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When a Father Stands by His Son

Updated on August 31, 2012
Father holding hands with his son in their small town as they wear a skirt and a dress
Father holding hands with his son in their small town as they wear a skirt and a dress | Source

Can boys wear dresses?

Is it necessary to differentiate between a boy and a girl through their clothing? Today's society, while sometimes open to differences in gender norms, has been in an uproar when a man chose to stand by son instead of telling him to do things differently.

Nils Pickert's son has made the decision that he enjoys wearing dresses. When Nils and his son moved to a small town in Germany the local community was quick to spread the word that this little boy was wearing dresses to school. Not only has this boy suffered bullying in school from his clothing decisions, but he has also been the talk of the town in a very offensive way. Community members don't understand, or want to understand, why he likes to wear dresses. When Nils saw that his son was being greatly effected by the reactions of others, he decided to help him out. While people in the small town were most likely hoping that he would convince his son to stay away from dresses, he chose to instead put on a skirt and going for a stroll with his son through the town.

At the sight of his dad taking no shame in wearing the skirt, the boy was enlivened with confidence, and is no longer worried if others disagree with him about his style choice. Which is good, considering the reaction of readers on Yahoo! When the article made Yahoo! headlines today, the comments were clear on what the people thought of this parenting choice.

"Yep, he sure knows how to raise a child! Makes me sick and i would like to kick his ars!" says Yahoo! user Dale Figmont.

"this country is diseased." claims another user.

"What a stupid article! That little boy will grow up and realize that he had a deeply disturbing childhood." said user Mireya.

I ask you though, what is so wrong with a father standing up for his son. Yes, he is only 5 years old, and maybe not old enough to make many choices, but if he likes wearing a dress then what exactly is wrong with that?

So I did some research, based on some information that I've come across in the past, and found some details that these other people may not have known. First off, the color pink was primarily for boys up until the 1940's, and until this time the color blue was seen as a girls' color. Boys actually use to wear skirts and dresses rather often in the past too. Take for instance, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who as a child was photographed with longer hair while wearing a skirt. It isn't the first time that a young boy has worn a skirt or a dress, and the fact is, that used to be the norm. However, people are so close minded these days that they think it's absolutely disgusting to allow your son to wear a dress.

I'm not a parent myself, but when I have kids, I know that I want to them to have a sense of freedom. Clearly a child can't do everything that they want, but sometimes, it's better to just let them make their own decisions. Allowing for a child to be a part of the decision making process gives them strength and confidence, and standing by your child when they do make these kinds of decisions that others may not agree with, is one of the greatest things that you can do as a parent.

Was he right?

Did this father do the right thing by sticking up for his son in the face of adversity?

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    • alyssabarron profile image

      Alyssa Barron 5 years ago from Illinois

      Exactly what I felt when I first heard about this story. Also, I complete understand what you mean about parents fattening up their children. I mean, I understand that sometimes conditions arise that make it extremely difficult to maintain a healthy weight. But come on! These parents are practically shoving junk food down their children's throats and then we they become overweight and very unhealthy, they just can't to figure out how it happened. There are certain decisions that parents just need to be on top off constantly, and there are some, like in this story, that children can make at times, and that parents should support.

    • visionandfocus profile image

      visionandfocus 5 years ago from North York, Canada

      There is too much hatred and intolerance in the world. What is so wrong with clothing choice? It's insignificant compared to other choices like junk food (and no-one bats an eyelid when parents feed their kids what can ultimately kill them). This father has more guts than any of those people who see fit to condemn an innocent child for an innocent choice. This father did not submit to fear. Instead he's well on his way to raising a well-adjusted and free-spirited child who will not base his beliefs and actions on what others think of him.

      Eleanor Roosevelt was right: No-one can make you feel inferior without your consent. Nils Pickert did for his son what few fathers would do--show his love and support in public. Not that the other fathers do not love their sons--they're just so fearful of what others would think of them. Other people's opinion matters more to them. And people have the nerve to condemn Pickert? It's a sorry state of affairs indeed.