I had a conversation with an old co-worker a few years ago. It was pay day and we laughed about our money already being gone because we had to pay bills.
“And I have to find my son those new Jordan’s!” He said
I told him he didn’t have to, but that he wanted to. Me, not having any kids at the time believed that children were dressed the way their parents wanted them to be dressed. He clearly stated that his 6 year old son asked for those particular shoes. After a friendly debate, I vowed that when I became a parent, my kids will be allowed to wear what they liked, what made them feel comfortable- giving them to freedom to express themselves.
Fast forward a few years and I am now the mother of a three year old. I will never forget the feeling of shame and guilt I had with myself the day I dropped him off at daycare… his friend ran up to him to show him the cartoon characters on his shirt. Another showed him the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles on his bright green sneakers. Phoenix, my son, then pointed to the tiny horse at the top corner of his shirt. All he had to show off was the Ralph Lauren Polo symbol.
I had become one of those parents. Yes, he’s dressed in mostly Polo because we like the way the clothes fit him. But is it what he wants? No, it’s not and we had never taken the time to ask him. At three years old, he is perfectly capable of expressing himself.
As we went to PAYLESS and tried on some Lightening McQueen light up shoes, the look of excitement on his face was enough for me to forgive myself. My baby didn’t want to take them off- in fact, he wore them out of the store! Watch in the video how he kicks his foot against the mirror for the shoes to light up!
Parents- We all make mistakes, especially us first time parents, but we learn from them! Let’s allow our kids the freedom to express themselves- forget about the latest trends which our kids care absolutely nothing about anyway! And if they do, it’s because of what we teach them! My son has been wearing these sneakers everyday, sometimes looking a little foolish because they’re so colorful- but what the hell, who is he hurting?! I’m raising him to be true to himself and if that means wearing lightening McQueen shoes and cartoon character shirts, then hail to the freedom of expression!