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QUESTION: My Husband Has a Major Issue With My Son Having His Nails Painted But I Don’t Agree: Advice?
“How would you handle a seven-year-old boy that is interested in playing with lipstick and loves painting his nails? So yesterday, I picked up my son (7) and stepdaughter (9) from daycare. He was so excited to show me he got his nails painted by the teacher. I smiled, giggled, and said they look pretty.
Thinking not much of it, we went home. My husband of 4 months — 3-year relationship(stepfather to my son) was extremely upset and demanded we remove it. Loudly stated that painting nails were for girls only. I didn’t argue or say much about the topic.
At bedtime, I took my son into the bathroom and proceeded to take off his nail polish. I could see he was sad, and I told him I thought his nails looked pretty. He responded, yea I thought you would have liked the color I chose (my favorite color is orange).
My heart broke because now I feel like I broke this little boy’s spirit and fully went against my belief in self-expression and doing what makes you happy. I’ve been letting him do these for a few years now and he didn’t understand why I didn’t like what he did. I was up crying all night. I called his real dad and he took the same stance as my husband.”
The following top answers have been selected by a moderator from hundreds of responses to the original question.
“If this child grows up with any version of alternative sexuality, he has already learned that it is not going to be favored by the men in his life and he will remember how he felt the day he came home with his nails painted. Support this child and make sure he knows he has a safe place to land.”
“Why did you remove it? Next time tell him to get the f over it!”
“Your son has a very difficult road ahead of him. Regardless of whatever ends happening with his sexual preference or gender identity, which is the farthest thing from his mind right now, and I’m sure is what I’m sure the men in his life are concerned with, you have a little boy who loves color and pretty things, who is obviously being raised by men who don’t appreciate those things the same way he does, and you’re at a crossroads…
… You can either protect him from having the colors in his world muted or rearranged to be more palatable for those men, or you can advocate for him and let him express himself how he sees fit. It’s just nail polish. It’s just makeup. It’s just pretend. He’s just little. Just let him be.”
“Toxic father and father figure. That poor kid having his excitement crushed like that. Nail polish is literally just paint. And it made him happy. They should be ashamed of themselves.”
“I let my boys have their nails painted at the salon when I got mine done they all grew out of it in their own time. What you should have done is told your husband you don’t give a flying frog what he thinks, if nail polish on a small child threatens his idea of masculinity so much he needs to take a good hard look at himself. Your son will remember now that home is not the safe place for freedom and self-expression like it should be…
… Nail polish does not determine how manly your little boy is or will be. You made a mistake in listening to your husband’s toxic masculinity and you need to own up to that apologize to your son and have a big talk with your husband about not putting his views on your son as he has absolutely no right to do that. Everyone makes mistakes in trying to keep the peace in our families but some things should not be compromised on like your son’s freedom of expression and his safety net of knowing home is a place free of judgment.”
“Paint them, paint them, paint them. You telling your son he can’t paint his nails because that’s only for girls is like me telling my daughter she can’t play video games because they are for boys. Screw the ‘social norm’ and let your kids be who they want to be.”
“My son is a mama’s boy all the way. He likes to brush my hair. Put lotion on my feet and help me with my make-up. Even puts some on himself once in a while. And guess what. He also likes trucks video games boxing and football. He wants to be a fireman when he grows up. His grandma on his dad’s side paints his toenails when she does hers. His dad tried to put a stop to it and she about smacked him into next year saying he needs to first understand what it’s like to be a girl in order to become a good husband and the father to a girl someday…
… Makes perfect sense to me. Also, my son carries around a stuffed Minnie mouse and treats her like his baby. Changes her diaper and everything. He has done this since he was 1. He is now 5. His dad tried to get him to stop till granny stepped in again and was like how he supposed to learn to care for a child. Lol I love that woman!”
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