DP think this is a step too far for 7yo tomboy DD 2

(83 Posts)
sweetkitty Sun 23-Jun-13 16:18:20

DD2 who is 7 1/2 has always been a tomboy since she had a preference. She now dresses like a 7yo boy right down to her underwear. We made her wear a dress to DD1s communion (a black plain dress) and she hated it, she was so uncomfortable in it.

Anyway they have a school disco tomorrow I took them all shopping today, DD2 did her usual dash to the boys section and chose a boys checked shirt and a pair of navy blue chinos.

DP said its too far, she should not be dictating to us at 7 what she wants to wear. I had a conversation with DD2 and said you do know the other girls will have nice dresses on, you might feel left out. She said no I won't. She's very strong willed and knows her own mind.

I'm quite happy to buy her boys clothes and let her wear them as long as its what she wants, everyone at school knows she's a Tom boy and have accepted her.

I think it may be a bit more than just being a Tom boy as she has said things in the past about wishing she was s boy and wishing she had a winky like DS but I don't get hung up on it I just let her be herself.

Loads of other people always try to reassure me that its a phase and shell turn out a very girly girl like I'm worried. If she turns into a dungaree wearing lesbian ill be yay as proud of her maybe more so for being herself.

I'm happy for her to wear the checked shirt, DP is not hmm

Part of the fun of a disco is dressing up in clothes that you like. I think she should absolutely wear the trousers and shirt; it's who she is and what she likes and is perfectly suitable for dancing and socialising in. smile

Tee2072 Sun 23-Jun-13 16:21:30

Tell DP that at 7? She old enough to know what she wants to wear and just because she doesn't fit his stereotype of a 'girl' doesn't mean he can dictate to her.

Good for her for knowing what she likes and not caring what others think.

I agree with you. At 7 she's old enough to have an opinion on what she wears. It sounds like she'd hate a dress and therefore have a rubbish time and never wear it again so it's a complete waste of time.

Sounds like she knows her own mind and is confident in her choices. She sounds great. go with it smile I assume your DH is worried about her catching The Gay as everyone says on here wink

Beehatch Sun 23-Jun-13 16:26:28

Sounds exactly like my 6yo DD. She no longer possesses a dress or skirt in her wardrobe. I have gently steered her towards less definite boyish clothes for best - still boys clothes, but in pale pastel, small prints. In fact I think she looks lovely, and what is more important she feels comfortable.

We do keep her hair shoulder length bob, but she is still often taken for a boy, which pleases her no end.

She seems entirely unswayed by peer pressure, doesn't seem to give a stuff what other girls wear.

tribpot Sun 23-Jun-13 16:27:48

I think you've done the right thing - reminding her she may look a little different from the other girls so she doesn't get there and realise everyone else is dressed like a bloody princess - but reinforced the fact she can wear what she pleases. Why on earth shouldn't she 'dictate what she wears'? It's her choice.

YoniBottsBumgina Sun 23-Jun-13 16:28:10

I remember wearing smart jeans and a (horrible!) blouse from Tammy Girl to a school disco once. I bet the other girls won't be wearing dresses at all anyway, she won't be the only one in chinos.

Morgause Sun 23-Jun-13 16:29:14

I applaud any girl who eschews pink and glitter.

I always went to festivals, gigs and raves in trousers! Much more comfortable for dancing.

Being made to wear a dress would just make me hate them more at age 7.

I dress my dd in a mix of boys and girls but she looks better and feels better in joggys/jeans/bright trousers rather than dresses and cardigans, she's 8 and has rarely worn dresses since age 4.

I think allowing your dd to be herself is much more important than conforming to dh's ideals and as for catching the flipping gay <roll eyes> every woman in the world has at some point wore trousers and a shirt as a child and we still manage to pro-create in heterosexual relationships alongside every other way angry

Arcticwaffle Sun 23-Jun-13 16:34:16

My 13yo dd1 is still, and increasingly, choosing boys' clothes and shoes and hairstyles. She looks quite androgynous. She's very happy and floats through secondary school like this, with lots of (admittedly rather quirky) friends.

11yo dd2 also will wear boys' clothes as well as girls. But would never be mistaken for a boy.

Neither of them wants to be a boy but they like the no-nonsense practicality which is often found in boys' clothes. I know a few girls like this. There's one at the youth group who my (themselves quite androgynous) girls are absolutely convinced must be a boy but is clearly (to adults) a girl - the name is a givaway but my dds are convinced that "Olivia" is actually a boy.

I'm rather proud of my gender-bending girls. Adult women wear jeans and checked shirts or combats and t-shirts all the time, I certainly don't waft around in pinafores and sparkly shoes etc so I am quite sympathetic that they don't want to.
I have dd3 who at 9 is more typically girly but even she won't go near dresses or pink.

sweetkitty Sun 23-Jun-13 16:37:49

No DP is not afraid of her catching The Gay, his BF is gay and he would be cool with her being gay if indeed she is (and he still has two princesses) he loves the way she is different as well.

