For years, my son has been using my wife’s makeup to give his Barbie dolls makeovers and put makeup on a life-size mannequin head he got for Christmas a while back. Then he started doing my wife’s makeup regularly, so I figured it was inevitable that I would be his next victim.
If I said no to something as trivial as allowing him to paint my face, what would I be teaching him?
I’d be teaching him that playing dress-up or giving his dad a makeover is something to be ashamed of or something to hide. I don’t want to teach him that.
I want to teach him that his dad wants to spend time with him no matter what we’re doing. I want him to know that even though I’m not interested in makeup or fashion, I will play along as long as I get to sit and talk with him.
When I agree wholeheartedly as he discusses what makeup colors go with my skin tone, I’m teaching him that his opinions and tastes matter to me. I’m teaching him that I’ll listen to him when he wants to talk and I will find time for him even when I’m busy.
My son doing my makeup is the same as a dad throwing a football with his son. It’s not about what you are doing together; it’s about doing it together. It’s about encouraging your children to engage with you. It’s about spending time with your child doing something they enjoy doing.
Allowing your children to be themselves is very important. There are activities I do with Chase that I don’t do with C.J. because they aren’t fun for him. There are activities I do with C.J. that Chase doesn’t want to do. And, there are activities we all do together. Spending quality time with each of my sons helps strengthen my relationship with them.
When C.J. does my makeup, it makes me feel like I’m experiencing something with him that he loves doing. It makes me feel like maybe I’m encouraging and empowering him to have fun with something that may end up being his career as an adult. Or, it’s just something we can do together that shows him that his dad loves spending time with him no matter what we are doing.
He loves doing my makeup because he can make me look silly or dramatic and it cracks him up. Sometimes he takes it very serious, like he is really trying to make me look good. Other times it’s more of a face painting exercise than anything. Either way, he loves doing it and I love being a part of some type of activity that my son loves doing.