Would you let your 7 year old son wear a dress to school?

My friend’s son is a smart, sweet kid, more sensitive than a lot of kids. He is into all the regular kid stuff, both traditionally “boy” and “girl” - dinosaurs, Harry Potter, stuffed animals, unicorns, Minecraft, kittens. His favourite colour is pink, he likes to have lightsaber battles, blow bubbles, and make fart jokes.

He has recently announced that he would like a dress, and that he would happily wear it to school. Mom is fine with it, Dad is uncomfortable, but both are concerned about potential bullying.

What about you? Would you care if your son wore a dress to school?

Sure, the same way I would care if he wanted to wear a full Spiderman costume, or just his underwear. That is, no, he is not wearing a dress to school.

It would depend on the school. Some would be very accepting, some not so much. I’d ask him what reaction he would expect from fellow students and discuss with him the range of possible scenarios. If he still wanted to do it, I’d probably allow it. Live and learn, that’s my motto.

I would get him a dress to play around the house in first. Then see…

Is this sort of forward thinking and comprehension of the consequences of ones actions something a typical 7 year old is capable of?

Yes, but I’d talk with his teacher first, so she can head off any bullying.

Hmmm. Do I have a dress that will fit him or do I need to go out and buy him one that he will wear only once when kids tease him about it?

I honestly don’t know. I think I’d try to talk him out of it first.

As I said, live and learn. Maybe I’d pack a change of clothes in case he changed his mind.


Fair enough. I could go with the “pack a change of clothes” idea.

No, I wouldn’t.

I would probably voice my opinion against a full-on princess dress but that’s just because I personally dislike them unless you’re visiting Disney World. A regular, everyday dress I wouldn’t think twice about allowing – well actually I would be worried that if he gets teased that I’d be out $50 for the dress or however much they cost these days if he decides to not wear it again.

For those of you who would not allow it or try to talk him out of it, what would you say to him?

I would tell him that school is a place for learning and that a boy wearing a dress would be too distracting for the other students.

I’m from the Boy Named Sue song by Johnny Cash era.

Is it common for girls to wear dresses to school? Because when I was seven, girls didn’t wear dresses except maybe on school picture day, because dresses made it hard to participate in recess. In fact, wearing a dress was such an odd occurrence that to this day, I remember when a classmate of mine (incidentally, the most popular girl in my class) wore a dress one day in 4th or 5th grade. I remember her walking around the blacktop with a friend at recess because there wasn’t much else she could do in her dress.

No, I wouldn’t let him.

The hypothetical 7-year-old son I found out about just now? Sure, kid. Knock yourself out.

I think he’s probably experiencing gender dysphoria. Of course he doesn’t know what that term means, but you can ask him if he sometimes thinks he’s a girl.

My son came out as transgendered when he was 14, but he said he always knew.

ETA: And although I totally get it, I would probably NOT have let him wear a dress to school at 7 years old. Not without some serious discussions with him, and probably the teacher too.

If you have a good non-fear-based relationship with your child, and you come at it from a viewpoint of curiosity, I think you could lead a 7-year-old onto the path of forward thinking and understanding of consequences, at least to some degree.

It would also be an opportunity to teach a bit about individual differences, and how one doesn’t always have to behave exactly like everyone else.

I also think it would be a good opportunity to touch bases with his teacher and other adults he interacts with at the school to hear their views about the request, and what would happen if it were carried out.

I also appreciate manson1972’s viewpoint. The parent is still the parent and there are limits to how much a child can be allowed to bend or break normal rules for no particular reason.

I wore a dress at age ~7. It didn’t turn me gay or trans-gendered, and I wasn’t bullied.

But it was only for one day: Halloween. And I was more conservatively/conventionally dressed than many of my peers.

So there.