I think he feels she may be teased maybe from older kids about being dressed as a boy.

She sounds like me! I was exactly the same til I hit 11. I was run over and had pins so couldn't wear trousers. I had to lend dresses from friends and hated it.

Tell your DP to leave her be. She wont be the only one dressed like that

IThinkOfHappyWhenIThinkOfYou Sun 23-Jun-13 16:41:04

This is about cutting hair but I think it has a relevance to clothes

"The question why I would LET Willow cut her hair. First the LET must be challenged. This is a world where women, girls are constantly reminded that they don't belong to themselves; that their bodies are not their own, nor their power or self determination.

I made a promise to endow my little girl with the power to always know that her body, spirit and her mind are HER domain. Willow cut her hair because her beauty, her value, her worth is not measured by the length of her hair.

It's also a statement that claims that even little girls have the RIGHT to own themselves and should not be a slave to even their mother's deepest insecurities, hopes and desires. Even little girls should not be a slave to the preconceived ideas of what a culture believes a little girl should be. More to come. Another day."

kelda Sun 23-Jun-13 16:41:25

Good for your dd. would your DP rather she went in a neon yellow boobtube with glitter on her cheeks?

I wouldn't have made her wear a dress to the communion.

Will she making her own communion next year? I hope she can choose what to wear. There was a child at my dd's communion who wore linen trousers, matching jacket and a white shirt. She looked lovely. I would much rather that then the 7 year old who made her first communion wearing lipstick and mascara.

HotheadPaisan Sun 23-Jun-13 16:44:01

Let her wear what she's comfortable in.

fuzzpig Sun 23-Jun-13 16:49:36

I think she should wear what she wants! smile

sweetkitty Sun 23-Jun-13 17:18:48

Yes she will make her first communion next year. She said at DD1s it wasn't for her.

We have compromised that she will wear a very plain white dress, no tiara but a white hair band and she will take it off straight after the church, for the afters she doesn't want anything so we are just having a family meal out.

I love her for being her and not caring what anyone else thinks, it's a shame that people are so quick to comfort me that they or someone they know was a Tom boy and they grew out of it so I'm not to worry.

rednellie Sun 23-Jun-13 20:35:46

I think you sound like a lovely mum and neither her nor your DD or DP have anything to worry about. She sounds great.

Glenshee Mon 24-Jun-13 00:57:36

Tricky one. It's all about the balance...

I had similar preferences myself when I was a child. I had to wear a school uniform dress to school (there wasn't a trousers option for girls), but other than that it was impossible to convince me to wear a dress, or a skirt, or anything girly really. I had short hair, and dreamed obsessively about being, or pretending to be, a boy.

Aged 10 or so, I met a boy who I felt very attracted to, and we became friends. When he asked me what my name was, I blushed and said: "I'm a girl..." - and it felt like the end of the world. I desperately wanted him to never find out.

Still, I remember vividly a brown skirt with large pockets from my childhood which I really liked, because it was so practical and not at all limiting (like some girl's clothes are). Large pockets were very useful! Dresses had to wait longer - I only started to wear them after I turned 30!

I now have a 6 year old DD who also dislikes dresses and skirts. She asked me why I 'made' her to be born as a girl (not fair!) She likes to wear boys clothes, and she likes being rough. She does want to keep long hair though, prefers nighties to pyjamas, likes nail varnish and earrings (ears not pierced yet but I am running out of excuses to delay it much further!) Interesting mix.

I think generally you are right to support your daughter and to love her for who she is. For a child, being in control and feeling comfortable in their own skin has a direct impact on their self-esteem and confidence. Yet for their development I think it's important for young girls to be exposed to, and try (if at all possible) a variety of styles. It opens more opportunities and makes life so much easier when you're an adult. Your girl knows what she wants, but it's your responsibility as a parent to give her what he needs. If she's anything like me as a child, she needs a lot more attention and help in style and beauty department than an average girl, not less.

Perhaps you could offer her some girl's styles that match her personality statement better than the boys department can? Not right now, and not instead of the clothes she has chosen for disco, but when the time is right... Camouflage and khaki represent strength, roughness and power. By wearing animal print you can show courage, and be wild and bold. Here are some suggestions that could work:

- Camouflage Jacket
- You Only Live Once T-Shirt
- Love is Forever T-Shirt
- Skort (shorts/skirt hybrid)
- Girls khaki trousers
- Animal Print Parka
- Tiger Dress

In terms of the celebrity sort of role models, you might want to introduce her to:
- Pink (very tom boyish, and yet look at her dress in Just Give me a Reason; and
- Carly, the blond girl from Street Dance movie.

