(I have permission to use this picture)
One of my friends published this article last week on her blog and I asked her if I could share it with all you mommas on her because I knew if she was dealing with this, so many of you were too. I am dealing with this with my own daughter. She isn’t in Kindergarten yet, but I catch myself begging her to wear a dress, to “look like a girl”, or wear a bow” to look like a girl”. She won’t even wear a ponytail…in this Houston heat. My mom forced me into dresses when I was younger. We actually compromised…a dress if I could wear my tennis shoes. That is the worst, right? But once I had a say in what I wore I chose athletic gear every day and it hasn’t changed to this day. Nope, I don’t work out, but I am in athletic wear.
So this article is a great reminder for ME to let our daughters be themselves.
There are parenting moments that break your heart & want to keep your kid in a bubble forever, protected from anything & anyone that would hurt them. I experienced one the other day & wanted to share some thoughts about it with you.
My kindergartner came home yesterday frustrated. When I asked her what was wrong, she looked up at me with the saddest face and said, “All my classmates think I am a boy & I keep telling them I am a girl and they won’t listen to me.” I scooped her up in my arms & asked, “Why do they think you are a boy?” “They think that because of the clothes that I wear & my hair,” she replied. “Baby girl, do the clothes your choose to wear make you a boy? You have beautiful short, curly hair. Does that make you a boy?” I responded. She looked up at me and smiled & then said, “No mama.”
My sweet girl prefers the color blue. She has super tight, curly hair which makes it appear way shorter than it is. She is so active and plays a little rougher than other girls. Her preference is soccer and karate over dance. The only Disney Princesses she cares about are Mulan & Merida (from Brave) and most people get confused by this response. Her love of insects & all the creepy crawling things are unlike any kid I have ever met, girl or boy. Are these things wrong? No. Do they define her gender? Absolutely not. They are attributes about her that make her special and unique and I wouldn’t change them for the world.
I don’t believe for a second that the her classmates are mean or are intending to hurt her. It just reminded me how much culture, media, & other peoples’ perceptions affect us. How, if we let them, they start to define us. It reminded me that I need to daily speak words of encouragement and love over my children and tell them who they are because they will constantly be battling voices telling them otherwise. As she was getting ready this morning, I reminder her how perfect she is and that I wouldn’t change a single thing about her. That despite what other people think, to continue to be the best version of her.
Josie runs Peyton Bre