Wonderful 4 Year Old Son Likes Girly Stuff - No Problem! Right?
March 12, 2013 2:32 PM Subscribe
My wonderful 4-year old son wants lots of girly things. I want nothing more than to support him and help him grow into the person he wants to be. My only question is, is there anything that a loving, responsible, progressive parent should do to protect him from hurt, possible bullying etc.
He wanted his finger nails painted, we did it, he wanted pink tights, we got them for him, he wants hair clips, we plan on getting them for him. He wants all of these things pretty badly - they aren't things he mentioned once and then dropped. It is interesting because it has given me an opportunity to really examine my own feelings on this in a "rubber meets the road" kind of way. Bottomline: I really don't care. I want him to be happy, fulfilled, etc. If that is wearing pink tights and hair clips, more power to him.
But, I am a little bit concerned (and no, I don't think I'm using this just as a cover to really feeling uncomfortable about it myself) about kids making fun of him and eventually bullying him. When all is said and done, I think I ultimately take the position that: he is only 4, he may not even want to do this kind of boundary pushing into the age where he's going to face more bullying, and, even if he does, I know that parents can't really protect their kids completely from that kind of thing. I have ultimately concluded (though I welcome your ideas on this) that the best thing I can do for him is love him completely and support him in whatever expressions of himself he wants to make. When he does encounter mean kids or bullying, I can continue to support him. I'm not naive about the nature of the world - I know he'll face those things, but he's going to learn eventually that there are mean people in the world - at least he'll know he has his parents in his corner.
Ultimately my question is - does this sound right? Any other thoughts on ways to approach this that both support him and, in a loving, constructive way, minimize the pain that may come from his choosing to buck traditional gender confines? (I acknowledge he's only 4 and it is a complicated question of whether he is bucking gender confines or that he simply likes pink things and doesn't have any concept of the gender implications).