Hope it helps. Feel free to PM me if you wish.

freerangechickens Mon 24-Jun-13 03:15:19

This is exactly like my 7 year old DD. Except for the underwear part. All she does is wear her older brother's hand me downs, and refuses to wear anything else, and goes on and on about wishing she was a boy. The only thing she ever wants to do is play sports, and she's actually really good at them. So much so, that even the high school coaches (we're American) have shown an interest in her. I think this actually helps her, as the boys accept her as one of their own, because she can more than hang with them in every sport.

I ALWAYS worried about her, and her not being accepted, because she has no interest in the girls, and she's only wanted to be with the boys. I have to admit, I wouldn't know what to do with a "girly girl", but she's far more than your average tomboy. This year, I just decided not to worry about it (or to try, at least) and discovered that she's fine. She genuinely doesn't care what the "mean girl" crowd has to say about her, and they lost interest in being mean to her after a day or two, because when they were mean, she told them that she didn't care what they thought, and had no reaction and walked away, and they've never bothered her again. There are several parents of boys that are her friends that tell their boys to not let anyone pick on her, and they've all said that they won't, but except for once, nobody has ever picked on her, and she was fine taking care of it herself.

I often worry about her and the future, thinking that we're in some sort of protected bubble from reality, but things are going really well for her. I actually envy her self-confidence many times. I'm truly grateful that we live where we do, because people of all ages seem to accept her and think she's cool, she's even got friends that are 3-4 years older than she is at school that actually come and search her out, and she's got girls at the high school (Years 9-12) that know who she is, and she's allowed to sit on the bench for different sports.

I'm glad to see all of you on this thread, it makes me so glad that DD isn't alone, and that there are so many supportive, proud parents out there.

freerangechickens Mon 24-Jun-13 03:36:02

Ok, I tried to ignore, Glenshee, but what style needs does a 7 year old have?

BrianTheMole Mon 24-Jun-13 04:05:36

Why dos she need girls styles offered to her glenshe? When she's happy with the clothes she wears already? Its perfectly fine to wear boys clothes, she doesn't need to be encouraged back into a more masculine version of dresses, just to get her to wear them in the first place.

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

DeWe Mon 24-Jun-13 09:57:18

There's a couple of girls that one of my dc's have grown up with that are tomboys, wearing boys uniform etc. One of the best moments at sports' day one year was the teachers let them run in the boys' race and one of them won grin

The children all accept them for who they are. I've never heard a negative comment about their clothing choice at all.

adoptmama Mon 24-Jun-13 11:05:17

Good for you OP to have the courage to allow your DD to be herself - whatever that is and however she may wish to express it. You have clearly done a great job in helping her develop self confidence. Maybe she will grow out of it, maybe not. I have a friend whose daughter is transgender and she expressed not only a preference for boys clothing and haircut, but also the desire to be a boy; all from a very early age. I know it has caused a lot of heartache for the family; not because of their own unwillingness to accept it but due to the attitude of others, including extended family who still buy 'girly' toys and pink clothes for her in the hope that they will influence her! Acceptance is so important. It's great to see so many people are open now to the fact that gender and identity are not the same thing and that children need to be accepted for who they at the time, whether or not it is a 'phase' they 'grow out of'.

MortifiedAdams Mon 24-Jun-13 11:16:57

If your dd had picked out a pink dress and told you that is what she wanted you to buy how would DH react? Your DHs argument falls flat if he didnt also see that as her dictating to you.

Your DH is unhappy at her choosing to stand out and not conform to social norms. Instead he should be over the fucking moon that his daughrer is strong and sassy and knows what she likes instead of meekly following the crowd against her own perspnal desires.

so what if she is a lesbian, so what if she continues to dress like a boy for the rest of her life, so what if sje is straight, so what if she ends up as cabin crew painting a face on every morning and having regular spray tans.

As long as she is happy.

sweetkitty Mon 24-Jun-13 12:00:49

Mortifiedadams - I love your post grin my sentiments exactly, we were in a large shop she had the choice and that's what she chose, she also chose a shark t-shirt and boys shorts. She still likes her hair long though but only in a pony tail and bunches and plaits are cute and she doesn't want to be cute.

She asked me when did I realise she was a boy and not a girl, I said just before your second birthday when you burst out crying because Santa brought you a baby born doll and pram and you wanted a Hulk, Santa did also bring her a Hulk btw and never made that mistake again (in Santas defence he bought the 2 girls the same things to stop fights).

So she's shown a preference since before 2, when she was about 5 she started dressing like a boy as well.

She won't do more boyish versions of girls clothes and doesn't like boys clothes in more traditionally feminine colour like pinks and lilacs. She despises pink with a passion, her bedroom is green with loads of dinosaurs grin

She'll wear her new checked shirt and chinos tonight to her disco and look lovely I'm sure.

