While bullying at school is an ongoing concern for many parents, one mother was shocked to witness it happening to her own son — coming from another parent. Shona Campbell, who lives in the U.K., took to Facebook after she said she overheard a mother at the nursery mocking and laughing at her 3-year-old’s heart-patterned socks.
“To the mother at nursery picking up your child. You may have thought I didn't hear you but let me assure you I did!! When your child pointed out my SON had love hearts on his socks, and mocked them for being GIRLS socks you absolutely tore apart my faith in this world, because you agreed and laughed along with your child,” she wrote. “My son is 3 years old, he loves love hearts, he loves the colour pink, he loves to play with dolls and prams. But what he loves more than anything, is having the independence to make his own choices. He chose these socks in the shop, and he chose to wear them today.”
She published the post on March 24, and it has since been shared more than 97,000 times, receiving numerous comments of support.
"It's crazy how far and wide the story has spread in so little time," Campbell, 32, told TODAY. "I'm glad there are so many parents that have this issue, and are sharing their stories too. It's made my 'rant' a little worthwhile."
Though the post has gone viral, Campbell says that her son, named Harry, doesn't have a clue. "I'm happy he doesn't know about the notoriety," she added. "He didn't even know something was happening, which is why I didn't say something at the nursery. You only have to look at Harry and you instantly fall in love with him, He's so tiny for his age, so the thought of anyone hurting him physically or emotionally is tough."
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Along with her post, Campbell proudly posted a snapshot of her son, wearing the socks, with a big smile on his face. “Why should we teach our children that certain things are for girls/boys??” she continued. “If my son wants to wear a dress, he can!! If he wants to wear a big fluffy hat, he can!! And if he wants to wear socks with love hearts, HE CAN!! I am bringing up my son to be whoever he wants to be and I do not appreciate people like you poking fun at him, telling him he's wrong for what he wears or dictating what he should or shouldn't do/wear.”
There has also been some backlash to her post. "My husband is an amazing father and he's had to deal with negative comments from people saying, 'The girl is obviously a single mother because no father would allow him to dress in girls clothing," said Campbell.
"But, if I could make just one person, change their thoughts, and allow their boy to be a princess for a day if he wanted to and realize it's not going to hurt him, it's not going to kill him, it won't make him any less of a boy and see that he's just a human, and happy, then I've done something right."