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January 19, 2011

Self Image

Like every parent I know, we have already tried to teach our kids to be individuals. My son still loves to play with his older sister which often involves him running into the room in a dress and princess slippers. I could easily be the parent who doesn't allow this because "it isn't how Boys act!" I don't want to be that guy though.

I want all three of my kids to grow up being comfortable with who they are and not trying to conform to the image others project on them. This isn't to say i want Braeden to grow up as a cross dresser, but I don't want him to bow to peer pressure. I'm especially mindful of this with my daughter. She is the mos beautiful, innocent, creative, loving and giving little girl. Even at six years old, we work to teach her not to look down on others who are different, have more or less than her or dress and act differently.

The other day, Braeden grabbed a headband of Emerson's that is pink and gray and put it on. I heard her tell him that he can't wear that out or the boys will all laugh and make fun of him. It doesn't take much to realize your child is being influenced by other people than just mom and dad now.

I know she is probably right...if he wore it out, someone would laugh or say something. I am just not ready for him to be self conscious. I want him to be a wild and rambunctious four year old boy who puts on a dress and plays with cars, then puts on his fireman or dinosaur costume and plays in the play school kitchen. I'm not ready for other people to influence my kids choices. Even writing this post makes me sad. I want so much more for my kids.