Mum Jaime Primak Sullivan wrote a post about parenting that went viral because it struck a chord with so many parents.
The mother-of-three was at a baseball game when her eight-year-old son Max was hit in the face by a baseball.
She wrote that she was criticised by an onlooker for comforting her son, because they felt she was ‘babying’ him.
‘Somewhere is the shuffle he was hit in the face with the ball. I saw it happen like it was slow motion,’ she said.
‘He couldn't catch his breath. My feet couldn't move fast enough. As soon as we connected, I got down on one knee. "Catch your breath buddy." He tilted his head back. "Max, breathe. It's okay." He finally took a breath, and I wrapped my arms around him as he cried into my shoulder.’
‘A voice came from behind me - "You need to stop babying that kid." My mind registered the sentiment, but I kept my focus on Max.’
‘I climbed back up on the bleachers. My hands shaking. I was so angry,’ she writes.
‘This notion that boys can never hurt, that they can never feel, is so damaging to them long term. The belief that any signs or gestures of affection will somehow decrease their manhood - this pressure to always "man up" follows them into adulthood where they struggle to fully experience the broad scope of love and affection,' she shared.
‘They don't mourn properly. The struggle to grieve. They're afraid to cry. It all spills into the way they husband and father and I hate it.'
She concluded: ‘Love is a verb. It is something you do. It is not the same as babying, coddling or spoiling. It is something my son deserves. I will always love him when he is hurting and my prayer for him is that he is always open to receiving love so he can love in return and keep that cycle going.’