6-year old concerned with looks and appearance

Brittanym1317 - posted on 04/20/2016 ( 2 moms have responded )




My son is 6 and he's very concerned with how he looks. He will change before school if he feels like the outfit "doesn't match" I do his hair every morning before school and he's constantly fixing it all day long. Just brushing it back over to the side. He likes certain types of shirts he calls them handsome shirts. But he also loves superhero ones. He recently asked me to fix the skin on his nails so it didn't look so ugly and more normal like other kids. It's becoming a big issue with me and his dad who teases him constantly about it. He's a very sensitive boy and I don't see what is wrong with him caring. He also likes to clean and organize (everything has to be in the same place as it was before. Otherwise he panics) he only likes superhero toys and only the imaginext ones to the point where this is all he's played with for the past 3yrs. Is all this behavior normal? Please help me show my husband that it is and our son isn't a "pansy"


Sarah - posted on 04/20/2016




It isn't necessarily abnormal but it is not really normal either. Some kids are just fussy; my eldest hated jeans, or any type of snap waist pants, also he hated nylon track pants. We were left with sweatpants and he was so skinny (and at that age they don't have a drawstring) We did convince him to wear track pants by telling him they were 'fast pants' and he'd be speedy in them. He also only liked to play with army toys, and he preferred camouflage patterns on his clothing. The toys were an obsession, he knew how many of each type of solider, where he left them (as they were on a mission) and if one was missing he would be upset. His room for a young age and up til now looks like an army barracks, everything in its place. At 19 is is a first year West Point Cadet and the highest ranked student in room inspection.
My story may not really apply but my son's underlying passions and "quirks" led him to a life he always wanted. OCD is not a behavior to brush under the rug. Talk to his doctor and ask lots of questions. He may just do this as a stress relief mechanism. My son was an anxious guy ad his rituals seemed to diffuse the anxiety.
Here is the questions you need to address; do his rituals and anxiety interfere with his daily happiness? Does it limit his ability to play with others? Does he worry about what will happen to his thing when he is gone? Talk to his doctor. Tell your husband to stop labeling his son; that helps no one.


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Raye - posted on 04/20/2016




Your son may have some kind of OCD, or had developed this "concern" from being bullied or otherwise getting the impression that looks/style is very important. Your husband should definitely not tease him about it, as that could be psychologically abusive to him. At 6 years old, your son is not aware of sexual orientation (if that's what your husband means by "pansy"). There are many "manly" men that care about appearance. Iconic manly characters like James Bond, (and going with the superhero theme) Bruce Wayne and Tony Stark are always careful of clothes, hair, and appearance. And today's stylish men like David Beckham (who is also OCD), Dwyane Wade, George Clooney, and Robert Downey Jr. are anything but a pansy. However, if your son should end up being gay, there's absolutely nothing wrong with that, and he should be loved by both parents no matter what.

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