Ghosts haunt the streets. Witches cackle in the night. And children of all ages search the neighborhood for delicious sweets. It’s Halloween – one of the best holidays of the year for kids and the kids at heart! (You can dress up and do you eat your fill of sugar? Yes, please!) But before you get to the good stuff, you need to help your kids choose a costume. Do they want to be something beautiful or scary? Classic or trendy? Homemade or store bought? And will you be okay with whatever you decide?
A mom on Reddit shared that her son wanted to be a princess for Halloween. She was OK with it initially, but had concerns about what other people would think, and Reddit came through with some really helpful advice.
On the Parenting subreddit, a mom wrote that her 5-year-old son “asked for a princess dress” for Halloween. She clarified, “I don’t mind that at all, but I wanted him to look at all the costumes first. We went through and looked at all the other costumes, but he still wanted the dress.”
That is understandable. Picking the first costume your kids pick is a rookie mistake – you’ll be heading to three different destinations the night before Halloween to pick something else after your kid inevitably changes their mind. It happens! But after saying he still wanted the princess dress, the mother got a little worried.
“I looked him in the eye and told him it’s fine if he wanted the dress but that he needed to understand that people might think he looked like a girl and asked him if he agrees,” the mother explained. “He said no and quickly settled on a boys superhero costume.”
“Should I have said something else?” she continued. “I don’t want him to think it’s bad for boys to like princesses.”
It seems like the mother means well, but she didn’t handle the situation well. If your son is confident in what he wants, why would you make him doubt himself by worrying about what others might think? Thankfully, Redditors had her back and assured her that first of all, no one would say anything about the little boy.
“My son was Bo Peep for Halloween right after that toy story 4 came out,” one person wrote. “We were a bit surprised when he said that’s what he wanted to be, but when asked why — he said something like, ‘Because she’s just so tough and brave!’ We were also afraid that he would be bullied, but no one said a negative word to him.”
Another said: “My son was Jessie, I asked him about 5 times if he wanted to be Woody as a cowboy but he liked the red hat and cow print pants and her song was his favorite. Nobody said anything! Although he was the wrong gender about twice.”
Others had daughters who wanted to dress up like a boy and again it was fine. “My daughter was so into Harry Potter,” someone said. “She wanted to be Harry Potter and when she told people that they always asked if she meant Hermione. However, she didn’t care. She was adamant that she was Harry, not Hermione. In the end it wasn’t a big deal.”
A mother of a 15-year-old boy said her son dresses up as a female character every Halloween, adding: “It’s surprising how little people really care – especially on Halloween. ESPECIALLY on a 5 year old! Girls are “cool” because they are superheroes. Boys are the ones who are told that wanting to be a princess isn’t ‘normal’.” Exactly! The double standard here sucks!
The same mother said she adopted her son when he was 11; Previously, he wasn’t allowed to be a princess on Halloween. “It takes all the years we’ve had him and more for him to forget,” she said. “These gender stereotypes are constantly ingrained in us. When he first got dressed up the way he wanted (for Halloween and others), I saw a light in my kid that I hadn’t seen before.” She added to the OP, “Probably it’s just a cute 5- year old who wants to be a princess because he thinks she’s cool. It’s adults who make it deeper.”
The message is simple: be nice to others, don’t worry about what other people think, and encourage your kids to dress how they want – for Halloween or any other occasion.
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