MERLYPUSS Mon 24-Jun-13 12:01:13

I never wear dresses and always hated them when younger. If I have to go down the smarter dress style route I opt for tunics and leggings with DMs. They do some lovely skinny jeans in fab colours at the mo so she would look great in those with a boys shirt. Perhaps go down that route and get them in a wild colour. If she wants to wear chinos - so? You should be very proud that she is not a sheep and buying into the pink princess brigade.
I applaud her.

sweetkitty Mon 24-Jun-13 12:02:39

In DPs defence he usually loves the way she is but I think he just worries about her being bullied.

Oh and I've had her BFs mum complain that she's turned her into a Tom boy as well.

GrimmaTheNome Mon 24-Jun-13 12:20:50

You might find that if she normally wears 'boy' clothes, then turned up at the disco in a dress, someone might make fun of her for that. Her friends are presumably used to her clothing preferences, so why would they bully her for sticking to them?

I would guess that the thing most likely to make her a victim of bullies is to make her less sure of herself.

SpockSmashesScissors Mon 24-Jun-13 12:23:25

My oldest has a girl in his class who is a tomboy, likes boys clothes etc., they are all 8 or 9.

All the children just accept it, at her recent party the whole class was invited, all the children were insistent that she got presents and cards that she liked, lots of football themed cards and presents, no pink at all, all guided by the children.

sweetkitty Mon 24-Jun-13 12:24:08

When she wore a dress to DD1s communion she didn't want anyone to see her in it. She even hates seeing photos of herself as a baby wearing pink and to be honest she never really suited pink and girly.

sweetkitty Mon 24-Jun-13 12:25:30

Spock - the people that know DD2 will not buy her anything girly or a girls card, she still gets some from my aunts but she says that's ok because they are old.

Bumpsadaisie Mon 24-Jun-13 13:11:09

I was much like this at this age. I "grew out of it" at about 9 yrs old.

I would go with it.

CabbageHead Mon 24-Jun-13 13:13:58

When i was a kid i was a real tomboy too.. Once in summer, when i was 10, i decided to take my T-shirt off cos it was hot and my parents told me off for it.. I couldn't understand why cos all the boys could go around with no shirt on, made sense to me lol!
I had loads of boy mates at school and had girlfriends too, same when i was older, still preferred hanging out with boys rather than girls cos they were much more adventurous and u could have a 'real' conversation (about motorbikes or the world, rather than nail polish and hairdryers!!). I also dressed in boy clothes .. Later on in my 20's i was visiting my hometown, and in the local niteclub, a guy came up to me and remembered me from school and he told me i used to wear gray wool boy socks everyday ha ha! I even wore my dads old army clothes and wore boys trousers.. Even tho i own dresses now (im 43!) i still dont always feel comfortable dressed up, and just bought my first handbag last year!!!
I cant stand all the pink and blue stuff for kids in the shops, my ds wears all colours, purple woteva, who cares.. Its just indoctrination to me.. Same with giving boys cars and girls dolls, if thats their preference great but if its not who cares.. (I loved visiting my best male friend as a kid cos he had lego and army soldiers and racing cars, i just had dolls, which i liked but loved his toys more!!!)

sweetkitty Mon 24-Jun-13 21:11:40

She went to her disco with her checked shirt, chinos, green converse and her hair in a ponytail as having it down is too girly. No one batted an eyelid, she looked cute grin

tribpot Mon 24-Jun-13 21:12:55

Excellent result smile

Good for her! Don't tell her she looked cute though, eh? wink

My DD is only 3 (same age as your youngest <waves from antenatal thread> not a stalker, promise) and I hope she grows to have the same self confidence that your DD has.

ByTheSea Mon 24-Jun-13 21:27:07

My DD2, now 11, has always been like this and I just let her be herself. She has now started to show an interest in dressing a little bit more feminine and that is fine too.

freerangechickens Mon 24-Jun-13 21:43:31

Good for your DD!!

SorryMyLollipop Mon 24-Jun-13 21:56:04

I hated being a girl up until the age 12ish. I wished I was a boy etc and I loved being mistaken for a boy. I was a total tomboy, I hated my body changing in puberty.

I am still a bit tomboyish (in my 40s now!) but am now happy to be female . I am totally heterosexual as well (i have experimented just to check.)

Looking back I hated the expectations of being a girl, being told to be more "ladylike" made my blood boil. Boys seemed to have much more freedom.

Your DD will enjoy herself at the disco in her choice of clothes. Trousers and shirt sound fine. I bet she'll have a brilliant time x

FredFredGeorge Mon 24-Jun-13 22:27:59

Good result, I hope you can review your "compromise" over the communion and let her choose what to wear there too (well really I hope you can review her choice to do it, given that she's said it's not for her...)

You sound so supportive everywhere else, but then want to make her unhappy?

gallicgirl Mon 24-Jun-13 22:41:46

Tomboy? Seriously?

