Monday, April 16, 2012

Letting them be them

Amy at Raising Arrows has written another wonderful piece.
I think about this a lot; how to impart our values, without forcing them to be little copies of myself.
It is such a conundrum, but I realize that it is not just one for the conservative crowd. Having worked in public school, I realized that all parents are doing this. the kids with Mohawks don't come from parents that wouldn't either have ( or wish they had) Mohawks themselves. Parents dress their children as an extension of themselves- a statement about their ideals; whether that be mini- Baby Phat sweatsuits, punk rock designs, or pinafores and suits.

The interesting part though? The conservative side never claims that they are doing it in the interest of the children "expressing themselves." In reality, as I mentioned, the counter culture side isn't doing it for that reason either, though they may claim too. Try to find such a counter culture family where they aren't a little embarrassed about their girls wanting to wear pink. ..or their boys inexplicable love of playing army.

I think about this far more than in modest, but I am at that point that Amy points out- the one where they state choosing their own outfits, their likes and dislikes. I've never had a problem letting my kids wear rain boots every day if they liked to, or costumes to the grocery store even.In fact, if I were honest with myself, the arty side of me revels in those choices a little bit. However, let me children seem to know my taste ( pointing out things that I like) but what they point out for themselves is consistently counter to my own preferences for children's clothing....think mini-teenager type clothing and cartoon characters. Amy's post gave me some thinking points for where to draw the line and where to let them go.

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