A 20 year old blogger slash retail manager witnessed something yesterday that many folks witness every day - or even do to their kids every day - without batting an eyelash. However, she did what very few people would have done in the same situation.
A teenage boy and his kid brother (around age 10) came into the store she works at. The kid brother asked her if there were any games where he could be a female character. She directed him to one, and then he asked for girl-colored controllers. He found a purple one and had his heart set on it when his dad walked in the store and starting dogging on him for having a 'girl' controller and a 'girl' game and was telling him to pick something more manly, with some shooting and stuff. He even went so far as to threaten to spank him if he didn't change his mind.
That's when the big brother stepped in and told Dad what was up. Big brother told his dad that it was his gift to his little brother and if he was going to hit anyone, it'd be him - not his brother. The dad stormed out of the store.
The rest is Kristin's story to tell.
That's when big brother stepped in. He said to his dad, "It's my money, it's my gift to him. If it's what he wants, I'm getting it for him, and if you're going to hit anyone for it, it's going to be me." Dad just gave his oldest son a strong stern stare-down, and then left the store. Little brother was crying quietly. I walked over and ruffled his hair (yes, this happened all in front of me). I said, "I'm a girl, and I like the color blue, and I like shooting games. There's nothing wrong with what you like. Even if it's different than what people think you should." I smiled, he smiled back (my heart melted!). Big brother then leaned down, kissed little brother on the head, and said, "Don't worry, dude."
If more people were like this big brother... if more people were like this retail manager... the world would be a better place. Don't try to change your kids. They are who they are. Be thankful they're brave enough to be individuals instead of clones of everyone else.
Would you allow your son to use a pink or purple controller? Or would you encourage him to embrace his individuality? On the other hand, would you allow your daughter to pick out a "boy" video game? Where do you draw the line?