She's active, sporty, independent, masculine, fabulous, intelligent, caring,.thoughtful and a 100 other adjectives.

Enjoy her, let her find her own way and stop worrying about what everyone else thinks

Glenshee Tue 25-Jun-13 11:32:55

freerangechickens, BrianTheMole –

every child deserves to have options and be introduced to all sorts during their early years – all kinds of activities, all kinds of clothes, all kinds of food, all kinds of places, and all kinds of people (introverted, extroverted, funny, serious, noisy, quiet...) It prepares them for life as rounded individuals and opens opportunities they never knew existed. There’s no need to force any particular style on a 7 year old, but I wouldn’t give up on her potential to explore and adopt other styles either. That’s part of growing up!

The clothes I suggested are meant to bridge the gap between the (traditionally) boys and girls clothes, and I would keep some options like that open, and within reach, as a gentle reminder that there’s more to clothing and fashion than jeans and trousers.

This is what I would have liked my parents to do for me, when I was a child with the same kind of (also very strong) preferences. This is not what I wanted them to do for me as a child, but it’s what I now think is most beneficial, particularly for their teenage years and future career options.

Again, it’s all about the balance. Freaking out would be an odd and extreme reaction, but completely going with the flow doesn’t seem right to me either.

vess Tue 25-Jun-13 12:49:02

I think boys' clothes are unisex kids' clothes really. It is the typical girls' clothes that are abnormally grown-up, a scaled-down model of women's or teens' clothes. I wouldn't want to wear them either. Or do I think that because I was a tomboy myself?

I can see where Glenshee is coming from, but I think it is valid for the teenage years and after. At some point after the age of 14 you stop being a tomboy and become just a badly dressed girl.

sweetkitty Tue 25-Jun-13 13:40:47

FredFredGeorge - she does want the communion but in her own way, she doesn't want the huge sparkly dress, tiara, big cake, balloons and party that DD1 had. We will go shopping and find her a dress that she will wear just to the service then she can take it off. She's just wanting a family meal no fuss so that's what we are having.

I think there's also a point where we as adults have to wear things we don't want to whether its a suit or a uniform.

She's being allowed to chose her clothes and if she decides to go more girly at some point then that's great just as great as if she dresses in male clothes forever.

She's at her sports day today, boys trainers, socks, pants, shorts and a lovely shark t-shirt grin

arabellacaterpillar Tue 25-Jun-13 17:12:44

Thank you for posting this Sweetkitty, I came here this afternoon feeling pretty down about my DD2 (5) who since 2 years old has always worn boys clothes.

She wants to be a boy, all her friends are boys, had her hair cut short a few months ago etc.

This afternoon my Mum said I should just make her wear a school summer dress (she wear boys grey shorts).....I said she would hate it and Mum said "So!". She also said "what's she like" and not in a nice way either!

I was feeling like I was doing something wrong, DH & I love her personality, we understand she would not like to wear a dress and frankly I don't care that she's not a girly girl. All her teachers have commented on the fact that she is her own person, which to me is a very valuable characteristic.

Sorry major essay!! Hooray for our self confident tomboys!!!

sweetkitty Tue 25-Jun-13 18:39:52

arabellacaterpillar - your so right not to make her wear a dress, that would be awful for her. I have no contact with my mother but I would guess she would be the same, the looks and comments I got when I bought DD1 some Fisher Price toy cars when she was one.

A lot of people say they wanted a girl to dress in pink and frills and they got a Tom boy instead, Tom boys must be pretty common.

GrimmaTheNome Tue 25-Jun-13 20:12:44

> the looks and comments I got when I bought DD1 some Fisher Price toy cars when she was one.

shock Why??? confused

This seems like an appropriate moment to make sure everyone on this thread knows about [[ http://www.lettoysbetoys.org.uk/ Let Toys Be Toys]] - a campaign which started on MN with pre-xmas despair at gender stereotyping of children's toys. (I must admit I didn't know it had grown to have its own website till just now).

GrimmaTheNome Tue 25-Jun-13 20:13:30

Sorry, mangled the link

LittleMissGerardButlerfan Tue 25-Jun-13 20:22:25

I was a tomboy when I was younger and even now I don't wear dresses or skirts!

I wanted a scalextric when I was younger but I wasn't allowed as it was a boys toy angry

I have 2 boys and guess what they got last year grin

If she is happy and confident with what she wears then that's all you can ask!

My boys (5 and 7) have asked me to paint their nails like I do, so I said we would do it at the weekend and in the holidays, OH just looked at me like hmm but I don't care!

My 5 year old also has a toy iron, had a Hoover and a kitchen and also has tons of cars buses etc.

Well done for letting her be herself!

girliefriend Tue 25-Jun-13 20:29:13

My dd isn't very girly and doesn't like dresses or skirts. Hates anything to do with princesses or pink. I recently bought her some 'boys' pjs and am open to her choosing to wear boys clothes.

