enjoyed speaking with the BBC again today. This is now my fourth media appearance discussing topics that have ranged from men’s mental health, Yoga for Men and Yoga For Cyclist classes and today’s on whether it’s ok to show emotion in public. Over the past few months, I have spoken with BBC Radio, ITV’s Kylie Pentelow and Sky.
Today’s BBC Radio Bristol interview is available for the next 30 days. The interview starts at 14 minutes. I am then dialled back in live on air at 21 minutes talking about how it’s a sign of strength, not weakness for men to demonstrate their vulnerabilities and reveal their true self. This was covered in my recent blog for yoga teacher trainer, Rachel Scott.
Do not hesitate to get in touch with future media opportunities. I am always interested in discussing topics related to yoga, health & wellbeing, men’s health and so much more.