Good Enough Mother is awarding the first ever “WAY TO GO, MOM” award to a blogger who goes by the name, ‘Cop’s Wife’.

You may have read about this story yesterday – it sure flew round the web fast – but basically the writer’s baby boy wanted to go to his pre-school’s (yes, he is 5 years old) Halloween celebration dressed as Daphne from Scooby-Doo. Did I mention he’s five? Did I also mention it was Halloween? Oh good. So we are clear on the facts. Here’s the rest of the story in great detail.

Her boy, obviously wise beyond his years, anticipated he might be teased but his mother, and rightly so, thought who on earth would tease a child about his costume choice? Apparently a couple of hausfraus whose kids go to school with Cop’s Wife, that’s who. Really? These moms were judgmental, sneering and highly critical of the Daphne outfit – one even said she would have ‘forbidden’ it… Seriously? And we wonder why bullying in schools is such a problem – guess where the kids get it from…

Personally I love this mom’s attitude. In fact, her original post was entitled “My son is gay” and then in the first line of the piece she said “…or maybe he’s not.” She goes on to make it perfectly clear that gay or not, he is her son. This is EXACTLY the point I was trying to make in a very popular Ask Rene (Is My Son Gay) we ran a few months ago. You gave birth to the boy; you love him today as much as you will tomorrow. You want him to be happy. If he’s gay, so what? What if he’s straight? Are we gonna get all twisted about that? As if…

When Cole was five, he wanted to paint his fingernails. You know what? I let him. He was five! All he was doing was emulating what he saw the person he loved most in the word do. Big damn deal. Buff did get a bit freaked by it but I put the kibosh on that and quick. Now I’m lucky if I can get Cole to cut his serial-killer-esque claws.

From Good Enough Mother’s perspective, the trick to this whole parenting thing is a little of the ol’ “go-with-the-flow.” Raising these kids is not an exact science and no book I have ever read has prepared me for the variety of experiences I have come upon while ushering Casey and Cole into adulthood. But you know what has never steered me wrong? My instincts. I think if we did that more, and parented less according to what “people say” (you know, the nameless, faceless ones who are always right) we’d be raising kids who are, for the most part, well adjusted and ready to take on the complex challenges in the world.

I have to commend Cop’s wife for her self-control. Personally I would have used my hot glue gun to make sure those women’s lips were as closed as their minds. And I agree. Her son sure does rock that wig!

But what do you think? Do you agree with Cop’s Wife – or should she have been more sensitive to the climate of the school? And have you ever found yourself scolding – or applauding – your kids when they crossed ‘traditional’ gender lines?

Rene Syler is a wife, mother, breast cancer advocate and television personality whose burning desire to tell the truth about modern motherhood led her to create When not spending time with her family or burning something for dinner, Rene travels the country as host of Sweet Retreats on The Live Well Network and Exhale on Aspire.


  1. Valarie

    November 5, 2010 at 8:54 am

    Acceptance…It’s always been a tough pill to swallow–thanks to our fears and indifference! I myself as a parent/grandparent have mixed emotions when coming across issues that blur the gender lines (specifically that or our male children). However, the bottom line is making sure that we as ‘good’ parents, don’t continue to make the proven mistakes of harsh judgment (which sets the tones for bullying, chronic criticizing, labeling and separation/isolation).

    Acceptance is the key! We are a combination of our upbringings which just happen to include this catchy culture of characterization. No matter what or who someone is or could eventually be, its a situation to be dealt with in a most personal manner and it’s for none of us to backlash a parent who is conscientously making choices truly rooted in character and concern. THANKS Rene for blogs that can reach and teach…we sure need all the lessons we can get.

  2. DawnKA

    November 5, 2010 at 10:14 am

    Great post!!! Children should be allowed to have fun and use their imagination. However, adults are always interfering with their own ignorance which can further set back what could have been a perfectly innocent if not a moment where the children could have learned to be tolerant, accepting, open to others – had it been left as all in good fun moment. As mentioned in the post, these parents are responsible for how their children interact with each other. Their conversations of disgust or disapproval are often heard and the children respond in kind. Who knows some of those mothers kid may be gay and their response may be the cause for living a double life, etc.
    Cop’s Wife is an amazing Mom!!!

  3. Rene Syler

    November 5, 2010 at 10:52 am

    I totally agree!!

  4. kim

    November 5, 2010 at 12:00 pm

    i’m gay and i approve this message.

  5. Rene Syler

    November 5, 2010 at 12:26 pm


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  7. Gayle Mahoney

    November 6, 2010 at 12:12 am

    Thanks so much, Rene, for posting this story and for your reflections about it. It kind of creeps me out that people (the other parents) would have a problem with any costume a child of that age would choose for Halloween- as if steering kids toward “appropriate” Halloween costumes would ultimately determine their sexual orientation! I just have one question: What if that little guy had chosen to dress as Velma instead of Daphne… would he have been castigated as a young lesbian…???



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