Mom Defends Choice To Let Her Son Wear A Tutu After Being Called A ‘Bad Parent’
Parenting is all about choosing your battles—and for most of us, fashion choices don’t make the cut of things we’re willing to fight about with our children.
When it comes to picking out clothes, I try to keep this in perspective and suppress my own desire for my kids to look “presentable”—and let them dress themselves. Part of raising strong, independent humans is fostering creativity, individuality and kindness—and those things are far more important than what a kiddo chooses to wear.
That’s the message that brave mom Jen Shattuck is sharing in a Facebook post that has gone viral. Shattuck’s 3-year-old son Roo has taken to wearing a sparkly tutu, which the boy says makes him feel “beautiful and brave.” A stranger criticized Shattuck for letting her son wear a tutu, and even went so far as too call her a “bad mom” and to address little Roo directly at the park.
After the encounter, Shattuck took to social media to fire back:
Yesterday, on our walk to the park, my son and I were accosted by someone who demanded to know why my son was wearing a skirt. We didn’t know him, but he appeared to have been watching us for some time.
“I’m just curious,” the man said. “Why do you keep doing this to your son?”
He wasn’t curious. He didn’t want answers. He wanted to make sure we both knew that what my son was doing—what I was ALLOWING him to do—was wrong.
And, it only got worse.
“She shouldn’t keep doing this to you,” he said. He spoke directly to my son. “You’re a boy. She’s a bad mommy. It’s child abuse.”
He took pictures of us, although I asked him not to; he threatened me. “Now everyone will know,” he said. “You’ll see.”
Eventually, Shattuck called the police. She says her son doesn’t feel safe and is asking if “the bad man” is coming back to take more pictures of him. But Shattuck says she won’t let a stranger’s rudeness change the way she parents her son:
But I can say this: I will not be intimidated. I will not be made to feel vulnerable or afraid. I will not let angry strangers tell my son what he can or cannot wear.The world may not love my son for who he is, but I do. I was put on this earth to make sure he knows it.
I will shout my love from street corners.
I will defend, shouting, his right to walk down the street in peace, wearing whatever items of clothing he wants to wear.
I will show him, in whatever way I can, that I value the person he is, trust in his vision for himself, and support his choices—no matter what anybody else says, no matter who tries to stop him or how often.
Shattuck also shared her family motto:
We are loving.
We are kind.
We are determined and persistent.
We are beautiful and brave.
We know who we are. Angry strangers will not change who we are. The world will not change who we are—we will change the world.
We think this family motto would look splendid printed on a t-shirt (perhaps paired with a sparkly tutu!). Apparently, many others agree as Shattuck’s post has gone viral with almost 62,000 shares on Facebook.
The viral post even started a social media storm, with Roo supporters posting encouraging messages with pics of themselves in tutus using the hashtag #TuTusForRoo.