survivingmyboyz

tales from a stay-at-home mom of four boys

Saving my son from the world

I’m afraid it is starting, the world is beginning to try to ruin my sweet little boy.
The other day, my sweet little My Little Pony loving, nail polish wearing, pink is his favorite color little guy came home and told us that liking princesses made you a girl and that he no longer liked My Little Ponies. I know he really doesn’t feel this way (he fell asleep with one of his mini ponies in his hand tonight), but someone is telling him this and I’m afraid that one day he might believe it is true.
My first though was naturally to homeschool him and never let him leave the house again in hopes of persevering his pure sweetness, but I realized that wouldn’t work because he’d still have contact with his older brother who already teaches him plenty of bad things. So I had to settle for a less drastic route in dealing with this, I had to set him straight and arm him with the strength to stand up against this kind of thinking.
My husband and I talked to him together about what he said. I figured, if he didn’t believe me because I am a girl, maybe he’d believe his dad since he is a boy. First we asked him who told him this information. He just acted a little embarrassed. We didn’t expect him to name names, we were making a point to him that we knew someone else had told him this and that it wasn’t his thinking. We then told him that whoever told him this was wrong. We explained to him that there are no “boy” things and “girl” things and that he could like whatever he wanted. We told him that boys and girl could like, be, and do whatever they wanted to. I explained to him that the only true “boy” thing or “girl” thing was what was between our legs in our private areas and that was the only real difference between boys and girls (we’ve been having the “boys have a penis and girls have a vagina” talk for years). My husband even went a step further than he probably needed to at this age and told him that if, when he was older, he decided he want a girl part instead of a boy part, he could even have that. My son just laughed and didn’t believe that part of the story, which is fine because I’m not about to try to explain that to him. Our main message to him was that he should like what he likes and not let others tell him what he could or should like and not like. We told him that we love him and the person that he is and that he shouldn’t change.
I’m sure this won’t be the last time I hear from my son about messages he is getting about “girl” things and “boy” things. I’m sure one day my son might even bring home worse messages that other people might try to convince him of and ruin him with, but I’m hoping that if we keep sending my son the right messages, he will not believe the wrong ones. Hopefully, if we just instill self-confidence in my son, other people wouldn’t be able to make him doubt himself and ruin him. If we are lucky, maybe one day, my sweet little boy will even help fix the world with his kind, gentle, loving acceptance and help others open their eyes to see the world the way he does.

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One thought on “Saving my son from the world

  1. This is such an important issue – I wish more parents took the time to deal with it rather than just accepting that gender stereotypes are the way of the world.

    Have you ever heard of the fun “kid documentary” of the 70’s called “Free to Be, You and Me?” It was an excellent effort to help kids understand that boys and girls can do whatever they want to and enjoy whatever toys and activities they like. It was showm in schools a lot, and I bet it probably aired on public television at the time, too. It’s so dated now it seems truly bizarre, but I sure wish someone would do a modern update – our kids need to hear the message.

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