"here I was in 2017, worried of how others would judge."
When my son was turning 3, that year all he wanted were some princess dresses. He had become a fan of Disney and particularly a fan of the princesses. And that year, if anyone asked him what he wanted he wanted a list of princess costumes and a princess birthday party.
And like many mums, I wanted him to have what he wanted. What I knew would bring him joy. Yet I also worried about what others would think and say about me as a parent if I "encouraged" him to explore and play with something that is deemed for girls. This makes me sad, that I felt worried by what other people would judge of me and of my toddler.
Where is the harm in dressing up? Where is the harm in role play? In character exploration? In learning performance skills, in growing your confidence, in developing empathy of other people, in learning what it is to be hero, a cook, a nurse, a vet or indeed play out fairytale stories as a princess?
And yet here I was in 2017, worried of how others would judge. What message does that send to our children?
So that year I collected up an entire rail of costumes from charity shops: vet, doctor, cowboy, policeman, fireman, superman, spiderman, batman, minion, scientist, nurse, Prince, Knight, chef, pirate, witch and then 6 princesses: Elsa, Anna, Belle, Snow White, Jasmine, Cinderella. And what a rail of dress up my son had!
My Boy Can play dress up because I believe the importance of role play, the feeding of his imagination and his creative play. I believe My Son has a freedom, like girls do, to decide what he'd like to play with, without focusing on gender stereotyping. Yet opening up his understanding of other people, other roles and development of the world around him.
The whole reason I started this page was to share in my experiences and create a community that support in saying My Boy Can do something rather than being told he can't or shouldn't.