I remember being in a supermarket and seeing a young boy crying beside his father, the father kept saying to his son “Stop crying, you’re a man, stop crying”. Now we may think that this is just a father asking his son to grow up, but what the child understands is pretty simple “Crying is not good, if I cry I am not a man”.

This child was dressed just like his father in traditional Arabic clothes, when he spoke through his tears he spoke very much like his father in strong, powerful, Arabic, but deep down this was just a little boy being a little boy. A little boy that will grow up thinking crying is wrong.

These words can have such a powerful impact on the child, he could very well grow up unable to express his emotions, afraid to speak to anyone if he is going through a hard time, all because he was told at a very young age not to cry.

One of the greatest lessons I have learned as a father is the understanding of how powerful words can be on our children, and how we should be the role models in all parts of life, not just what wear and how we treat other people, but how we express ourselves and encourage others to express themselves no matter what they are going through.

I want my kids to be happy, I want them to live fulfilling lives of joy and peace. I never want to see them emotionally hurt, but if they are I never want them to be afraid to come and talk to me. I want them to know that it’s ok to cry, to and understand that whatever they are going through, they never have to go through it alone.