Wwyd - toddler choosing 'girls' shoes..(128 Posts)
I'm sure variations of this have been done before but here goes: my DS is 2.5 & drawn to bright, sparkly, interesting things. Last time we were buying shoes, he chose a pink pair of trainers, with a large sparkly purple heart on each side. I told him there were none left in his size. He then asked for a purple pair of boots while I was waiting for the 'boys' trainers I'd chosen to come out from the store room. I made another excuse & bought my choice & he looked a little bit disappointed. Leaving the shop I felt strange & wrong in my gut that I'd done that. Anyway, needless to say, there were no ill effects. My reason for not allowing the girls shoes was mainly if an older child teased him. He attends a nursery with after schoolers. He would not recognise being teased but still didn't want to risk it. He is now due more shoes & while in a shop yesterday asked me for pink ones again. We didn't get any but will need to in the next few weeks.
Just to add, he has a selection of toys which would be considered traditionally 'boys' & 'girls' toys & I usually allow him to pick the colour of whatever we may be buying for him, bedclothes, cups etc. He loves to have his nails painted which I do etc. I have no issues with any of that but felt the shoes, worn in public was a step to far..
Should I let him choose next time or is potentially protecting him from being teased more important?
I would totally let my ds have them. In fact he's 2 and wearing pink stripy tights today...his choice! I think gendered clothing is ridiculous
i think you did the right thing.
how about red?
Get him the shoes. I would think teaching him that:
a) objects don't need to be gendered and he doesn't need to be or act in a certain way because he's a boy and
b) he is strong enough in his own mind to resist peer pressure
are more important than going along with some societal weirdness about pink.
otherwise i guess you could experiment, get him cheap pink shoes and see how the after schoolers react? he may change his mind after that.
Let him have the shoes he wants, he'll grow out of them soon enough anyway.
My ds did this and I said the same as you for the same reasons. I wish they made boys shoes a bit more fun like the girls shoes. We ended up buying flashy trainers as a compromise (as in the light-up ones). They didn't go with anything but he was happy.
Let him have the shoes!
But I guess if you're really worried then perhaps buy sensible everyday shoes and then maybe some bright sparkly wellies/crocs/trainers at the same time?
Oh, please let him have the shoes he likes!! If he gets teased, you can deal with it then, but I would hope the after school club would address that sort of behaviour.
My three year old son fell in love with a pair of patent red boots last time we bought shoes but sadly they didn't come in his size. Mind you, that was in a Sarf London indy shoe shop where the owner brings out all the shoes for all the kids, so no boy/girl stuff. My daughter has had 'boy' shoes in the past.
Ds had loads of pink glittery things as a toddler. He would never pick glittery or pink now at 5.
Personally I would just let him have them.
I have a girl and a boy and let them pick what they wanted.
Dd was picked on in reception because she had Ben 10 lunch box and that was 'only for boys'. I told that was ridiculous and spoke to the school and told them I expected to sort it.
You can't spend your life avoiding things because someone might pick on them. Everyone has something for nasty said to them at some point. It impossible to completely avoid. What yiu can expect is the people in charge to deal with it.
I am totally going to sit on the fence with this one.
There was a great flow chart meme that went around a while back about gendered toys that asked if the toy was to be played with using genitals. Yes: this toy is not for children, No: it is suitable for any child that wants to play with it. It is the same theory here. It's a shoe, you wear it on your feet, if he wants pink sparkly then why would you stop him?
On the other hand, I suspect I would have done the same as you. Even knowing and believing the above. We have an instinctual need to protect our children, and the risk of ridicule would probably lead me to back down and encourage a more gender neutral choice. At which point I would be really angry with myself and the word in general.
However I know nothing on this subject. I have girls and nowadays it's completely socially acceptable to encourage girls to buy stereotypical 'boys' items.
Thanks for the responses. My gut reaction felt wrong last time hoodwinking him.
Just on peer pressure & gendered items lessons, do you think he'd understand at 2.5? He's very verbal & secure etc but just wondering if it would be lost on him.
I also worry that he'll look back at videos & photos & say 'how could you let me wear that?!' etc...
What will happen if he wears pink sparkly shoes?
My guess: a male relative (more likely statistically to be male) will get grumpy.
Unlikely to happen: he will turn gay, go into musical theatre, get teased (or in the very unlikely event that some older children tease him, that he will care) or that his willy will drop off.
