This past weekend I took my daughter out shopping to update her wardrobe for fall. I’ve always loved buying clothes for my daughter. There are so many more options in girls clothing than for boys. In the past my daughter favored pinks, purples and light blues, cute tops paired with jeans with decorative stitching on the back pockets, lacy bottom stretch pants and even the occasional dress.
Since she’s almost four now I told her that she could pick out her own clothes. She was so excited. “That’s what big girls do,” she told me and she practically ran into the store. I took her over to the young girls section and started to go thru the racks of clothes in her size and pulled together, what I thought was, a pretty good mix of striped, patterned and graphic tees along with pants, skirts, a dress and PJs. There were ones with cats, hearts, and flowers on them and in a variety of colorful hues of purple, green, yellow and pink.
I was hopeful that she would like at least a few items so I could cobble together two or three complete outfits for her to wear in the cooler weather. My hopefulness quickly turned into concern as a frown spread across her face and she said “no” to EVERY. SINGLE. ITEM. I showed her.
See, my daughter is turning into a real tomboy.
My girl is rejecting anything and everything pink, sparkly, frilly and flowing. She wants to cut her hair short and throws a fit when I try to put her back out of her face into a ponytail, clip or headband. She despises Barbie and her once beloved Disney Princesses are starting to lose favor. My daughter prefers to play with dinosaurs, Power Rangers, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. She loves rolling around in the dirt. She once loved to take ballet and wear pretty tutus, but now she’s into sweatpants, gymnastics and soccer cleats! Lately she’s even been telling me and The Hubs that she wants to be a boy, just like her big brother.
I’ve nicknamed her my Warrior Princess…
Curious, I asked her to show me the clothes she liked. She grabbed my hand and dragged me over to the other side of the store, to the boys section, where there was a big display of graphic tees and long-sleeved shirts featuring super heroes, sports/team logos and pirates.
I’ve read articles on parenting sites and I’ve even talked to other moms here at work and I know that children wanting to and dressing up as the opposite gender is very common and is perfectly normal at this age. I understand she’s just exploring and experimenting who she is and is still delineating gender differences between boys and girls. She also has an older brother, whom she idolizes and is constantly trying to get both his attention and approval. I can understand my daughters thoughts to a point. I was no girly girl growing up. I didn’t like to wear dresses or skirts, but I never shied away from a cute t-shirt or pretty blouse.
So here’s my dilemma, do I let my daughter shop in the boy’s section because those are the clothes she likes best or do I make her wear clothes from the girl’s section?
I mean getting her to wear anything from the girl section these days is about as easy as putting lipstick on a pig. I don’t want her to have a temper tantrum every morning when I get her dressed because she wants to wear a Superman shirt instead of one with a butterfly on it, but I also don’t want her to be ridiculed by her pre-school friends for dressing that way.
In this case I compromised. We eventually settled on some shirts in the girl’s section, but ones that weren’t cutesy and in darker colors including red, black and blue. I did let her pick out a PJ set from the boys section –red glow-in-the-dark skeleton ones. Even I had to admit, they’re pretty cool.
So for now this mom is on the happy hunt for girl clothes that are not so girly, which is harder than it sounds. I’m trying to find things that are a little more generic and neutral – that could be for a girl or a boy.
Now it’s your turn to share. Would you let your daughter or son shop in the opposite of their sex department if they liked the clothes there better?
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