My son grew up watching me put on makeup. My husband leaves for work very early in the morning, so it has always been me and Little Man getting ready for our day. I wasn’t at all surprised when one day he reached out his little hand and wanted to try it himself. Monkey see, monkey do.
I always knew this day would come, and I wondered how I would handle it. The phrase I grew up hearing around me (“Boys don’t wear makeup”) seemed harsh and limiting. Who cares if my one-year-old wants to play with a makeup brush? So, I found him a makeup brush I didn’t use anymore and he proceeded to mimic my actions.
An epic thunderstorm of reality came barreling at me. I realized that my son already knew exactly how to use the makeup brush. For all these months, he had been watching that closely. Now that I knew the startling influence my actions had on him, I vowed to never let him see me do something I wasn’t proud of. That included giving in to limiting beliefs about myself and others.
See, here’s the thing. While I’m not thrilled with the idea of seeing my son with blush on his cheeks and bright blue eyeshadow, what really terrifies me is conveying to my son there are things he >can’t do. Of course, I don’t mean discipline-wise. There are plenty of things my son shouldn’t do. Fear not—–I remind him of these things < constantly. But I never want to give him the limiting belief that there are things he cannot do. To tell my son, “You can’t wear makeup,” is just like telling him, “You can’t wear nice clothes,” “You can’t finish that puzzle,” or, “You can’t follow your dream.” If his dream becomes to rock eyeliner like Johnny Depp one day, well that wouldn’t be so bad.
There may come a day when he is 16 and I am mortified by his use of eyeliner and his spiky green mohawk. After all, it is a parent’s job to be embarrassed about our children’s fashion choices, right? But today, I will let him play with the makeup because my son can do anything he dreams.
Photo by Pixabay
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