April 5, 2016

Why I Paint My Son’s Nails & Why You Shouldn’t Care.

Bob Walker, Flickr.com

It seems as though everyone has an opinion on how you raise your children. And everyone seems to feel it is their duty to voice their concern.

But when it comes to judging my son and me, I draw the line. This has been made very apparent for the most ridiculous reason I could ever imagine—I painted my almost three year old son’s nails.

Oh the humanity!

The voices or even more concerning, subtle whispers behind my back as well as in front made it clear they thought I was damaging my son. Because I let him sport hot pink sparkly nails—more than once.

Now it is 2016 and there are bigger problems in the world than the color of my son’s nails, but this seems to be an ever-growing dinner table subject among family and friends lately so here are my reasons why I “allowed” my son to paint his nails:

1. I will not allow him to feel shame when asking me a question.

We were leaving for vacation and I was painting my nails the night before we left. He came over and said in his sweet little boy voice “Pretty! Me too?” in which I replied, “Of course buddy, go pick a color.” I had every color in that drawer. Even what some people would consider “boy” colors. And he picked pink, hot pink. Now I could have immediately laughed at him or scoffed or told him no but I chose a different route.

Without batting an eye, I met his gaze and said “Beautiful choice, that will look so nice with your new sandals!”

2. It shows my support.

I decided that if it isn’t hurting him or anyone else, I want him to know I will be there and I will support him—even if I didn’t like it or it had bothered me. It starts off with small things in childhood that shows him I am here and it grows into other junctures in his life later on.  He will know I will be there for him regardless if I agree or not.

3. It is just a color.

I will not teach my child that certain colors are for boys and certain colors are for girls. To his beautiful and non-judgmental mind colors are just colors. There are no differences between pink or blue. They are just simply a color. One is not more and one is not less. They are EQUAL.

4. It allowed us uninterrupted bonding time.

He is almost three. He never ever sits still. He is also a big brother to a super attached, still nursing every two hours, baby brother that doesn’t allow us much one on one time. When he had asked me to paint his nails, his brother was asleep. While his nails were drying he was sitting still for once—allowing us a good 15 minutes of talking and giggles.

5. It is not hurting anyone

He now pulls out my nail polish whenever he wants and asks me to paint his nails. He picks a new color every time. He gets sad when they chip. His decision to enjoy an extra splash of color is not hurting you. It is not “girly.” It is not negative. It is not gay. It is a three year old expressing himself.

6. It made him happy.

No description is needed. He was happy. A happy kid—I will not take that away from him.

We all could all learn something from the way little children think.

He is open. He doesn’t see things such as color as good or bad. He is just as likely to try to nurse a baby doll, as he is to smash trucks together.

He doesn’t judge. He see’s things as they are.

As his mother, it is my job to encourage that. To do my part to create a human who is tolerant, loving, and compassionate. This all goes way beyond a boy having pink nails and I encourage you all to see that and be open to his way of being.






How to Raise a Boy.

The Difference between Boys & Girls—Louis C.K.


Author: Amber St. Pierre

Assistant Editor: Tammy Novak / Editor: Renée Picard

Photo Credit: Bob Walker/ Flickr.com




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