Possible outcomes: he will like a wider variety of colours, he will learn that things that are typically for girls are actually OK and not dangerous.
My daughter is year 1 and there is a boy in her class who loves pink, and wears his Elsa dress to parties. He is a lovely, happy and friendly boy, and although DD had a brief giggle about him wearing a dress (only after a few months of not commenting) he gets pretty much no grief from classmates from what I can see. His mum has never mentioned any problems.
I had similar with one of my twins at a similar age. I didn't buy him the beautiful patent pink shoes he wanted, but mainly on the basis that we were buying nursery shoes, and I wouldn't have let my daughter have those ones for nursery, so I wouldn't let him have them either. But I did ask around my friends if anyone had an old pair of vaguely sparkly shoes hanging around (my daughter's had all been passed on long ago, not that she's ever been a sparkly shoes sort of person).
He quickly ended up with 3 pairs of so called girly shoes that he loved for a short time. Now 6 months later he will wear them occasionally, if reminded. It was definitely a phase and I'm glad I didn't spend £30+ on the original pink shoes, but equally glad I found him an alternative at the time.
Quite honestly I wouldn't be buying gimmicky pink sparkly shoes for either sex as they're just not practical!
I would have no problem with saying they need to choose something more sensible that goes with a wide variety of clothes.
Let him wear what he wants. You're only reinforcing the stereotypes you are trying to avoid.
Stop going to ridiculous shops that only stock gendered shoes. Check out Bobux, Kickers, Livie and Luca for "neutral" shoes. Largely available from independent shoe shops and Happy Little Soles (their online fitting advice and customer services are superb).
Great suggestion Malermalergoni, that could be a good way to compromise.
I agree with you all, in theory. And I absolutely agree, there'll be plenty I can't protect him from, it's just that he's so little!
I brought my 2DS girl shoes last week. We needed shoe for a particular purpose and there were no boy ones so we got girl ones. Both DSS are happy as Larry with thier colour shoes
I have a 5yr old DS with ASD who loves everything pink and sparkly. He got some amazing pink wellies and trainers for Christmas and they are his pride and joy. His ASD protects him somewhat from teasing as he is largely oblivious to social constructs, but he is starting school soon and I would hate to see him upset by other kids who are a bit more savvy to this sort of thing so it is a delicate balance. I tend to "accessorise" him in pink - shoes, hat, gloves, the occasional t-shirt or Christmas jumper rather than dress him head to toe in it.
Also trying to instil some attitude about it. No one tells him he can't wear what he likes, they are his clothes and his choice and no one has the right to choose those things for him. I think those are good life lessons to learn early, particularly for someone who is likely to struggle with societal expectations as he gets older.
Would you have the same issue if a girl had chosen blue shoes with dinosaurs?
If he wants pink shoes, let him wear pink shoes. If older children then pick on him at nursery, take that up with staff because that shouldn't be happening no matter what shoes he wears.
Folk get too hung up on gender stuff, and especially in toddlers. "It's societal norms" we hear over and over again. Like us, the people who live in society, have no control over that.
My DS wanted pink and white barbie shoes at that age, but they genuinely didn't have them in his size or else I would have got him them.
However, he did have quite a selection of sparkly kids necklaces, bracelets and hair grips (he had quite beautiful unruly curls back then, not that you'd know now). He chse himself an outfit for his nursery pictures which was a bright pink polo shirt with a black and pink plaid shirt over it. A few people raised eyebrows and queried the pink, but M&S were selling it in the 'boys' range, so...
Anyway, he's always had a choice, he's not been teased to my knowledge, even when he's taken his dolls to school (at 8!) and at nearly 10 he understands he can like what he likes and if that's a pink floral print hawaiian shirt then that's just fine. He went through a stage of thinking because of what he liked he must be trans (not in those words, but that's what he meant) but now understands gender stereotypes and gender equality and is now quite firm that he is definitely a boy, who likes girls, who also likes babies, cooking and art. Thankfully he has an artistic chef SAHD as a very beloved Uncle which has helped him see that we don't all have to conform.
Seriously, buy him the shoes. They're only little and unaware of all this gendered nonsense for such a short time!
Get him the shoes he wants. Stop pandering to bullies. That is what is happening when a child doesn't get what they want when the reason is someone might tease them. Small steps etc
DD currently has boy trainers. She doesn't care as she's sensible and confident. I don't care as I'm not cowed by ridiculous gender stipulations.
Join the discussion
Please login first.