It’s Okay For Girls To Be Angry, And For Boys To Be Sad

Telling our children their emotions are gender based is harmful.

Chloe Cuthbert
Jan 19 · 4 min read
Photo by note thanun on Unsplash

Share the positive power of anger

Girls learn very early on that anger might break bonds in relationships, and that the most important thing in their lives is bonds and relationships. However, anger actually has an incredible potential to deepen connections.

Listen to your daughter

Parents need to honor girls’ feelings, including anger. Anger is an uncomfortable emotion. It triggers us. Your instinct, as a parent, is, ‘I don’t want to feel this right now, I’ve got to stop this.’

Start early

The girls who really get this have people in their lives who work with them from an early age. Try role-playing, where the scenario involves someone who is mean, threatening, or says something rude. Then walk your children through what it’s like to be angry without resorting to cruel or demeaning speech.

Help them smash stereotypes

At a pretty young age, speaking your mind or having strong feelings gets all mixed up for boys and girls. Girls get labeled as ‘mean girls’ or ‘bitchy’; While boys who show emotion are labeled ‘sissies’ or ‘weak’.

Express your own anger and emotions directly

To help children identify what is upsetting to them, we have to not be afraid to stick up for ourselves in front of them and role model that. It could be as simple as saying to your child, “This is the kind of thing I find upsetting. It’s not fair, and we should be doing something about it.” Or, it could be as hard as telling your best friend that they hurt you, instead of just venting to your partner over dinner.

Family Matters

A publication for parents and families of all types to share their experiences.

Sign up for Family Matters Monthly Newsletter

By Family Matters

A monthly newsletter with details of what's new with the publication, the winner of the monthly writing prompts, and the best articles of the month.  Take a look.

By signing up, you will create a Medium account if you don’t already have one. Review our Privacy Policy for more information about our privacy practices.

Check your inbox
Medium sent you an email at to complete your subscription.

Chloe Cuthbert

Written by

I think, therefore, I write. ccuthbertauthor@gmail.com /Posts may contain affiliate links.

Family Matters

A publication for parents and families of all types to share their experiences.

Chloe Cuthbert

Written by

I think, therefore, I write. ccuthbertauthor@gmail.com /Posts may contain affiliate links.

Family Matters

A publication for parents and families of all types to share their experiences.

Medium is an open platform where 170 million readers come to find insightful and dynamic thinking. Here, expert and undiscovered voices alike dive into the heart of any topic and bring new ideas to the surface. Learn more

Follow the writers, publications, and topics that matter to you, and you’ll see them on your homepage and in your inbox. Explore

If you have a story to tell, knowledge to share, or a perspective to offer — welcome home. It’s easy and free to post your thinking on any topic. Write on Medium

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store