Supporting Children For Who They Are (not who we think they should be)

Leaving Target yesterday, another mom said to me, “I like his nails,” referring to Miller’s fingernail polish. “Thanks,” I responded smiling. “He likes having them painted.”

“My son was the same way,” she said gesturing to a boy who looked to be around 9. “He still likes getting pedicures.”

I’ve witnessed only a few people chide Miller for wearing polish, because “it’s for girls”, to which I smile and say, “He loves it, so that’s what we do.”

My goal is not for Miller to conform to all of the labels reserved for boys – it’s to raise him to be confident in who he is, however that winds up looking.

One of the biggest gifts we can give our children is to support them for who they are. Not who we think they should be, not what society tells us is acceptable, but for who they’re showing us they are.

To the little boys who like wearing nail polish and the little girls who play with cars and trains. To the girls who prefer short hair cuts and to the boys who enjoy pedicures. Keep showing your true colors.

To the adults in these little ones’ lives, whether you’re the full-time caregiver or a perfect stranger in a parking lot, when they show up, show them love. Not disapproval or ridicule, but love. Again and again and again.

It’s the simplest thing we can do for them…and it’s everything.

Fingernails

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