‘Let Them Wear The Dress’ Philosophy

Where discipline, boundaries, and structure can co-exist with letting go.

4 min readSep 25

Photo by Senjuti Kundu on Unsplash

It is funny how one triggering comment can set off a series of memories in some sort of mental validation you’re doing something right in this wild ride called life.

Our daughter is a fiery, witty, intelligent ginger. Her favorite thing to do with boundaries is to push them. (No idea where that comes from.) Her favorite pose for pictures is giving a sassy look with her lips pursed with her pointer finger and thumb in an L-shape cupping her face, or flashing a peace sign as some sort of goofy tweenie gangsta.

The other day, a friend saw pictures of Bianca on Facebook giving one of her famous poses. My friend commented, “She always makes that face. That is not the face a lady should make.” Phew…I needed to take a few deep breaths and bite my tongue hard to avoid saying, “The things you learn. I didn’t know there was a lady’s face-making protocol. Enlighten me.”

I have a very different take on individuality.

When Bianca was in preschool, she loved dresses, tutus, and pink. (And now brown is her favorite color…go figure.) She often came downstairs looking like a rainbow ambushed her. Pink, orange, blue, green, and yellow in varying shades of pastel, jewel, and neon covered her from head to toe. Nothing matched, but yet it was completely Bianca. The teachers at her preschool called her Rainbow Brite. 🌈

My friend Mandy’s daughter was going through a phase where she only wanted to wear princess dresses to daycare. Bianca was in the same phase…Snow White, Rapunzel, Cinderella, Brave…if it was a princess costume, she was wearing it. Mandy said it was a battle with her daughter every morning and asked how I was handling it.

My response surprised her a little. “I let her wear it. I just ask her to wear a t-shirt and shorts underneath.” The way I saw it, she wasn’t harming anyone and was happily expressing herself. I never thought much about it. I was never, nor am I currently, the mom who felt the way they dressed was a reflection of me. If she wanted to look like a color cacophony, I wasn’t stopping her.


Hi! I am a Veteran, Mom, nurse, writer, educator, blogger, and podcaster. Here to share issues impacting military transition. (Which impacts civilians too.)