When Parents Lose Their Minds over “Flip Sequin” Shirts

There is a new fad called “brush changing sequins”.  You can find these appealing, brushing sequins on everything from key chains to bedspreads.  I had a little girl come into my office with a flip sequin t-shirt on the other day.   It was dark blue with a large, glittery silver heart on the front.  I am thirty-seven, almost thirty-eight years old, and let me tell you that I had to restrain myself from reaching out and brushing the sequins up and down on her shirt.  Instead, I went to Ross and bought a “brush changing sequin” pillow that everyone in my family was always snatching out of each other’s hands. My children are teenagers, and this pillow was making them act like toddlers.  Since it was causing so many family problems, I took it to my office.  Now I only have to snatch it out of the kids’ hands that I work with, and since I am quite a bit bigger, I can flip those sequins whenever I want.  I am only making part of this up.  The moral of this story is that the “brush changing sequin” items are very, very alluring.

I got a call from a parent to come into a school meeting for her child accused of sexually assaulting another child.  Now the parent was understandably in a panic, and initially I was shocked.  As it happens, a little girl named Holly was wearing an irresistible “brush changing sequin” t-shirt to first grade.  Jony had never seen anything like it.  It had a fantastic unicorn on it that was bright purple and pink on one side, and then when flipped it turned shiny gold and silver.  Holly spent much of the day rubbing her hands on her chest, flipping the sequins.  Jony also spent much of the day using his hands to flip the sequins on Holly’s unicorn.  Jony remarked over and over again how much he loved Holly’s shirt.  Holly was inviting other children to flip the sequins on her shirt but was getting annoyed that Jony, who sat next to her, continued to flip them without permission.

Here is the kicker… Holly’s parents came bursting into the school the next day claiming seven year old Holly had been sexually harassed by seven year old Jony.  Legally, any unwanted touch can be considered harassment (check the law if you doubt me).

A word of advice… I know that your child is dying for one of these new items of clothing.  I am guessing the fad will end as quickly as fidget spinners and silly bands. And once again, it leaves me wishing I could have invented such a useless, brilliant thing that would make me millions overnight.   But while this is the fad, please don’t let your child wear these to school and expect that children will keep their hands off them.  They will NOT.  Children are “action oriented”.  They won’t say, “Show me how that shirt works.”  They will just try it themselves.  This does NOT make them sexual fiends.  This makes them normal.  So if you are going to let your child wear one of these shirts to school, please have patience on these poor children who are facing a major distraction made up of completely alluring shiny things that feel so satisfying to brush up and down, up and down.  If you don’t understand the allurement, then try it.  Trust me, it is addictive.   If this is too big of a problem, then act like an adult, skip the clothing, and buy your child a pillow instead.  Then you and your child can fight over who gets to hold the pillow and flip the sequins while you are watching TV.

By the way, the child I work with was very impressed that I bought a pillow just like the shirt she had on last week.  I responded, “You know, you were having so much fun flipping those sequins, I wanted to try.”  Her response, “Oh, Dr. Melody, you should have just asked me.  I promise I would have said, ‘Yes’.  You did not have to go buy a pillow for yourself.”  Sometimes children are the most reasonable humans.