I can sort of sympathise with your dh as I do sometimes struggle with her tomboyness and worry that she will be teased. I know in my head its ridiculous and that clothes are clothes and it doesn't mean anything but I do also worry that other parents might judge me if she did start wearing all boys clothes.

GrimmaTheNome Tue 25-Jun-13 20:42:29

The funny thing is, I reckon that you're more likely to see adult women wearing 'boyish' clothes (chinos, jeans, shirts...) than anything like some of the stuff on the 'girls' aisles.

sweetkitty Tue 25-Jun-13 21:14:50

I think my Mother thought buying her some toy cars might turn her gay confused

I often see Dads at toddlers take prams off their DSs, seriously and one Mum recently told me that her DS likes hovers but she's not allowed to buy him one hmm

It's funny as I have 4 DC, DD1 is a traditional girly girl, loves nurturing type games, doll mad, loves pink but likes being out on her bike and is quite sporty.

DD2 as you know out and out tomboy nothing girly in her room at all, likes football and animals

DD3 I would say is a bit more neutral, not really into dolls will quite happily play with trains or cars.

DS is a traditional boy, prefers anything with wheels but loves hoovers, likes playing kitchens and ironing, playing things like hairdressers. He's obviously has a range of toys to play with but choses more traditional boys ones like trains and cars.

girliefriend Tue 25-Jun-13 22:06:05

I find it very depressing that boys are not allowed to play with buggies or babies, surely their dads pushed them in the buggy and occasionally changed a nappy.

I really don't get it.

My dd loves playing with cars, she has a garage and a car playmat, so what?!

GrimmaTheNome Tue 25-Jun-13 22:23:49

>I think my Mother thought buying her some toy cars might turn her gay
I take it your mother doesn't drive?

For the benefit of those of you with DDs younger than mine, can I reassure you that none of the following appear to make any difference to gender identity, any more than clothes from the non-sparkly half of the children's clothes options do:

space rockets
non-pink lego
chemistry sets
electronic sets
model aircraft kits
soldering irons

and that girls who don't have these themselves do not bully girls who have them, but they do enjoy the opportunity to try them!

freerangechickens Wed 26-Jun-13 00:38:30

Glenshee- They're 7. I agree with the sentiment that at some point they become badly dressed girls, but at age 7, there really aren't that many budding fashion goddesses out there. She's had plenty of different opportunities to try different styles of dress, through what I've bought her thinking she might like, and the bounty of hand-me-downs from multiple other girls. DD just knows what she likes, and isn't that the point of personal style, to find clothes that make you happy, and you feel good in? The thing I find the most awesome about DD isn't the fact that she's a "tomboy" or is known for being very sporty, or that she's different, it is the fact that at age 7, she knows exactly who she is, is vocal about it (in a non-bratty way) and confident enough with who she is to not change her life to better suit other people's opinion of who they think it is okay for her to be. And she's just super-happy being her. So many people comment that she just has so much fun being her, it makes me want to cry sometimes. I'm in awe, because I struggle with that in my late 30's, and so far, she has me beat in knowing who she is and being at peace with it.

I get what you mean about lack of guidance. I grew up in a cultish religion where I dressed pretty much like they did back in Little House on the Prairie times, and it was hard having no experience with style, hair, or make up trying to find my way in the world after I left the cult, and lost all of my family and friends, and trying to fit in and look normal in society in my early 20's when I had no experience with hair, makeup or actual modern clothes. There's tons of resources out there, though, through the internet, magazines, shops galore in the nearby mall where you can go and tell them that you want to look like everyone else, and they are more than happy to help. If and when she chooses to follow another style, if it makes you feel better, I'm 100% behind her in that, and will do anything from borrowing friend's DDs to help us on shopping trips, to asking workers in the shop for help, or browsing style sections, or even getting a personal shopper to get her to wherever she wants to go style wise. (As long as it isn't age-inappropriately slutty)

Grimma, DD has all of those except for a soldering iron. She does have her own mini tool kit, though. She'd have a blast with your children, I do believe.

GrimmaTheNome Wed 26-Jun-13 09:27:42

>Grimma, DD has all of those except for a soldering iron. She does have her own mini tool kit, though. She'd have a blast with your children, I do believe.

I've just the one, 14 now - the soldering iron can maybe wait till secondary age! grin Yes, your awesome daughter would have a blast with her - but then, so do the 'girly' girls. Being a stereotype-breaker is not a problem!

Fantail Wed 26-Jun-13 09:56:05

Your DD sounds like a fun kid. Her self-confidence is something you should feel proud of.

