The need to sexualize children and corner them into a stereotype of propriety at such an early age confuses me most profoundly. While it is adorable to dress up a girl or boy in gender specific clothes and while it is important to embrace their masculinity or femininity I am increasingly tired of hearing that my daughter
Can’t wear that outfit because it isn’t girly
Her diaper is too boyish.
Or the flip-side
If you have a boy they can’t wear that diaper, it has flowers on it, that is girly.
And my favorite and most common one
She is a girl she has to wear clothes. You can’t have her going around naked it’s immodest.
She is a 7 month old baby. Really it doesn’t matter what she wears. Also there is no problem with her hanging out in just her diaper or even *gasp* naked. She is a baby.
Society has such a stigma on what is “boyish” and what is “girlish” and it really is ridiculous. There is no reason a girl can’t play with trucks and still be raised in a manner that allows her to accept and embrace her femininity. Just like LM can wear a skull diaper and it doesn’t make her any less of a girl or endanger her ability to “be” a girl in anyway.
So why do we put so much pressure on them?
Children learn and grow through guidance not pressure, pressure leads to retaliation – and even in infant/toddler years boy can they retaliate.
They are not babies for long but there seems to be this need to assist them in growing up faster than they already do.
Our family doesn’t subscribe to this way of thinking.
We allow and will continue to allow LM to grow at her own unique pace and exert her own personality and will on things. This doesn’t mean she won’t have rules, or have to listen or do things she doesn’t particularly want to but it does mean that she will never be chastised or put down for expressing her views or what she wants to do. She will always be encouraged in fact to express her will so that we can discuss it, even if the answer is no in the end.
And as a baby they can even exert their will.
LM exerts hers by letting me know when she doesn’t want to eat for example. I know she won’t starve herself so if she doesn’t want to eat I don’t push it. This leaves her relaxed to try it again in a little bit. If she doesn’t want to practice walking she sits down, that is fine I don’t continue to make her try. etc. etc.
I love these baby moments and I know that in the blink of an eye they will be gone and she will be all grown up – so I plan on cherishing every single moment she is a baby and not pushing her to grow up too quickly or grow into a predefined mold.
Her determination yesterday was to drag Panda blanket EVERYWHERE! Including to nurse. So we rolled with it and she has a blast – and the whole time she was nakey!!
How do you embrace your children’s child moments? What other social pressures are you faced with as a parent daily that you resist?