Who wears the dress in your family?
About guys who wear clothes
My son will be five years old this summer. For some time he has been very fond of clothes. I would like to report here on the reactions from the environment and my thoughts on it.
First of all, I had to get used to the idea of my son wanting to wear a dress myself. When he first said that, he was less than four years old, if I remember correctly. I was pretty much opposed to it inside. The fears were too great that he would be laughed at and insulted. Sentences like "Boys don't wear clothes, you don't do that" were too big.
Which I was never afraid of, that it might have anything to do with "being gay" or something. I don't care. No, wrongly put. I don't care, at the same time my son can make his own decisions. In addition, the two have little to do with each other, even if some might say so.
I found that my own fears prevented him from having his own experiences and from living out himself. But wait, I thought, I don't want that at all. I cannot protect him from "mistakes" (and who knows if there is even one), I can only be there for him when he needs me. Let go step by step. He can make his own decisions. So after I had shirked a decision and successfully refused to face my own fears, I finally offered him to just wear a top of mine as a dress.
So when he went to kindergarten in his top dress for the first time, I was admittedly very nervous. I had the feeling that I couldn't protect him. And that's true too. I cannot protect him always and everywhere. I do not want that either. I want my son to be able to make reflective decisions at some point and then take responsibility for them himself. How can he learn that if I don't even let him decide what to wear. You see, the topic has kept me quite busy ...
In any case, there were relatively few reactions overall in kindergarten. For some children it wasn't anything special at all. They didn't say anything and didn't even seem to notice. Other children, especially girls, said the dress was very chic. Only one boy said he looked like a girl. But the statement didn't bother my son. All he says is: "So what?" And that was the end of the matter.
Now my son goes to kindergarten quite regularly with his dress on. Simply because he likes it. He says he dresses up when he goes to kindergarten in pantyhose and a dress. That's true too. Unfortunately, boys often see things differently.
But it has not been long since girls and women started wearing pants. Nobody would say anything more. It has become normal. Aren't clothes and colors simply there for everyone? Why does something so banal have to be assigned to any gender and outdated role models?
As we get older and our children get bigger, sooner or later we grapple with the subject of what we would like to give our children for their lives. We think about what we want for our children and which qualities are important to us. Many parents, including us, then think of tolerance. I want my children to be open, tolerant and respectful of other people, animals and nature. I would like them not to see differences as negative, but as an opportunity to learn and grow.
But how can I learn and show tolerance when my son is not allowed to wear what he wants? How can he learn tolerance when I judge him for his wishes?
So the children's reactions to wearing the dress were just one thing. I found out that children are in many ways much more open and free of prejudice than we adults. For example, a boy said that he thought my son's pink unicorn costume would be totally cool at Mardi Gras. The educators and parents were completely different. From the side came statements like "If he feels attracted to the opposite sex, there is nothing you can do about it anyway." or "Oh, he wanted to dress up again?" or "Why is he wearing a dress? He's a boy."
I find that pretty exhausting. It doesn't seem to bother my son at all. I think I can learn a lot from him!
Regarding the statements: What does putting on a dress have to do with feeling drawn to the opposite sex? No, he doesn't disguise himself as a girl. He just likes to put on a dress. And yes, boys are allowed to wear dresses too. It bothers me. Really. I'm trying not to let it get to me. Just ignore it. But I don't succeed. It wears me down how much is judged. Alone with something as banal as the choice of clothing.
I wanted to protect my son and make a decision for him. Now I'm glad I stopped doing it at some point. I am glad that he can gain his own experience. Yes, the reactions were mostly positive. If he had any difficulties or if he wasn't doing well, I would of course be there for him and would support him as far as he wishes. I am happy that I was able to put aside my fears that constrained him. This process showed me once again what a strong child I have and I was able to learn a lot from it.
The same goes for long hair, braids and jewelry, by the way. Actually, it applies to everything that is supposedly assigned to any gender or role model.Image sources:
The cover picture comes from unsplash.com.
Image 1 (child in the meadow) in the article comes from unsplash.com.
Image 2 (child in unicorn costume) in the article comes from unsplash.com.Posted in Attachment Family - Other First Posted on Comments
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