ELR Wed 26-Jun-13 10:08:00

Haven't read the whole thread but thought I would quickly post.
My dd is nearly 11 and was exactly like your dd wishing she was a boy. But in the last 8 months or so she has started changing a little. Using body spray and wearing bracelets and girls tops and shorts but only plain ones not frilly or anything! She still feels very awkward if she has anything new to wear but she is getting there.
We have just let her wear what she wants and I must admit I was worried that other kids would tease her but they don't they accept her for what and who she is. She hasn't worn a dress since she was 6 and wears boys shorts and shoes for school too I am just pleased at least I can pass them all down to ds!

sweetkitty Wed 26-Jun-13 10:13:12

DD2 has a tool kit too when she wanted to be a builder now she wants to be a vet grin

I know I think it's crazy wee boys aren't being "allowed" prams or hoovers, I think it's a male thing, Dads not wanting effeminate sons, the same Dads that are pushing their sons to toddlers in a pram wink

Arcticwaffle Wed 26-Jun-13 15:24:09

But also, what if they don't have a female gender identity, what if they don't shift into girls' clothes and tastes? Not every little tomboy girl will grow out of it.

My only concern with my most androgynous girl, who's 13 now, was that she'd have a rough time at secondary, either being bullied or not having friends, but that hasn't happened despite her still wearing boys' clothes. Apart from that, I'm fine with her being her own quite distinctive self. She's adorable. And unlike any other child, boy or girl, that I know.

freerangechickens Thu 27-Jun-13 00:32:28

I think one of the things that I've come to slowly realize just recently is that not only is being a stereotype breaker not a problem, it actually frees them from limits. DD's BF that is a girl is 4 years older than her, and DD has been invited to her house, and her birthday party. There is a girl in DD's class that came up to me on the last day of school, and told me that if she and DD weren't in the same class, that she was going to saw her desk in half, and put one half in DD's class so she could be with DD part of the time. DD has her older brother's friends asking me if they can come to her (still months off) birthday party, and is friends with a ton of the boys in multiple grades. She absolutely loves the 80 year old couple next door, and can often be found having conversations with them in their yard. And just today, she was at a summer camp, and when I came to pick her up, I went early, and found some of the high school girls calling her name, and carting her around from station to station giving her piggy back ride. It may not be a traditional group of friends, but what a great variety of people she gets to hang out with.

nooka Thu 27-Jun-13 00:58:15

I think the only thing that is a bit sad about being a stereotype breaker is that sometimes it can reinforce the stereotype. So rather than feeling I am a girl/boy and I can do whatever I want you might veer into more of the feeling that to be the person you want to be you need to be a different gender. And that doesn't come without problems.

I wonder if we lived in a society that had less strong gender expectations (and my feeling is that these have become more and more overtly expressed in recent years) there would be less people who felt trapped in the wrong body, because they wouldn't feel so strongly that that body came with so much baggage. Also puberty can be a very difficult time because you can easily wear the other gender's clothes but you can't stop your breasts developing/ beard growing.

So I think it's good to celebrate everything about your child as individuals without buying into stereotypes (of which being a tom boy is one). I was very happy to be taken as a boy when I was growing up, but learning that it was totally OK to be an unfeminine woman was very freeing.

SofiaAmes Thu 27-Jun-13 01:34:51

I'm so glad to hear that you supported your dd in her choices. My dd is very determined and unique in her fashion sense and has been since she was a toddler. When she was much younger people used to wonder that I let her pick her clothes and dress herself, but since clothes weren't that important to me, I didn't really mind what she looked like and she soon developed a wonderful and unique style. She puts together the most amazing combinations of "boys" clothes and "girls" clothes. Heels, basketball shorts and a 1D t-shirt, or high tops with a sparkly dress and of course she never leaves home without her "emergency" lip gloss. She has also been designing and making her own clothes since she was 7. She also gets lots and lots of hand me downs from all sorts of varied sources, so has a wonderful variety of clothes to make "outfits" out of. She always plans an outfit for everything...including cleaning her room and doing homework ("I mean you can't just do homework in any old clothes...how can I think wearing THAT"). She gets an enormous amount of pleasure in expressing herself through how she dresses and since it's a truly creative expression (and not just about looking like everyone else), I'm happy to support it.

mrssprout Thu 27-Jun-13 03:49:20

We had a gorgeous little boy in care with us for many years. His favourite colour was pink. He would often bring me a sarong & ask me to tie it on him as a skirt. He would get invited to play at the girls houses & loved to dress up as a princess. At 3 all he wanted for christmas was a baby doll ( the photo of him cuddling it was lovely). He also loved bugs, dinosaurs & trains. He & a little girl at school decided they would get married when they grew up, she said when they had babies he was going to stay home & look after them. He moved on from our home at 8 & I often think about him & hope he is still being allowed to be himself wherever he is now. He was an amazing little boy & it was very sad to see him go.
You sound like you are being brilliant in supporting your DD in being just who she wants to be.

