So, my youngest son Gray starts kindergarten in a couple weeks and chose this adorable Skip*Hop elephant backpack (pictured) to take to and from school everyday. Up until right about now I thought it was so cute! And was so excited he’s eager to go to school. But now I’m having second thoughts about the backpack. Is he just asking to be bullied if he wears that thing?
At what age do I stop asserting my fashion opinions and allow him to make his own personal choices? And he doesn’t seem to have any issues with it, so why make him insecure by letting him know that it might not be “cool” enough? Is kindergarten still welcoming to all kids, or these days do five- and six-year olds pay attention to this kind of stuff? I am leaning towards the latter.
My older boys always opted for a plain backpack or something Star Wars. That seemed safe and acceptable. But a kid – a boy nonetheless (should that matter?) – carrying a cutesy animal shaped book bag on a bus with older kids and to school where I won’t be there to protect him from hurtful comments…. do I offer that other (more mature) options are available before school begins?
I feel like this is a situation where he should probably learn on his own. If he senses that his backpack is for babies he’ll probably be asking for a replacement and I’ll gladly oblige. Maybe I’m mistaken and the other kids will be wearing animal backpacks just like him and it won’t be until first grade that he has his “age of awakening”. Until then I’m holding my tongue, but am just not so sure if it’s the right thing to do. Am I setting him up to be embarrassed? Or to learn the hard lessons in life we all have to face?