Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Letting Him Grow Up

So my son fancies himself a skateboarding rock-star. A free-styling, pop-music loving, skateboarding rock-star, but a skateboarding rock-star nonetheless. So, over the last few months, we've been exploring the joys of Journey's Kidz and Rue 21. Now, truthfully, as a mama, in the back of my brain, I wonder if I should be letting my nine-and-three-quarter-year-old (please don't forget the 3/4!) walk around in shirts with skulls and such. But I try to encourage him to be his own person, so I've relented. He likes his pants loose-fitting, but narrower in the leg than I do. I've relented. He likes big belt buckles and pocket chains. I don't mind those at all. I even recognize brands like "Famous," "Etnies," "Adio," and "Vans." And for the most part, I like his sense of style.

Now, there are things mama has had to put her foot down about. There's a Bob Marley shirt at Journey's that we both love, but he wanted a belt buckle to match. I'd almost bought one with Marley's image on it, 'til I realized the little greenery outlining the buckle was probably not kid appropriate. He decided one day that he wanted his nails polished black and proceeded to do so with a pen. I relied on the old, "You'll poison yourself!" standby. He wore a shirt to church one Sunday with a big ol' hundred dollar bill across the front with Ben Franklin looking menacing. He got a lecture and that shirt revoked. He wants more fitted baseball caps. Those things are almost $40 and I just can't indulge in that!

So, over the last few days, he's been walking around with a backpack on, and a towel around his neck, tucked into his shirt. I couldn't figure that one out. Finally, Coti told me, "It's supposed to be a scarf like some skateboarders wear." I still didn't get it. Then she showed me an image on TV that was similar to this:And I am thinking this is a put-your-foot-down-mama moment again. I mean, I understand his need to follow his style sense :-) but I don't want him walking around looking like an homage to the hold-up gangs of yesteryear.

What do you think? And mama and daddy readers, how far do you let your kids go in choosing their own clothing/styles/etc.?


Kimberly said...

Awww. He's growing up! I like that he's establishing his own sense of style. But I can see myself reacting VERY similar to you with my boys. It's one thing to allow your child to express himself, but he is only 9 3/4. And while in some ways it's an expression of many other ways is following trends, etc. I would explain why the scarf is a HELL-TO-THE-NAW accessory for the 9 yr old and if "because I said so" doesn't work, I'd explain that he doesn't have to copy everything he sees and work up the "be your own person" angle.

Of-course - my kids are 4 & 11/12, and 10 months, so.....what do I know. I'll be asking YOU in a few years!

Unknown said...

I pretty much gave up trying to control my daughter's dress habits when she got into her teens, but I do have a funny story to tell. She lives with her mom in Bay St. Louis, and for a while was doing the goth thing--black painted nails, black eyeliner, ripped up clothes, etc. She was coming to visit me in San Francisco and her mom called me to warn me about this. No biggie.

The day after she gets there, I take her for a tour of the city, including the Mission and the Castro. The next day she's in jeans and a sweatshirt, no makeup. She couldn't out-weird The City. But the day she got on the plane, she was done up again.

elle said...

My son's inspiration is part skateboarders--he really does want to skate--and part Diggy from Run's house. And I hate to admit it, but he really does look cute garbed like that!

Still, some of the darker elements give me pause.

Kevin Andre Elliott said...

It seems like your son is a lot like I was as a kid, and you know what? As a kid, I resented the hell out of moms for putting her foot down every once in a while when I was just trying to express myself. She always let me be me, though, but she also knew when to put her foot down. Thing is, now I'm grown, with my own unique sense of style, and I'm glad my moms had the good sense to put her foot down. She stopped me from doing (and wearing) some seriously foolish shit! I like to think that I turned out alright, so, it sounds to me like you're doing the right thing.

Brian said...

The upside, of course, is that if he picks out something really silly to wear, you can take pictures of him and embarrass the hell out of him in ten years. :)

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