I am a mom to two very different kids. My six-year-old daughter has always been a force of nature. She is loud, determined, and strong-willed.
This little lady knew from the moment she could dress herself that she was a tomboy. She soon became “allergic” to all things pink, and decided superheroes would be the preferred toys of choice. As hard as it might be, I’m trying to let my kids be whoever they want to be. Another mom once asked me if I was sad that my daughter wasn’t a “girly girl.” I honestly had never considered my feelings on the topic. I never thought being “sad” was something I should be able to feel, just because my kid wanted to be herself. That’s not up to me, and I am happy my kid is happy being herself. I actually think it’s cool she knows how she wants to dress and acts differently from her friends—that took me years upon years to figure out for myself. I’d say she’s on the right course to staying her true self, which is so hard to do. My son, on the other hand, has more influences forming his little personality. He imitates his sister most of the time, which can be good and bad. It’s perfectly fine that he’s into all things “boy” like my daughter. I actually look at it as an investment when I get her toys, since I know he will use them—same thing with her clothes from the boy’s section. I also feel like he does things he wouldn’t do if he hadn’t learned the behavior from the six-year-old. He used to be such a sweet little man, but lately, his attitude is right on par with the Kindergartener. Is it him, or is it his environment and the modeling after everything he sees? I’m not completely sure.
I love to see my son when he is alone, away from his sister’s influence. It’s in these moments I can see what he will be like once he decides to be himself. He is kind and calm. He will sit for an hour playing alone, talking nicely to dolls and Legos equally. I only hope he can become a little less impressionable, like his sister. He’s the one getting in trouble at preschool, just because he follows what the other boys are doing. My daughter never had this problem. The other day we were on vacation and my son did something I truly loved. He was playing dress-up with his cousins and sister. He chose his Elsa gown and a necklace and wanted help putting them on. I didn’t skip a beat and helped him right into the dress. He was beaming with pride, wearing that gown, and I loved seeing him make a decision for himself and follow through. He wore gowns and dresses our entire trip to my sister’s house. I love the fact that no one questioned it or made him feel odd for his choices. He wasn’t imitating his big sister—I can barely get dresses on her for weddings—he was just being himself. These kids are teaching me lessons I should have learned years ago. Be true to you! Don’t care what other people think, they don’t dictate your happiness, and they shouldn’t have a say in what you want to do in order to be happy. From watching these two, I’ve learned that the whole “dance like no one is watching” phrase isn’t exactly accurate. It should be “dance like everyone’s watching, and you DON’T care.” Let kids be themselves and someday those kids will grow up into confident adults who not only stay true to themselves but also encourage others to do the same.