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To let him wear dresses

365 replies

AllHallowsEve14 · 16/04/2021 07:38

One of my DS (4) wears all sorts of clothes including dresses, tights, leggings, as well as typical "boys" clothes. He just likes what he likes. All good. He starts school this year and wants to wear school dresses or skirts, I don't have a problem with this although I understand children can be cruel I don't think I should stop my son from being himself. However, my ex has said no. He doesn't want to give other kids to "ammo" to bully our ds with. I'm really not sure what to do, what would you do? Any advice would be appreciated.

OP posts:

Am I being unreasonable?


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Northernsoullover · 16/04/2021 07:41



Theunamedcat · 16/04/2021 07:41

Have you asked him why? Personally my son wears nightdresses but thats because he likes the freedom it gives him he is fine in long tshirts too

For school he wears loose clothing he has spd which means tight clothing is a no no


Angrypregnantlady · 16/04/2021 07:44

Let him be himself and let the parents of the bullies sort out their nastiness.

We shouldn't hide who we are to avoid bullies.

Teach him to have a thick skin and be confident in himself.


MeanderingGently · 16/04/2021 07:45

Personally, I would let him. He may well get some bullying comments, if he does you could discuss these and help him think through ways to deal with it. It's likely he will decide himself after a while that perhaps certain clothes cause less comment at school whereas out of school he can wear what he likes. Or he may stick it out, or else his friends might be completely accepting. Better that he goes through the process and feels he in in charge of his own choices rather than imposing any curbs on him (unless for safety reasons, of course).


PegPeople · 16/04/2021 07:47

I would send him in trousers rather than a dress or skirt and explain that he will be able to dress up in dresses skirts and a multitude of other outfits from the costume box when playing at school.

This would be the same advice I'd give to a girl. In all honesty trousers or shorts/coulettes are much more practical than a skirt/dress and tights especially on pe days.


Babdoc · 16/04/2021 07:50

Check with the school first. They might not allow him to wear dresses, in which case you can simply tell him that trousers are the rule at school and he can change into a dress when he gets home.


TheGumption · 16/04/2021 07:51

It would be a no from me, especially at 4. My son wanted to wear his home clothes to school when he was 4. I said no and we moved on. You don't have to entertain every whim.


SeaTurtles92 · 16/04/2021 07:52

I'd let me son dress anyway he wants but at such a young age at school I'm not sure.

I wouldn't be sure because of bullying when he isn't quite old enough to understand why they are being mean and I also don't think children are old enough at that age to understand fully that's the way he wants to dress. Also, you can't rely on the parents to sort out the nastiness as unfortunately not everyone address these issues with their children.


Pinkyavocado · 16/04/2021 07:53

It would be a no from me too.


Iminaglasscaseofemotion · 16/04/2021 07:53

Personally I don't think dresses or skirts should be part of school uniform for anyone. They are impractical and pointless. Leggings, trousers, joggers and shorts would do.
In your shoes there is absolutely no way my ds would be allowed to wear dresses or skirts to school. You will probably get 90% of replies here telling you to let him be himself, it's the bullies with the problem, but that's not true. It's your ds who will have the problem when they pick on him. Being bullied is horrendous and can have terrible long term affects.


Sstrongtn · 16/04/2021 07:53

He’s 4, you wouldn’t let him go to school in his home clothes or a Spider-Man suit? I’d just say no, this is the uniform.


HeeeeeyBogie · 16/04/2021 07:53

I would let him. You can teach him that they're just clothes and boys can wear them too.


MaryShelley1818 · 16/04/2021 07:54

I know it's not the 'correct mn answer' but no, I probably wouldn't let DS wear the girls uniform to school. I just wouldn't want him opened up to bullying, other kids are cruel.


bonfireheart · 16/04/2021 07:56

Check with school.
At DD school whilst the girls are allowed to wear skirts, they all wear trousers too.

