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Should I let my 7 yo boy wear nail varnish at school?

(77 Posts)
Twoprinces Mon 17-Jul-17 16:59:44

My 7 yo son has started to want to wear nail varnish at school, the more colourful the better.

I'm in 2 minds as to let him. On one hand he displays several mannerisms that could be considered quite 'camp'. Whilst I'm keeping an open mind at the minute, is 7 too young to suspect your child may be gay, I am mindful that I would never want to impose hetrosexist rules upon him in order that, if he does turn out to be gay, I make him feel that something is 'wrong' with him and cause him to struggle with his sexuality?

On the other hand he does also have autism, which may account for him being non-conofrmist, and is statistically at a lot greater risk of being bullied. I wouldn't want to do, or allow him to do, anything that put him at greater risk and could make his life really miserable.

It boils down to do I make my boy miserable by making him feel weird for his choices or do I allow others to make him miserable by exposing him to bullies.

Please let somebody be able to offer a third way.

Dawnedlightly Mon 17-Jul-17 17:01:13

The third way is surely that no 7 yo
should wear nail varnish to school. What does it say in the rules?

Hoppinggreen Mon 17-Jul-17 17:01:33

No you shouldn't and neither should you let your 7 year old daughter if you have one
It's not a sexuality issue it's a what age appropriate to wear for school issue

Possumfish Mon 17-Jul-17 17:01:38

Does school actually allow nail varnish? Many don't.

grasspigeons Mon 17-Jul-17 17:01:55

Well I wouldn't let a girl wear nail varnish to school so wouldn't get in a pickle saying no to a boy.

Justhadmyhaircut Mon 17-Jul-17 17:02:00

No nail varnish at our school regardless of who you are. . .

Sirzy Mon 17-Jul-17 17:02:01

Is it actually allowed? Most schools I know don't allow nail varnish

Justgivemesomepeace Mon 17-Jul-17 17:02:08

No because no one should be wearing nail varnish to school confused

Whosthemummynow Mon 17-Jul-17 17:02:16

Kids aren't allowed nail varnish at school.....

Saiman Mon 17-Jul-17 17:02:47

I have never known a school allow kids to wear nail varnish. Regardless of gender.

SasBel Mon 17-Jul-17 17:03:19

Another one saying no nail varnish or makeup at school regardless of the sex of the child.

AfunaMbatata Mon 17-Jul-17 17:03:48

No nail varnish unless clear at most schools.

Saiman Mon 17-Jul-17 17:04:32

Oh and my male boss wears nail varnish. Always in his toes sometimes in his hands. He is neither 'camp', gay or transgender. He just likes it.

BenLui Mon 17-Jul-17 17:04:34

No seven year old should be wearing nail varnish at school or anywhere else.

His sex is irrelevant.

MissTakesOurMaid Mon 17-Jul-17 17:04:34

What are the school's policies on nail polish? Do they let girls wear nail polish? If no, obviously, don't let your boy wear nail polish.

Plus, wearing nail polish won't 'make your child gay' and isn't instantly 'camp' - as a 25yo man making the choice to wear nail polish then it could be considered camp but... he's only a little boy, OP! It doesn't matter, surely and at this age isn't an indicator that he'll be gay?! confused - I wouldn't let worries of 'what if he turns out gay?' cloud your view, that's a bit ridiculous.

trinity0097 Mon 17-Jul-17 17:04:46

Nail varnish and make up are not allowed at school

PossumInAPearTree Mon 17-Jul-17 17:06:43

Let him wear it st weekends and remove on a Sunday evening. Schools don't tend to let any 7yo wear nail varnish.

Bigbiscuits Mon 17-Jul-17 17:23:34

He is 7 years old. He like to dress up like other 7 year olds.

It is not a predictor of anything (if it were, I would not have let my DS buy the monkey outfit he so despitately wanted when he was 7 grin)

But just as my DS was not allowed to wear monkey outfit at school, your DS (and every other kids at school) is not allowed to wear nail varnish at school.

goingagain Mon 17-Jul-17 17:27:32

Goodness me... the fact he wants to wear nail varnish at 7 means nothing! FWIW my 4 and 3 year old boys love wearing it but they are not allowed to wear it at school (obviously).

