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...in the car on the way home just now. He says he talks like a boy but he's really a girl and he just never takes his boy costume off. I asked him why he thinks this and he said "well, look, we've got the Little Mermaid, and Tangled, and all this girl stuff..." and I said "well that's not necessarily just girl stuff". I told him that ultimately that whether he's a boy, girl or a rhinoceros we'll always love him the same, but I'm wondering if this is normal or if he's actually really trying to tell me something. (I saw that girl on This Morning the other day, the transgender beauty queen, and she said if she could have had the op when she was five she would have.)
DS is six, and he's a healthy happy chap who has been known to dress up in princess dresses which I don't have a problem with - I've never read much into it but am just wondering if I should?
I think its too early to be worrying yourself over something that was a one off comment by a six year old. Just reassure him you love him no matter what and make a mental note for the future should you continue to have worries.
As long as he knows he's loved and had someone he can unconditionally talk to if he needs to, the rest can be dealt with if it happens..
ThatBintAgain I didn't want to leave this unanswered. I can understand why you'd be worried. No one would want their child to feel they were growing up in the wrong body. We all want our children to have pain and confusion free lives.
I imagine the only thing you can do is love him without judgement, giving him plenty of time to figure this out. I know you're already doing this though!
I know it's different but when my son was about 7 he expressed that he thought he was gay. We said a similar thing, whatever your sexuality, it's fine with us. He doesn't talk about it now but I think he was trying to express his love for his best friend.
I think most children go through stages of "exploring" the idea of gender, and what it means to be a boy/girl/man/woman. Usually they are just responding to what they see around them, trying to understand stereotypes and gender roles they see in society, and will settle out to be happy with the gender that their body is. Children who are genuinely unhappy about their gender can express it from an early age, but I think they are a lot more unhappy and a lot more consistent about it.
If he keeps saying similar things consistently over the next year or two, then you could start to wonder if he means it quite seriously, otherwise just stick with the messages of "just because shops sell things as being for girls/boys doesn't mean other people can't like it too" and "We love you whoever and whatever you are" which will cover most things!
My sister told us and everyone when she was about 7 that she was a boy. She only played with boys toys and had only male friends. As an adult she is hetero sexual, married and with children. my parents just went with the flow accepted her for who she is (add it sounds you are) and she had the freedom to develop as she wanted.
I can remember going through a phase of wanting to be a boy as a child. I think I was about 8 or 9. I insisted on wearing what I considered to be boys clothes, and being known as the boys version of my name. I don't think it lasted more than a few weeks, then the novelty wore off. My parents just let me get on with it. I think a lot of children do it.
My dd1 has just gone through this exact thing (except obviously she was saying she is really a boy). It went on for about three months, then she announced that now the disguise has stuck so she is really a girl now, and that was that.
We were a bit confused by it, but she hasn't mentioned it since.
Thank you everyone- I feel slightly reassured! I hope it's just a random phase, not that I'd have a problem with it per se, I just wouldn't want to think of him having to deal with the torment and bullying that would no doubt come with such a choice. Am probably massively overthinking (as usual!) and he's been doing all the usual "boy" stuff with no other mention of anything. It was just the way he said it all the other night, it just sounded really strange...