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AIBU?

To let me kid wear/not wear what he wants

52 replies

Texas85 · 11/02/2024 11:16

My DS is 4, nearly 5. In reception. He is very "behind" his peers and always has been - (langauge; emotions) he is still struggling to hold a pencil etc. He is on waiting list for ASD and has been since preschool referred him 18 months ago.

He is into unicorns, glitter, pink, very very bright clothes. He also likes to be naked (at home).

My DH thinks he is too old to be naked at home all the time and we should be encouraging him to wear more regular clothes. The other boys in his year all seemed to be dressed like mini versions of their dad'. And they are all into superheros and pokemon and football. He hates all that stuff. He doesn't have friends as he doesn't get along with the boys, and the girls won't play with him as he is a "smelly boy". He was fine at preschool as he hung out with the girls but this isn't happening now

My question is despite his social challenges I want to just let him wear what he wants really, my DH thinks we need to "parent" him so he's more accepted at school and get him a more subdued wardrobe and telling him he needs to wear pants at least at home

Any thoughts?

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MrsSkylerWhite · 11/02/2024 12:02

Pants at home, whatever he likes outside.

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Onelifeonly · 11/02/2024 12:09

It will be the difficulty with social skills that makes friendships difficult. A socially skilled boy who is popular could probably wear what your child likes and have the other kids copying him.

I don't really have a view on nudity at home - it is not inherently wrong in itself but society doesn't approve, but then it's your home, so why not? ( I can't help thinking though, that you must have to keep the heating on high at this time of year 😜)

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Texas85 · 11/02/2024 12:14

@Onelifeonly he seems to LOVE the cold. Always trying to go out in shorts and refusing to wear a coat. I kind of agreed with you about the naked thing but others seem to disagree. I just want to do what I need to do to help him but also don't see why home shouldn't be totally relaxed. He is only 4! But yeah I get he's not a baby.

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BogRollBOGOF · 11/02/2024 12:19

Pants are important for privacy and hygeine, so that is a battle worth persisting with.

The rest of it is personal style. I have a sensory, autistic teenager who has always run hot. He needs practical layers avaliable, but isn't obliged to wear them. Because I gave up on sweating the small stuff when he was quite young and do my best to accomodate his preferences, he knows that when I stand my ground on something, there is a clear reason.

It's sad that children are impacted by pointless gender stereotypes so young. Both my sons liked bright nail varnish and were put off at around this age by stupid comments about it being for girls. I've let them choose things they like. Sometimes they've been "girls'" things. My children are who they are, and that's not always easy where they don't conform to herd mentality, but camoflaging to fit in doesn't work either and usually backfires in the end.

If there's a Squirrel unit nearby, that might be a good hobby for social development. The children that tend to go into Scouting tend to be less clichéd into gender stereotypes than average. The social structure of Scouting is often fairly accessible to autistic children compared to totally unstructured time.

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KreedKafer · 11/02/2024 12:44

Pants, shorts or joggers would probably be best when he’s at home.

Other than that, let him wear what he likes.

One of my friends at infant school was exactly like your son and he says now (aged 47!) that being pushed towards ‘boyish’ things made him miserable throughout his childhood and adolescence and made him feel inferior and weird.

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MaybeSmaller · 11/02/2024 12:54

It's more a question of your own taste/prudishness as to whether you let him be naked at home. But it's pragmatic to get him used to wearing pants (and keeping them on) at least some of the time.

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FizzyStream · 11/02/2024 12:57

My 7yo DS (awaiting adhd assessment) lived in an Elsa dress when he was 3-4. 🤷🏻‍♀️

He loves nothing more than to be starkers for comfort but we insist on pants! Recently he got a hooded blanket and enjoys wearing that because it's loose and comfy. Maybe encourage something like that rather than being naked?

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takealettermsjones · 11/02/2024 12:57

One of mine had the naked phase, we got round it at home by buying baggy onesies and pointed out they were naked underneath it. They hated tight clothes so that seemed to work ok. It made me feel better as I knew they weren't cold and there were no bare bums on furniture. Could be an idea?

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Balloonhearts · 11/02/2024 14:01

I'd insist on pants but otherwise let him wear what he wants, who cares if it clashes. He's only 5, he'll be a grunting monosyllabic teenager who only wears black soon enough.

