I recently became a foster mother to a little boy that I plan on adopting. When he first moved in with me he saw me painting my toenails and decided he wanted his painted too. This went on for a few weeks, with me painting his toes whenever I did my own. It was a fun little bonding time, and we both enjoyed it greatly.
Then one day he told me he didn’t want to anymore, and I asked him why. He said it was because the other kids made fun of him. This broke my heart a little bit, because he really enjoyed having his toes painted (he was always very concerned with letting the paint dry, and then would sit and look at his little toes for a while and wiggle them around and smile).
One of the other things we have been working on is his attitude toward gender. He constantly refuses to watch shows or play with toys that he deems ‘girl things’, and was very insistent that boys are stronger than girls. Normal behavior for a little boy, I know, but that’s the problem isn’t it? That everyone thinks it’s normal to train our children to think this way.
So when he says things like that I tell him that shows or toys aren’t for boys or girls, they’re for whoever wants them, and that girls are perfectly capable of being just as strong or stronger than boys.
Last week he came to me with his little bottle of fingernail polish and asked me to paint his toes, because he didn’t care what the other kids said anymore. And this morning he said, completely out of the blue, that boys can wear girl dresses if they want to.
Seeing that I am positively influencing a child’s views on gender expression made my day.
(Submitted by momentsofweakness)