Friday, January 7, 2011

The Internal Parental Conflict Of Princess Boy.

Look, I've got two sons. I'd like to think that I'm open-minded enough to accept whatever path my boys might take in life, as long as that path doesn't involve becoming Republicans.

Still, something about this story is just a wee bit cringe-worthy.

My first thought when I saw this story in my RSS Reader was "Where the hell is the father?" Of course, the Dad's actually in the picture here, which I suppose is good. And that's one strong brother, cause I can't tell you with certainty that this would sit as easily with me. Maybe over time, but initially, prolly not.

Sorry, but I'm just as guilty as the next brother when it comes to traditional notions of masculinity. I'd have some hurdles to overcome. Shoot me.

Part of me says that putting a child this young on blast can go either way. If it turns out he's either gay, or merely prefers womens clothes, this level of support can help him down the line. But if this is just a phase, imagine the ribbing this kid's gonna get in middle school. Maybe Mom should have passed on the opportunity to turn this into some social crusade and simply focused on rearing her son. Turning this into a literary career seems a little self-serving.

Is it the responsibility of a parent to allow the kid to guide himself into what he likes, or should parents be facilitators? Note that the boy was just 2 years old when he started asking to dress up in tutus. If the kid wanted to walk outdoors naked, that wouldn't be socially acceptable. Nor would skipping school and watching Ni Hao Kai Lan all day. Same for eating Utz potato chips for every meal, as my kids are sometimes prone to request. Don't get me wrong, I'm not equating these things with crossdressing, I'm merely noting that parents need to be parents sometimes. You can't let a kid do everything they want. That's not parenting, that's grandparenting. So the Dad in me is somewhat conflicted here. Isn't there a fine line between being a parent and letting a kid choose their path in life?

Part of me wants to say this is simply a kid going through a phase, nothing more. But regardless of where all this leads, the kid's journey is going to be much smoother because he has two parents who love him, apparently unconditionally. That can only help.

Question: What would you do? If "Princess Boy" was your child, how accepting would you be of this sort of behavior?

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