Seems you are way over thinking this. He shouldn't have it on at school but if he wants to wear it at home then fine. Don't make it into a girl or boy thing (I had to stop myself saying 'usually only girls wear nail varnish'), it's just a fun thing for them like having their face painted or whatever.

goingagain Mon 17-Jul-17 17:27:59

Boys are 5 and 3 btw (almost 6 and 4)

SissySpacekAteMyHamster Mon 17-Jul-17 17:28:01

My now 12 year old used to love wearing bright pink nail varnish. He didn't wear it to school as it wasn't allowed for any child.

He used to like dressing in princess outfits at the play area.

He's grown out of it.

Not sure how a 7 year old can be regarded as camp to be honest.

TheCountessofFitzdotterel Mon 17-Jul-17 17:30:26

Show him his choices are perfectly normal by letting him choose a nice colour for himself but don't let him wear it to school.

Twoprinces Mon 17-Jul-17 17:33:54

There is no mention of nail varnish in the school uniform policy and many of the girls do wear it. I was shocked that it was allowed and I'd already told him it wasn't as I just assumed it wouldnt be.

If I question the policy with school then I will be the grinch to every other little girl and their parents.

RiverTam Mon 17-Jul-17 17:35:24

We are a non-uniform school and I think nail varnish is allowed. If it is allowed then yes, why not? No one would bat an eyelid in our school, there's a boy with hair halfway down his back.

Haudyerwheesht Mon 17-Jul-17 17:38:48

Yeah I'd probably allow it - my daughter is 6 and wears nail varnish to school

WaxyBean Mon 17-Jul-17 17:40:32

In our School no children can wear nail polish. My DC (boys aged 5 and 7) regularly have painted toe nails (eldest in football team colours, youngest likes glitters). Staff and pupils have seen them while they have been changing for PE - it has never been an issue for anyone. DC shrug off any comments about it being girly.

NapQueen Mon 17-Jul-17 17:41:37

I dont allow my 6yo dd to wear nail varnish to school so would insist on the same for ds should he want to. Only because I think nail varnish looks shit when chipped and it chips all the time. So no from me.

However as and when dd wears it (weekends, holidays etc), ds would also be allowed of he wanted to.

Twoprinces Mon 17-Jul-17 17:45:00

I have tried to get away with clear or quite pale nail varnish but he's having none of it. He wants bright orange, yellow, blue and green.

I guess, looking at the comments, that I can let him wear it at school for the final week. I am a little disappointed that the school doesn't have a stance in their uniform policy.

He has had a few comments from other children when he's been out with me at the weekends but nothing too nasty. I will let him wear it during the holidays and if he still wants to wear it after the holidays we will just go for it.

MarklahMarklah Mon 17-Jul-17 17:48:48

If other children wear nail varnish and it is not mentioned in the policy then if he wants to wear it, I think you should let him.
However, you will need to tell him that some children will tease or make remarks so that he is prepared for this.

I have a friend with autism who is most definitely non-conformist. Over the years, she has developed a very thick skin as people tend to make pithy remarks about her appearance from time to time.

BenLui Mon 17-Jul-17 17:55:01

You don't need to question the school policy, you don't need to be "disappointed in the school" you just need to put on your big girl pants.

My DCs school doesn't ban nail varnish either but that's irrelevant, I don't allow it. I don't think it's appropriate.

If you don't want your child of either sex not to wear nail varnish say so.

This really isn't a gender issue.

Surely your 7 yo understands that different parents have different rules.

lookingforsomething Mon 17-Jul-17 17:56:49

Don't be ridiculous. Nail varnish is not appropriate at school full stop. Age 7??

MissWilmottsGhost Mon 17-Jul-17 18:03:03

I let DD wear nail varnish on her toes but not on her fingers.

Would that be a suitable compromise for your DS?

originalbiglymavis Mon 17-Jul-17 18:04:54

It must be holidays soon, I assume. Our school doesn't allow nail varnish. I don't really think it's a camp/gay/whatever the latest buzzword is. Sounds like he just fancies it.

In the 70s dad used to spend a lot of time in France and bought himself a French manbag - ot looked like a small black leather clutchbag with a wrist strap. We kids were horrified that he wanted to use it in the UK! He said it made perfect sense - somewhere to keep your wallet and keys without jamming your pockets.

