Indian vs. Native American. You want to be respectful of everyone, but your child and her best friend want to dress up in a cowgirl and Indian princess kid costume set. Can you allow this as a parent? While it's up to you what child Halloween costume is appropriate, take a cue from your kids. They're having fun, not perpetuating racial stereotypes. Chances are your parents still watch movies with John Wayne, Audie Murphy and Roy Rogers...lest we forget, Kevin Costner has reawakened the Western genre. While it's your parental right to make sure your kid shows respect for others, there are times when adults just need to lighten up and let a boy wear that Indian chief kid Halloween costume, or a Ride ‘EM Cowboy child costume. It's OK for your young marshal to flash a sheriff's badge and for his Native American/Indian friend to roughhouse—as long as they keep it friendly and playful. If you're still not comfortable, how about if your ten little Indians chase a child in a storm trooper Star Wars kid costume? Somehow, Star Wars seems to be safe.
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|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|