I’m eleven years into this parenting thing, and somehow I’ve managed to avoid this conversation until now.
My kids wear uniforms to school, and every Wednesday they get to don their ‘spirit wear,’ which is essentially pajama pants and a tee. When my oldest started at our school, the only options for spirit wear were in their school color – hunter green. The pants were green plaid. The tops were hunter green. Boring. Blah. But a change from their everyday green polo and khaki bottoms.
A couple of years ago, they switched it up and added pink into the mix. Fun, right? Much more so than hunter green. Except… I already have a ton of the green stuff from Avery’s youth. And since I am loathe to spend money on something we already own, Sadie wears the hand me downs.
As I went to the closet this morning to get a tee from the closet, I heard a giant sigh coming from her. “Mom,” she said. “Why can’t I have a pink one? ALL my friends have pink ones. And I’m the ONLY girl wearing the green. It’s me and the boys.”
“You don’t need to be like all the other girls!” I said (because isn’t that the classic mom answer?). “You are fabulous and unique!” I refrained from asking her what she’d do if her friends jumped off a bridge.
“But I WANT to be like the other girls. I love my friends! Why wouldn’t I want to be like them?”
Ugh. This is new territory for me. My oldest truly doesn’t care what anyone else is doing or wearing. She wears what she likes. She chooses activities that pique her interest… regardless of what others may think. I’ve been preaching the whole ‘different is awesome’ philosophy their whole lives, and it stuck with my Ave!
Yet apparently, it’s falling on deaf ears when it comes to my Sadie.
It’s another reminder that each of my children require different styles of parenting, tailored to their unique needs. What works for one may not work for another. This parenting thing – it’s a lot of work! And just when I think I’ve got it figured out, these kids switch it up on me.
I’ll be buying Sadie a pink spirit wear tee for the coming school year. But I’ll also be walking the line between giving in to the “everybody’s doing it” mantra and encouraging her to be the amazing and unique Sadie she was created to be and confident in her own skin. And I’ll be praying for wisdom all the along the way.
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