‘Hold it emotional’: Jane Fonda has some suggestions for folks elevating sons


Jane Fonda opened up about some things she wishes she had done differently in a new interview with Vanity Fair. The 85-year-old actress said she thought deeply about some of her regrets after going through what she called a ‘life review’ at the age of 60, the purpose of which was, in part, to help her make amends with her loved ones as she ages. (Yes, even Jane Fonda isn’t immune to mom’s guilt.)

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During this process, Fonda said, she realized that many of her regrets were related to parenthood and offered wisdom to young parents, in particular, who are raising sons. « If you have a boy, help him stay emotionally literate, » she said. « That ‘boys don’t cry, don’t feel emotions’ – blah, blah, blah. Keep him emotional, familiarize him with his emotions and feel good about them, and help him feel good at the thought of asking for help. That’s what I’ve taken away from so many boys.

Research confirms Fonda’s thought here: In the United States, men have been observed to show less emotional expression – and more anger and aggression – than women. And instilling a sense of emotional well-being in young boys is pretty crucial to their stability and happiness: paper 2021 found that emotional intelligence is linked to self-esteem as well as « life satisfaction ». The bottom line, as Fonda mentioned, is that boys, like everyone else, benefit from open and honest communication about how to deal with emotions.

This isn’t the first time Fonda has spoken openly about how she raised her children. In an interview with CNN’s Chris Wallace earlier this year, she said, “I wasn’t the kind of mother I would have liked to be to my kids. I have wonderful, talented, intelligent children. And I just didn’t know how to do it. To learn, Fonda said, she read the books. “I studied parenthood, and I know what it’s supposed to be now. I didn’t know then. So I try to show myself now. Acknowledging what she learned first-hand, Fonda hit the nail on the head, reassuring all parents that no matter what mistakes you’ve made, it’s never too late to grow and change.


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