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LadyBird1973 · 11/02/2024 14:24

I agree the answer is somewhere in the middle - so wearing clothes he likes but yes, he should be wearing something. He won't be able to go through life naked, so you do have to find a way of making clothes comfortable otherwise it's just storing up problems for when he's older and really does have to be dressed.

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LlynTegid · 11/02/2024 14:26

Assuming you are happy for marine life to suffer, if you think glitter is OK. Unconventional colours maybe, but end the use of glitter.

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WhiskerPatrol · 11/02/2024 14:29

Underpants would be a non negotiable for me unless he stays in his bedroom. Maybe he doesn't like the label, in which case you can cut it off or he can wear his pants inside out. Maybe also try a soft fleecy animal onesie? I looked after a child who found normal clothes restrictive but was happy to put their onesie on after school! Kept them warm and covered.

As for.the glitter etc, let him crack on!

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NachosAndCheese · 11/02/2024 14:31

My asd children also don’t seem to feel the cold! Plenty of the boys though at school wear shorts all winter.

I let my DC choose their own clothes as they need to feel right. Have you tried that? Is he more likely to wear clothes if he’s chosen them and knows they feel correct?

Personally I just thought being naked at home was a boy thing. 🤷🏻‍♀️

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2mummies1baby · 11/02/2024 14:31

Totally agree with other posters- he should be wearing pants at home (mostly for hygiene purposes), but let him choose all his clothes, however fabulous they may be! It's so sad that the girls in his class are rejecting him- have you spoken to the teacher about it?

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DelurkingAJ · 11/02/2024 14:34

Yep, pants on because it needs to be routine. DS1 (ASD) can’t cope with the tight boxers and I have to search high and low for looser boxers…

I’m surprised the DC are gender split in YR. it’s only just starting at DS’s school in Y3.

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Deadringer · 11/02/2024 14:34

Let him be who he is and wear what he wants but sadly children who don't conform often find it hard to make friends. Unfortunately young children can be very rigid about how people should look and behave even when their parents are very relaxed about that stuff. As for being naked at home I agree with pp that comfortable clothes are a better option, aside from social convention nudity isn't really practical unless the weather is very warm.

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LoveSandbanks · 11/02/2024 14:44

I’ve got two boys with asd and my third without. When he was younger (he’s now 15) he hated clothes and spent an entire summer naked. We went on holiday and I explained that he’d have to wear clothes on holiday. He did but we got back home, let the kids in the house and he was completely naked before we’d even unpacked the car!

personally I don’t think there’s an issue with a 4 year old being stark bollock naked in his own home and garden.

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Texas85 · 11/02/2024 16:21

Thanks everyone. DS has put clothes back on this afternoon at my request. He seems happy enough but will no doubt take them all off again. Will talk to him more about importance of clothes and privacy.

I'll talk to the school about the gender divide. I couldn't care less what clothes or water bottle he has, but hate to think of him being teased for it.

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Windydaysandwetnights · 11/02/2024 17:19

My ndn's ds was always naked.. Endearing to her but viewing his bum whilst having my coffee was more than I could stand..

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Texas85 · 11/02/2024 17:29

@Windydaysandwetnights what is "ndn"?

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2mummies1baby · 11/02/2024 17:32

Texas85 · 11/02/2024 17:29

@Windydaysandwetnights what is "ndn"?

Given the attitude to proofreading on mumsnet, probably a typo! I assume of DN (darling niece).

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NachosAndCheese · 11/02/2024 17:35

I assumed ‘next door neighbour’.

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PictureALadybird · 11/02/2024 17:39

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Whiteandgreen6 · 11/02/2024 17:40

My 4yo little girl loves to be naked. We’ve discussed how her vagina is a private area so she knows if she’s standing in the window, or if she wants to be in the hallway when I’m answering the door, she put pants on. These are usually taken back off straight away.

My LO is Sept born so is doing 18 months at the local school nursery as she was only allowed to start during the Jan after her 3rd birthday . She loved her initial class but this Sept her friend moved up to reception and she isn’t keen on the ones who would move up with her. When she starts reception we’re moving her to a school with a three form entry so it’s easier for her to find her tribe.

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Brawcolli · 11/02/2024 17:45

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This is a bit of a sad mindset imo. Having supportive parents who allow their child to express themselves will do much more for their
mental health than forcing them to change so they fit in.

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