As parents we all want the same thing. We all want our kids to be accepted by the people around them, yet we also want our kids to be firm in who they are. Now understand that this comes easier for some parents than others. Maybe your little boy loves trucks and sports and your little girl loves princesses and everything pink. In these circumstances this is much more accepting than not.
For us we are blessed with 3 children, and each child is very different from the other. with our two older kids we have been a back bone to them in allowing them to express themselves freely with hair styles and clothing choices. We aren’t any different with Chandler.
Our sweet Chan is a spirited 4 year old (he will be 5 in 3 short days) As a four year old he swims, rides a bike without training wheels, snorkels, swings on his own, and he loves gymnastics. His favorite color is purple and he loves rainbow everything. He can write his name, knows the alphabet by sight and sound, and he can count to 40 with few mix ups, he plays well with other kid and calls everyone his boyfriend and girlfriend…. Listen at me just go on and on about all the awesome that escapes him on a daily.
Chandler prefers what is labeled as “girl clothes over boy clothes.” He likes how they fit, he likes all the sparkles, he likes the colors, and styles. He also prefers girl shoes. In today’s world it is much more accepting than it used to be, but the looks and comments still flow.
The hard part isn’t what people think- instead the hard part is having to have a conversation with your four year old when he picks out something new, for instance today he picked out purple sparkle jelly shoes. I had to bend down on his level and have the following conversation with him: Hey buddy do you really like these shoes? Yes Mom! Look at them they are perfect, sparkly, and purple with a little bit of blue, and I don’t even have to wear socks with them. Okay buddy look at Mom- I love that you like them! I want you to understand that there will be some people that will not like them and they might say stuff that isn’t nice to you, what do you think about that? Mom, but my friend Jamyia and Delainy will like them. Hey Jacob do you like them? Jacob responds yeah! They are awesome! Oh and Mom, Dad is gonna like them too! Alright bud looks like we are getting Jelly shoes.
The point is: This is probably not a conversation that you have to have with your child, this is probably not a conversation that you and your husband have to talk about at night. You have probably never sat down and even had to think twice about getting your child something that they love because of fear of bullies breaking your child’s spirit at such an early age. Not just kid bullies, but adult bullies. I know even in our circle there are people that ask me “Why is he wearing that?” As a parent my response is the same every time because he likes it. Should he be allowed to like what he likes? Oh he shouldn’t because it affects you in some way shape or form? Oh, but it’s completely fine for you and your kid to wear what you all like because it’s more “socially acceptable.”
Well, news flash I am not raising my children so that we will be socially acceptable people! I am raising my kids to be leaders not followers. I am raising my kids to be who they are not who the world or anyone else says they should be.
As parents support your children no matter what the world says- We shouldn’t prepare our children for the world we should prepare the world for our children. My children will leave our home feeling secure and strong in who they are as people! They will know that they don’t have to change who they are because of the thoughts, ideas, and mindsets of people that are too close minded to see the beauty that is right in front of them.
Next time you are out and about and you see a child dressed completely awesome because they like it send a smile or a kind word. Teach your children, friends, and everyone in between that we are all just humans and we can like what we like. We don’t have to live in a gender stereotype world. I am very thankful that we have a good village around us that show absolute support and encouragement towards Chandler and they embrace his rainbow heart.