Mom's response after 3-year-old got teased over socks goes viral

Shona Campbell sends message by posting photo of her son's heart socks on Facebook.

Shona Campbell/Facebook

Unlike some boys his age, Harry Campbell loves hearts, the color pink and playing with dolls.

But what the 3-year-old loves more than anything, according to his mother, is having the independence to make his own choices.

That's why Shona Campbell let her "little ball of fire" pick out his own heart-covered socks to wear to daycare last week -- an outfit choice she never thought twice about.

When the 32-year-old mother from Irvine Ayrshire, Scotland, overheard another child mocking her little boy's socks for being "girls socks" at the nursery, she was upset.

"The child wasn't mean or nasty," Campbell explained to CBS News. "He pointed over to Harry's feet and said, 'Look, that boy's wearing girls socks.'"

The worst part, though, Campbell said, was that the boy's mother didn't correct him. Instead, the parent agreed and laughed along with her child.

"Why should we teach our children that certain things are for girls/boys?" an aggravated Campbell asked in a Facebook post that has since gone viral. "If my son wants to wear a dress, he can! If he wants to wear a big fluffy hat, he can! And if he wants to wear socks with love hearts, he can!"

The 3-year-old's mother says her son is the perfect age to start exploring who he wants to be, rather than who society says he should be.

Some days, Harry plays with dinosaurs, building blocks and all things "boyish." Other days, he'll steal his sister's tiara to dress up like Disney princess "Sofia the First."

The fact that another parent can't understand that "tore apart my faith in this world," she said.

Thousands of people are showing their support for Campbell, commenting on her Facebook post that has been shared by more than 103,000 people.

"As long as kids are happy and healthy does anything else really matter?" one user asked.

"It's so sad to hear that people would be teaching their kids to be so judgmental especially at that young an age."

Campbell says she didn't write the "wee rant" to shame or criticize the mother's style of parenting, but to spread awareness on gender stereotyping.

"I'd really like to make sure she, and anyone else [who] thinks it's okay to specify gender in clothes, toys, etc., sees this and hope narrow mindedness is replaced with open mindedness," she said.