The Power of Letting My Child Just Be Him

The most judgmental people I have ever met are pre-parents & Christians. In my very distant past, I used to be a very judgy Christian, shouting my scriptures & thumping my Bible in the faces of heathens. But I was also a very judgy pre-parent. My kid will never act like that, she won’t ever say those things, eat those things, do those things. Guess who’s eating those words?

One judgement I held to tightly even into having kids was how I dressed my kids. I have always been vehemently against those loud, bright, screen print Wal-Mart character clothing, or almost anything from Wal-Mart. If I ever saw kids dressed mismatched in public or in costume I always turned a side eye to the parent thinking “Wow, You really lost control today huh?” And my disdain for light up shoes could cover a paragraph & a half!

power to be

Until I had kids.

I have strict rules about clothing. What type we wear to the playground, to playgroup, church & school. Never shall a playground shirt meet with church pants. The same goes for shoes. Phoenix started becoming obsessed with costumes around the age of 2. I fought him hard to keep those clothes out of our public outings. I never let him dress himself for fear that someone would give me the stink eye for losing a battle of wits with my toddler.

Until I realized the power of letting my child just be him.

It happened this summer (yes it took that long!). He’s 5 now & has become increasingly independent with every passing day. He’s figured out how to hop on the kitchen counter to get dishes, find his channels on the TV, & grab Caspian out of his crib if I’m tied up. But somehow I couldn’t trust that I could send him upstairs to dress himself. The first few times I let him do it, I cringed when he’d come down the steps & I would have to climb them myself to get more appropriate clothing before heading out. But somewhere down the line I just stopped.

power to be 2

I let him continue to wear whatever super hero costume he had on at the moment & allowed the accessories to spill across the backseat. I allowed him to create different looks and disguises with glasses, too small vest & hats. And then one day…I sent him to school dressed like that, and he looked adorable. He effortlessly pulled off the “Clark Kent” look he was aiming for & I could see how proud he was of being able to do something by himself or the time I let him go to the movie in the park dressed in a raincoat when it was 100 plus outside. He walked up to a family of people & said “Want to see what’s under my jacket?” & he unzipped to reveal his pride and joy. A dirty Superman tee. 

I stopped worrying about how much dirt covered his pants or how scuffed up he would get his brand new shoes. “He’s a boy.” I often remind myself. The best times in childhood, are spent covered in mud with scratches & scabs. Imagination thrives when I don’t restrict him to staying clean or playing inside the lines.

power to be 3

I have always been a creative person & Shawn makes his living with his creativity. It is inspiring to us as parents to watch our children form their own opinions & build for themselves something that makes them happy & feel as if they have a sense of power. I always want to strive to cultivate individuality, creativity, and boldness in my children. Besides, I know he won’t be 5 forever. There will come a day where I will need to wear a gas mask & flashlight to enter Hollister to pick out overpriced t-shirts & hoodies & I will be longing for the days where it was as simple as pulling on a Superman T-shirt & shorts with cool buckles & a purple fedora.

However, I secretly hope that he will forever hold on to this part of himself that isn’t afraid to be bold. Isn’t afraid to be daring. That he proudly wears all of his decisions as a badge of honor. Smack dab in the middle of a retro tuxedo shirt to his prom.

 You can see more of his adventurous in dressing on my Instagram & click here to actually find out who #Phizzle really is.

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4 Responses to “The Power of Letting My Child Just Be Him”

  1. Sally says:

    Ah yes, my four year old is the same. He has to wear the same pants everyday and I finally stopped fighting it. Also, his swat team Halloween costume that has become way too short. Go ahead son, let’s just get out of the house in one piece. Just found your blog through gomi xoxoxo

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  2. oh wow, he is awesomely-cute! love the Clark Kent look! Yeah, I used to be a pretty uptight parent when my two oldest were toddlers…and then I had a boy and I realized he wasn’t bad because he couldn’t stop touching things in the store, he was just -busy, and different. I relaxed a whole lot after that realization.

    loved this post, I hope you keep writing :)
    Jenn @ Home is Where recently posted..My Burn Book {parrots in the morning}

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  3. Rachel says:

    I’m reading a book on happiness and one of the things it says that when we become aware of an issue/flaw in ourselves, that’s the moment we begin to be able to change. Before then, we’re stuck in this unconscious limbo of doing shit that keeps us from being happy. Obviously it’s way more eloquent than that or no one would read it, haha. I think parenting is the same thing. I was very judgmental ABOUT Christians before I became one, and certainly about parents before I became one. Seeing a different side of a situation makes it so much easier to become aware of things we need to change. It’s awesome that you were able to do that with this specific aspect of your parenting life, because it’s hard just to realize you’re doing something you don’t like as a parent, much less to change it. And to let kids be their true authentic self, which can be very different from who you “want” them to be? Struggle.

    Sorry I wrote so much, I don’t know how to write short things. :)
    Rachel recently posted..the worst sound in the world

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  4. Chris says:

    Not just “he’s a boy” but he’s just a kid. This could be transferred to a girl kid too. Fantastic post!
    Chris recently posted..I Like Shiny Things: Disneyland Half Marathon 2013 Race Report

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