All posts tagged: bullying

Now I’m Scared…

It’s not very often you (well, I) say, “My greatest fears have come to pass.” But now, I’m scared. My oldest son (he of the self-proclaimed Disney Princess “excession”) got unexpectedly melancholy, this afternoon, sat on my lap and (unprompted) said, “Some kids at my school say pink is a girl’s color.” All the pink drained out of my skin pigmentation. I was crestfallen. My worry-free cherub just exposed his first sign of social suffering. I quelled suddenly-savage defensiveness and did NOT bombard him with statements like: “Buddy, pink is the BEST boy’s color!” or “You wear your pink shirt and color your pink pictures and admire pink dresses all you WANT!” I needed so badly to cover him with hugs and kisses and protect him. As with so many other moments in his 4 ½-year-old life, it felt like the beginning of the end of his innocence. Desperately measuring my response so as not to make a pink mountain out of a pink molehill, I said, “Really? That’s kind of silly, isn’t it? That …

Dear Other Dude at the Playground…

Dear Other Dude at the Playground on Saturday – I couldn’t fight the need to write you about an incident between our kids.Remember me? I was the dad with the son wearing a pink dress. Before he burst onto the playground, and as I parked the car, he was positively vibrating. I asked, “Now…you’re sure you want to wear your dress?” He shouted in response, “Yes! Because I want to show everyone how beautiful I am in this beautiful dress!” It was a big deal for him; and for me. He hasn’t asked to wear a dress “out,” before. I didn’t fight it. Who cares, right? Or so we’d like to think. As you noticed, he couldn’t contain his excitement showing off the dress to the only two kids playing…your daughter and her friend. He skipped and twirled and chased them for ten minutes shouting, “Do you like my dress? I’m wearing a dress! Can I play with you? Will you play with me?” Remembering those ten minutes fills me with emotion…because his unencumbered joy …

Dressin’ Up as Daisy Duke

A dear friend wrote a touching piece about her son who currently dresses in skirts and flowery shirts. She makes several points we all intrinsically know: Girls are encouraged to dress like boys, not vice-versa. Boys who dress like girls are shamed, bullied, etc., which is intrinsically misogynistic. What a preschooler wears doesn’t mean anything about gender or sexuality or proclivities. It makes them happy. So who cares? I venture to say anyone reading this blog accepts these points easily. My friend’s piece took this conversation an illuminating step further by highlighting her pride in her son for emulating the dynamic women in his life. Why shouldn’t he celebrate women, right? Boys celebrate Spider-Man, Elsa, Curious George, Dora and Clifford; why not also surrounding girls and women? Before my friend published her piece, we discussed her son’s interests and our worries about cultural context and self-expression. And I was a little flummoxed. I wanted to say, “It’s all good. Don’t stress it, just let him have fun and express himself and see where it takes …