What does he like about dresses and skirts? If it's cos they're loose and flowy than maybe buy him some loose trousers.


Doggitydog · 16/04/2021 07:57

Personally I would say no, my DS used to try on his sisters fancy dress when he was little. I think he would actually be mortified now if I’d let him go out and about or into school dressed as a princess. It is fine to say no to your children, it won’t scar him for life.


Ohpulltheotherone · 16/04/2021 07:58

At age 4 I would probably say no.
Purely on the basis that if he wanted to go dressed in Spider-Man costume he couldn’t because there is a set uniform.
The uniform for boys is trousers or shorts. I would just say that and leave it there.

If he continued to ask or seemed very uncomfortable in trousers I’d revisit it.

It’s not a case of me thinking boys shouldn’t be able to or want to wear skirts - they can wear that they please but for public view I would want to wait until they are old enough to understand the context around their decision a bit more.


Feetupteashot · 16/04/2021 07:58

No way. I'll outt my girls in trousers too so they can run around and climb etc all day every day.

Letting him go in a dress is setting him up for bullying and teasing. He doesn't realise this but you do. Maybe when he's older but he cannot properly consent to this at 4 as he wouldn't understand the consequences


SuperMoonIsKeepingMeUpToo · 16/04/2021 07:59

I think your ex is very sensible and that you would be setting him up for being the victim of bullying and of having no friends because no-one will want to associate with him. It's not ideal, but we're talking about the school playground here - different kids get a tough time. It's not an ideal world.


Iminaglasscaseofemotion · 16/04/2021 07:59


I would let him. You can teach him that they're just clothes and boys can wear them too.

What should OP trch him when people are making fun of him and won't play with him?
People can get as irate about that as they like. It IS what will happen.

zzizzer · 16/04/2021 08:01

On the one hand, if we never fight the stereotypes, there will always be "boys clothes" and "girls clothes" when actually it's all just fabric and I wish we could move past it all.

On the other hand, children pick on any tiny form of difference. I was bullied as a child and like others say, its horrible.

It's rubbish isn't it.


tentimesaday · 16/04/2021 08:01

  1. They're just clothes - boys and girls can wear what they like at home.

2. School has a uniform.
3. I would tell him he needs to start the school year in the boys' school uniform like all the other boys, but that if he decides he really doesn't like it you will talk to the school and ask if he can wear a school dress. 4. Chances are that once he starts school and sees all the other boys wearing trousers he'll forget about it.

kittenkipping · 16/04/2021 08:02

I'd not set my child up for bullying. I know he shouldn't be bullied and boys can wear whatever- but look at the responses here - ignore the bullies! Teach him to have thick skin! The judgemental and biased should change their outlook not him! That's all true - but it's hard to take on the world and whilst yes he should be able to wear wtf he likes, bullying can damage a child far more than a firm no imo. My dd wanted to go to school in fancy dress at that age but it was a no.


ILoveFlumps · 16/04/2021 08:02

I have a DS 6. He likes to wear leggings and tights, dress up in 'girl' clothes, and plays with dolls, barbie, paw patrol etc.

He also likes his nails painted like his older sisters.

Not once have I gender stereotyped him, and I allow him to be who he wants to be as long as he's happy.

However, at school, I wouldn't let him wear a dress. He is too young to deal with the criticism of others - both children and adults. Thankfully he's never asked, so I've not had to say no, but I really do think it's a bad idea.


cansu · 16/04/2021 08:05

You are setting him up to be bullied. Even if it isn't now, some children will remember that he was the boy who wore dresses and can you imagine how he may feel as a teenager or pre-teen to be teased about this? You need to step up. He isn't old enough to understand this so you need to protect him.


shouldistop · 16/04/2021 08:06

It would be a no from me, especially at 4. My son wanted to wear his home clothes to school when he was 4. I said no and we moved on. You don't have to entertain every whim.

Exactly this. My 4yo wanted to wear his pjs to nursery yesterday, that was a no.

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