At age 6, my oldest daughter asked for a mohawk. It’s no surprise that I’m a pretty liberal parent, but even I have boundaries. I’m pretty strict when it comes to actual rules, but as far as expressing themselves I do try to let my kids make their own decisions. She stuck with the idea of wanting a mohawk for quite some time before I finally said “You know what? It’s just hair, it’ll grow back. Let’s do it.” I’m sure you can imagine the look of absolute horror on the stylist’s face when my beautiful 6 year old with long golden hair said she wanted a mohawk. She (the stylist) even tried to talk her into a faux hawk instead. Nell was not budging. It wasn’t that she was being defiant, it was that she knew what she wanted and she was going to get it (the makings of a powerful businesswoman, perhaps). After asking for what seemed to be the tenth time, the stylist finally buzzed her hair off. Buzzed. Her. Hair. Off. Just leaving the strip in the middle for the lovely mohawk.
Nell learned very quickly that people (adults as well as children) are cruel. Absolutely cruel. Complete strangers would say mean or rude things to her just passing by. At that age she was still wearing a little bit of pink and purple (usually mixed with black), so they knew she was a girl. Some older woman even came up to her and asked if I made her get her hair cut that way and told her it was not right for a little girl to look like a boy.
So, anyway, enough of the rambling… that story brings me to my dilemma today. Well, I guess it’s not really a dilemma since I’ve already decided – but I want to hear what my friends think. Jenelle is almost 10 now. She has obviously been a tomboy for a while. She would love to have a mohawk still but the school won’t allow it (only boys can have mohawks.. pfft). So she decided this year she wanted to switch to all boy clothes. She has been wearing what could be considered “boy’s” clothes, but she said when we go back to school shopping she wants to actually shop in the boy’s department.
For some reason, this was a tough pill for me to swallow. I’m okay with a tomboy, but my beautiful little girl dressing like an actual boy makes me a little sad. I have two other girls that I can dress up in pretty outfits, but it just feels like I’ve lost a little girl and gained a little boy. I don’t want to stifle her creativity or personal style, but we did have a long talk about how cruel people are. Apparently she is ready to learn the hard way (again). In just a few weeks, we will be going school clothes shopping. Barring some miracle that makes her say “Mom, I’m going to get all dresses! Put me in beauty pageants!”, I think my little angel is going to be picking clothes out from the boy’s department.
Would you let your daughter shop in the boy’s section if that is what she truly wanted? Let me know! I’d love to hear your opinions. Leave a comment after voting please!