I was tackled with an unknown dilemma this morning. I found out my son was being teased at school. Some kids play a “game” where they run and hide from him, because they do not want to be around him.
He has no idea that their true intentions are actually harmful. I asked him if he likes this game, he says he does and that the kids are nice to him. Perhaps it really is a game, but to me it seems malicious. Excluding anyone from anything seems like a thing to do. I have always taught my son to include everyone in his play. He has a special needs child in his class and nothing makes me happier than when I hear he volunteered to play with her at recess or the end of the day. That is the kind of child he is, he would do this without my prompting.
As I thought about why these kids may be excluding him a few things came to mind. I let my son dress himself, do his own hair and he recently started wearing glasses. Often times, he likes to part his hair down the middle of his head. It turns out exactly as you would expect. He looks like Alfa Alfa. However, he loves it and thinks it looks great, so I let him.
Part of me thinks I should tell him to fix his hair another way, or pick out his clothes so they match better. But, the more I think about it and the more I let my heart guide me, I know I need to let him be himself. I need to let him make his own choices and decide what he wants for himself.
Growing up is not easy and full of many, many choices. I love encouraging my son to choose for himself. Fashion is ever-changing and he will find his own path. The bigger choices we have in life stem from the small choices of freedom we are given when we are younger. I do not want to dictate my son’s life. I want to give him the power to choose for himself.
The world will get a hold of him soon enough. While he is young and innocent I want him to choose free of judgement. Perhaps, this phase will pass without any harm and maybe he will see the game for what it really is. Either way, my husband and I will be here to love him and support the choice he makes.