He was right - but 1974 Glasgow just wasn't ready for it...

2bfather Mon 17-Jul-17 18:10:34

Isn't it a bit silly to say nail varnish is wrong? What's the big deal? If the child likes the look of his/her hands with colours and is unselfconscious enough to do it without a care then that's just self expression no? Let's celebrate the fact they aren't beating themselves up about it. Life will get hard enough, soon enough without anyone denying this simple pleasure at 7!

SirNiallDementia Mon 17-Jul-17 18:11:02

My 6 year old DS loves wearing nail varnish but I don't let him wear it for school as I don't think nail varnish, temporary tattoos or any other sort of make up is appropriate for primary school kids, girls or boys. Even though some kids in DS class do have nail varnish and tattoos.

So we do nail varnish at weekends and holidays but it comes off for school. My rules!

VestalVirgin Tue 18-Jul-17 06:04:23

Let him wear it.

But - you must be aware you need to protect him. Not just from the bullying - if he is anything like me, he'll tell you that he won't succumb to the bullies and do what they want - but from the sexist stereotypes they try to teach him.

If the girls at his school wear nail varnish, so can he. If he is bullied, confirm that he is right and the bullies are wrong, and that the bullying must be stopped for real, not just by making him change but by making the bullies change.
Don't ask him to succumb to bullies, my mother did that to me, and as result I felt like she wasn't on my side. (And her tactic never made the bullying go away, besides)

Whether or not he will grow up to be gay, he is autistic, and thus at greater risk to be harmed by sexist stereotypes than other children. Your instinct to not impose sexism on him is 100% right.

If you feel you cannot in good conscience allow him something non-conformist he wants to do, never phrase it in a way that implies you agree with the potential bullies. Openly admit that you are worried because some people are stupid idiots and would give him shit for it and suggest that he pretend to be one of them; don't suggest that he should change to be more like them.

VestalVirgin Tue 18-Jul-17 06:11:24

Isn't it a bit silly to say nail varnish is wrong?

I find it very silly. I know red nail varnish does, for some reason, make some people think sexual thoughts, but I don't think the same is true for blue and green. It's just playing around with colours.

School uniform rules might forbid it, but if they don't, there's no reason to enforce such a rule as parent. Especially when children of the other sex are regularly seen doing it, and your child will perceive it as sexism that he's not allowed.

EccentricPickle Tue 18-Jul-17 06:21:26

if it's allowed at school and he's adamant that he wants to wear it, then let him by all means.

A lot of men/boys wear nail varnish nowadays. It's no big deal IMO. All the guys in Love Island have been wearing blue nail varnish. Yes, I watch it - no judging please grin.

At my DD's school it's not allowed so I don't let them wear it, although they're not that interested in it anyway.

MaisyPops Tue 18-Jul-17 06:22:43

Most schools don't allow nail varnish.

Even if the school didn't explicitly mention it in the uniform code, I wouldn't be letting my child (male or female) wear nail varnish to school.
When they get to secondary then things like nail varnish, false nails etc are explicitly mentioned in the uniform code.

But then I'm also not a fan of having uniform chats that seem to centre on 'but Mrs Maisy, Daniel said that other children had these black trainers as school shoes...' And this seems to be 'but other children.. '

TestTubeTeen Tue 18-Jul-17 06:27:24

I wouldn't be letting DD or DS wear nail varnish to school.

A 'dressing up' thing only at that age.

Actually I was even more against dd adopting vain grown up adornment. Little girls thinking growing up is about hours spent applying nail varnish. We need an alternative view of womanhood. For all sexes and genders.

cansu Tue 18-Jul-17 06:33:22

I wouldn't. Protecting him from bullying or just general unkind beh would be the reason. He is too young to cope with others comments and is also vulnerable due to his asd. Let him wear it at weekends and holidays.

NevermindtheBollocks Mon 31-Jul-17 21:05:20

Will nail varnish effect children's learning?

HorridHenrietta23 Mon 31-Jul-17 23:06:16

No 7 year olds should wear nail varnish at school so there's an easy answer. Parties and special occasions is fine.

PlainOldJosephineMary Mon 31-Jul-17 23:15:08

He's 7.

glitterlips1 Mon 31-Jul-17 23:16:16

Err no!?!

