Son starts to wear nail pol­ish

The Commercial Appeal - - Sports -

My son likes to wear nail pol­ish. He gets cre­ative with it, just like my daugh­ter used to. I am con­cerned that this could mean that he is gay, even though his be­hav­ior doesn’t seem like it other than the nails. I know I’m not sup­posed to have thoughts about his sex­ual iden­tity, but I would be ly­ing if I said it doesn’t bother me. This nail pol­ish thing came out of nowhere — at least as far as I can see — and I just don’t want him to take it too far. Soon he will be ap­ply­ing for col­lege, and I don’t want his nail color to be a dis­trac­tion. What should I say or do?

First of all, it’s per­fectly nor­mal for a par­ent to have thoughts about a child’s sex­ual iden­tity. What you want to avoid is hav­ing judg­ment about it. Of all of the things your son could do, wear­ing fin­ger­nail pol­ish is on the be­nign side. It can be re­moved eas­ily and is tem­po­rary. Your son could be hav­ing fun with style and feels com­fort­able draw­ing out­side of the box, so to speak. But you should find out. Ask him why he started paint­ing his nails and what that means for him. Listen care­fully to his an­swers. In a sep­a­rate ex­change, you can also ask him if he’s gay. It’s OK to be di­rect in your in­quiry. If you ask sim­ply to learn the an­swer, you may re­ceive a sim­ple an­swer.

Re­gard­ing the nail pol­ish it­self, you can have a prac­ti­cal con­ver­sa­tion where you rec­om­mend that he not wear col­ored pol­ish to his col­lege in­ter­views.

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