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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.

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

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.

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

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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.

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."

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

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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

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

Err no!?!

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

He's 7.

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.

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

Will nail varnish effect children's learning?

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.

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.

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.. '

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.

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.

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.

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!

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!

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...

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?

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

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

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.

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.

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.

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