Twoprinces Sat 12-Aug-17 19:01:00

I'm most concerned as I've worked with GMP on an initiative that tackled homophobic bullying. What we discovered was just how serious the impact of homophobic pejoratives can be on a young person's mind. I'm not saying that I would be bothered if my son is gay or even that I necessarily think this is a pre-indicator. What worries me is that we live in such a hetrosexist society where do I draw the line. He is already bullied due to his autism and I want to provide an environment that both protects him from bullying but which also challenges hetrosexism. I feel quite disappointed with some people's accusations that I'm being homophobic by asking the question as this certainly isn't the case hun x

ITCouldBeWorse Sat 12-Aug-17 19:05:17

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

WorkingBling Sat 12-Aug-17 19:05:23

DD, aged 3 is currently wearing nail polish on both fingers and toes. DS, aged 6, used to wear it sometimes. But I told him not at school (he could have on his toes) and DD will be the same when she's older. It's a tough one because there's the "appropriateness" factor (irrelevant if the child is a boy or a girl) and the "gender" factor where we question the boy/ girl thing.

DS did get a few comments when he wore nail polish. We just responded with comments like "he likes the colour."

SolomanDaisy Sat 12-Aug-17 19:09:17

How ridiculous to suggest that no 7 year-olds should wear nail varnish to school. Loads of the best performing education systems in the world don't have any uniform rules, it's a stupid British obsession.

OP, my 6 year-old DS wears it. I hadn't actually thought of the possibility of homophobic comments, they seem a bit young for that and also kids just seem to accept same sex relationships as normal now, I've never heard any questions about the same sex parents at my DS's school anyway. I have had conversations about how some silly people might say it's just for girls because they've heard silly stuff about how in the past some stuff was girl stuff and some for boys. He's been fine.

ITCouldBeWorse Sat 12-Aug-17 19:14:20

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Ca55andraMortmain Sat 12-Aug-17 19:15:11

I would just check the school policy and if it's allowed, let him wear it. I'm a teacher and have 4 children with ASD in my class. They have a slightly different behaviour/reward system than the NT children and can choose a reward for certain behaviour rules being met. Just before the holidays having their nails painted was definitely the reward of choice for all 4 of them (1 girl, 3 boys). None of the other kids made a big deal of it at all and in fact a few of the other boys asked if they could do their nails as a golden time activity.

sonlypuppyfat Sat 12-Aug-17 19:20:28

Shouldn't he be just playing with toys and riding his bike at 7 without worrying about nail polish

SolomanDaisy Sat 12-Aug-17 20:12:47

I don't think he's thinking about the nail varnish while he's riding his bike...

VestalVirgin Sun 13-Aug-17 12:37:19

Children don't see nail varnish as a way of making themselves more appealing to the other sex. They just think it looks nice.

Saying they should be playing with toys instead is like saying children who want to have their face painted so they look like a cat shouldn't "worry about make-up".

Ktown Sun 13-Aug-17 12:40:14

My daughter isn't allowed to wear nail polish to school.
And as I am sure many have commented: nail polish can be for boys and girls so that isn't the issue.
Perhaps focus on learning and studies rather than nonsense.

titchy Sun 13-Aug-17 12:45:28

even that I necessarily think this is a pre-indicator.

And yet you posted in LGBT children hmm

SayNoToCarrots Sun 13-Aug-17 14:46:48

My five year old son has worn nail polish to school. At first I said no, but girls in his class have it, so I could see no reason he shouldn't. He proudly showed his teacher and she said it looked nice. A couple of the girls said it was only for girls, but he wasn't bothered. After doing it once or twice it lost its appeal.

Orangebird69 Sun 13-Aug-17 14:49:13

Why is this even in LGBT?

2ducks2ducklings Sun 13-Aug-17 15:04:27

Most schools don't allow any child to wear nail varnish. If that's the case at your sons school, then yabu.

RockyBird Sun 13-Aug-17 15:10:59

My kids' school is strictly no nail polish (or makeup/jewellery).

