Teaching my tween daughter to be confident and authentic is more important to me than how she dresses. I want her to be comfortable in her own skin.
But, it’s not always that simple.
"What grade is your son in?" a mom at the gym asked. "My daughter is in 4th," I casually replied. I assured the poor woman there's no need to feel bad.
It doesn't bother my daughter.
She's used to it.
Funny enough, when this kid was a toddler, she lived in princess costumes, and pink tutus were busting out of every drawer. Even though kicking a ball and swinging from monkey bars were always favorite pastimes, back then, frilly accessories were plentiful and pants were obsolete. (Flashback to hog-tying said toddler to put on pants when temps dropped below 40 degrees.)
Fast forward as she prepares to turn eleven.
She still likes to over-accessorize to the nth-degree – but now in the form of mismatched Star Wars or Harry Potter socks, sports tights and trucker hats, often looking like a cross between a circus performer and skate rat.
It's not gender plural, or gender fluid or gender neutral. She's herself, and for now prefers green and navy, basketball and Ninja Warrior, and the clothes in the boy's section at Old Navy.
She likes board shorts. Skull caps. Skateboards.
And, you know what? Who cares.
She's also compassionate. Intelligent. Empathetic. Fierce. Kind.
I believe a kid (boy or girl) can be all those things. And still wear pants or bows. Do ballet or shoot hoops. Or be a combination of all those things and more.
Being authentic is key. And learning this at a young age is golden.
For this kid, it's not about being a girl. Or boy. It's viewing life without limits and not falling for stereotypes.
Written by Valli Vida Gideons on www.facebook.com/mybattlecall