A Skirt for a Son
September 4, 2012 by
Categories: Human

Last week, an article circulated on BuzzFeed that featured a story about a father and his five-year-old son. The young boy  liked to wear dresses, and as most of you would expect, classmates began to ridicule him for this choice.  The father recalls how the boy came home after several days of teasing, deciding no longer to wear dresses to school. So his father did the only thing he could think to do – he wore a skirt!

Es ist Rocktag im Hause Pickert: Vater und Sohn unterwegs in der Fußgängerzone einer süddeutschen Kleinstadt.

Source: emma.de (taken from Buzzfeed)

Here is the excerpt of the father’s explanation, taken from the Buzzfeed article written by Ray S.:

“My five year old son likes to wear dresses. In Berlin Kreuzberg that alone would be enough to get into conversation with other parents. Is it wise or ridiculous? “Neither one nor the other!“ I still want to shout back at them. But sadly they can’t hear me any more. Because by now I live in a small town in South Germany. Not even a hundred thousand inhabitants, very traditional, very religious. Plainly motherland. Here the partiality of my son are not only a subject for parents, they are a town wide issue. And I did my bit for that to happen…I didn’t want to talk my son into not wearing dresses and skirts. He didn’t make friends in doing that in Berlin already and after a lot of contemplation I had only one option left: To broaden my shoulders for my little buddy and dress in a skirt myself. After all you can’t expect a child at pre-school age to have the same ability to assert themselves as an adult. Completely without role model. And so I became that role model…

Being all stressed out, because of the moving I forgot to notify the nursery-school teachers to have an eye on my boy not being laughed at because of his fondness of dresses and skirts. Shortly after moving he didn’t dare to go to nursery-school wearing a skirt or a dress any more. And looking at me with big eyes he asked: “Daddy, when are you going to wear a skirt again?”…

To this very day I’m thankful for that women, that stared at us on the street until she ran face first into a street light. My son was roaring with laugher. And the next day he fished out a dress from the depth of his wardrobe. At first only for the weekend. Later also for nursery-school.

And what’s the little guy doing by now? He’s painting his fingernails. He thinks it looks pretty on my nails, too. He’s simply smiling, when other boys (and it’s nearly always boys) want to make fun of him and says: “You only don’t dare to wear skirts and dresses because your dads don’t dare to either.” That’s how broad his own shoulders have become by now. And all thanks to daddy in a skirt.”

Now, many of you may try to make the argument of whether or not boys should wear dresses (i.e., the normal gender-stereotype argument). But I would rather focus on a different side of the story. Instead, I want to ask…

How far would you go to inspire self-confidence in your child?

How far would you go to combat the ridiculing and teasing by other children?

I’d love to hear your thoughts.


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4 Thoughts About A Skirt for a Son

  • Trent September 4, 2012 at 9:27 am Reply

    This reminds me of a story I read a while ago. It was about a little girl who got teased because she liked Star Wars. In her case, a lot of people gathered around her to show her support. It’s another heart-warming story:


  • Fatimah
    September 4, 2012 at 9:34 am Reply

    I love this story. I think the father went above and beyond to embrace that his son wanted to try different things. I almost feel like it’s less about self-confidence and more about just daring to be different and having the space to do that without judgment.

  • Tim Compton
    September 4, 2012 at 12:52 pm Reply

    I am not sure I could wear a skirt but I did support my daughter becoming a therapist.

  • Kristyn
    September 4, 2012 at 2:13 pm Reply

    This is a story that has the power to remind us of the importance of standing up for what we believe. In this case, a man stood up for his son. More specifically, the belief that his son should be able to live in a world free of judgment. Thank you for sharing.

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