DD, age 6 or 7 at the time, was told off for having nail polish on her tiny toenails by the swimming teacher. I'd forgotten she had them painted.

noon12321 Wed 25-Oct-17 23:04:59

let him wear the nail varnish. If the school doesnt like it then he can take it off, but if the school doesnt like it because a boy is wearing it then allow him to keep it on.
I'm Not a mum, im a teenager whos closeted but supports all those in the LGBTQ+ community. One way of making him feel comfortable whilst he's growing up and possibly questioning his sexuality or gender, is by referring to relationships with people as "partners" as this won't force him to believe that he can only have girlfriends and that having feelings for another boy is something to be ashamed of. If this had been done for me I believe that it would not put me in the place it has now, as i am trying to come out and accept that i am not straight but gay, which is very hard when you're growing up in a hetero and cis normative society.

Darlingsof Mon 20-Nov-17 14:11:41

If nail varnish is allowed then yes of course let him wear it. We shouldn't prevent a child from doing something that's more associated with the opposite gender. IF he is queer/gay/bi then stopping 'girlie' habits or behaviours won;t matter a jot

SlowlyShrinking Mon 20-Nov-17 14:18:17

Children wearing makeup isn’t very nice (imo) doesn’t matter which sex they are.

RhythmStix Mon 20-Nov-17 14:20:40

Is it actually a big deal? why are little children wearing makeup to school? why are parents allowing them to?

SheGotBetteDavisEyes Mon 20-Nov-17 14:24:29

I have tried to get away with clear or quite pale nail varnish but he's having none of it. He wants bright orange, yellow, blue and green

'Having none of it?' He's 7 and you're the parent. I wouldn't let any of my DC wear nail polish for school in bright colours.

Even when it comes to LGBT issues and kids, it's still possible to simply be really overthinking something.

strawberrypenguin Mon 20-Nov-17 15:00:20

No. 7 year olds are not allowed to wear nail varnish to school. Be a parent and tell him no.

faintlinesquints Mon 20-Nov-17 15:04:12

Unusual for a primary school to be fine with children wearing coloured nail polish. If it isn't against the rules then why not? Polish isn't allowed at my younger dds schools but at dd1s high school it is and lots of boys and girls wear it.

Queenofthedrivensnow Mon 20-Nov-17 15:19:38

So he’s bullied and you want to invite mire?

InfertileLeon Thu 14-Dec-17 14:25:40

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

Eolian Thu 14-Dec-17 14:31:22

If I were you, I'd just say that, regardless of the rules you don't think nail varnish is suitable for school.

AuntLydia Thu 14-Dec-17 14:35:09

I think I speak for us all Leon when I say; thank God you're infertile.

yes17 Sun 17-Jun-18 02:59:35

yes, let him wear the nail polish. If the school doesn't like it, they'll get him to take it off. So what if he'd be considered camp? Maybe exposing his peers to the idea that boys can wear it too, they won't grow up using homophobic slurs after pretty much every sentence they use and they'll stop descibing things as "gay"
All these small things, like letting your son/daughter/child wearing the clothes that makes them feel comfortable, even if they don't fit the 'norm' for their gender, could have a major impact on the future (a positive impact though)

aaarrrggghhhh Sun 17-Jun-18 21:17:37

I haven't read the thread yet - but has anyone pointed out that there is no scientifically established correlation between wanting bright colours painted on your nails and being gay?

HelenCBelcher Mon 25-Mar-19 00:09:17

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

ADropofReality Tue 09-Apr-19 01:00:03

Is there any child left in the 21st Century who is not austistic?

As a nation, we cannot make exceptions for everyone? Someone (or, a large number of someones) have to get on with the jobs without an endless supply of excusing doctor's notes.

Thisandthat1248 Tue 06-Aug-19 14:54:19

If the school allows nail varnish, you don't mind your kids wearing nail varnish and you kid wants to wear it then it seems like a pretty simple answer.

Iamdobby63 Tue 06-Aug-19 19:47:51

My son always wanted to wear nail varnish, his school had a no nail varnish policy so it was an evening and weekend thing.... I do remember leaving it on his toes one time and getting the strangest look from one of the teachers.

It’s very difficult because although we may be open to embracing our children no matter what - it always very worrying when the rest of the world is involved. The big question OP is how does your son cope with the bullying he already receives? (I wouldn’t let up until the school sort that by the way). My son wouldn’t have coped (when he was younger) and more wanted to blend into the background.

You could always just say that you don’t believe that nail varnish is suitable for School regards of the schools rules.

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