DoodleAlley Thu 27-Jun-13 06:29:18

Reading this and looking back to my own childhood I wonder if this issue isn't now exaggerated by the more extreme "girlification" (for want of a better word) of girls clothes and toys.

I only wore dresses for best and didn't like them because they were restrictive but I suspect there was a greater availability of more neutral - and comfortable- clothes available.

I'm not meaning to brush aside the reality that there will be some few girls out there who genuinely feel more boy than girl. But for most I wonder if this is partly a result of pushing girls clothes and toys to an extreme of either domesticity or fluffiness.

Girls should run around, play sports, etc after all as other posters have put more eloquently, it's a part of our lives and choices as adults.

And girls shouldn't be forced to always wear clothes more suited for appearance than their actual use. It's a shame that the clothing is so polarised that a girl wearing trousers and a shirt should stand out.

sweetkitty Thu 27-Jun-13 10:18:22

I agree with this girlification (great word btw) even with DD3 whose favourite colour is pink, to nursery shell wear pink jeans, trainers and a top as they are comfy and suitable for playing but the number of girls who come to nursery in flowing dresses and sandals to climb and play with sand and compost.

I also see it down the park girls playing in flowing dresses. I only put dresses on my girls if its an occasion as more often than not they are out playing.

It's like even from a young age girls must be pretty rather than practical hmm

adoptmama Thu 27-Jun-13 11:18:17

Think there is a lot in what you said DoodleAlley. Growing up in the 70's the only dresses I ever had were for Christmas day. Except the year I got a great red tracksuit from Santa smile And I hated to have to wear them! We all just ran around in trousers or shorts. Nowadays it seems to me too much of the clothing for little girls is a miniaturized version of (tarty) adult clothes. Though having said all that DD1 generally prefers her dresses and skirts unless she is horse riding.

Turniptwirl Thu 27-Jun-13 12:08:49

OP your DD sounds like a very happy and loving little girl, why on earth would your dp want to change a thing?

gymboywalton Thu 27-Jun-13 12:30:24

i have no problem with girls wearing boys clothes /boys wearing girls clothes etc
clothes are clothes and yes in the 70's , there wasn't this intense poarisation of girls and boys. everyone just ran around in jeans or shorts and t shirts.

however i work with a little girl who is a bit like this-wears a complete boys uniform, boys shoes and socks etc etc boys coat ..blah blah and she she really struggles socialy because the boys see her as a girl and the girls see her as a boy iyswim. one day i asked the boys stand on one side of the room and the girls on the other and she didn't know where to stand. she said to me ' where do i go? because i am a boy and a girl'

i really really worry about this girl.

however sports and runing around are not 'boyish' they are just activities that anyone can do

GrimmaTheNome Thu 27-Jun-13 12:41:51

Poor child, gym. I guess it would help if there was less automatic division into 'girls' and 'boys' - hard to avoid when it comes to sports and changing rooms etc, but for many activities there are other ways to form two groups.

MoominsYonisAreScary Thu 27-Jun-13 12:46:12

All the pictures of me when I was younger have me in jeans tshirts and my friend in pretty dresses. I was always covered in mud, she wouldn't play in mud or climb trees as she didn't want to get dirty grin

My friends dp doesn't want his ds playing with pushchairs/dolls etc, she bought him one anyway after seeing how much he liked playing with ds3s

DonutForMyself Thu 27-Jun-13 13:04:49

I can understand if it were a wedding or something, that you might want to have some say in what your DCs are wearing and that they might have to accept a particular dress/suit as it is part of the day and will be photographed etc, but otherwise I think 7 is more than old enough to have a say in what you wear.

I think its great that your DD is not buying into the pink sparkly tat that we are expected to lap up for our DDs. Mine wears hand-me-downs from the DSs quite often and I much prefer her to go out playing in combats and t-shirts rather than impractical (and usually pale coloured) girly clothes.

She has boys' shoes for school/nursery most of the time because they are so much more practical. She moans if they have footballs or dinosaurs on because her friends will make fun of her, but then when she gets the little toy inside she's generally ok with them (and has dry feet throughout the winter - she gets 'girly' shoes for the summer term and just wears boots if it rains!)

FWIW I also wore a lot of boys' clothes as a little kid, my mum loved me wearing dresses and pinafores and dressing like a little mini-me of her, but there is a tape recording of me one Christmas when I was nearly 3 squealing "I got trousers!!!" over and over because I was so happy! I now wear jeans most of the time, but will put a dress/skirt on sometimes and always have make-up/hair done, so not a complete tom-boy any more!

amazingmumof6 Thu 27-Jun-13 13:35:41

wedding, christening, funeral, Christmas-do, Sunday clothes for church etc - it would be my choice what she wears, or she could choose from what I think is appropriate.

rest of the time - and school disco falls in this category - I couldn't care less. my 3 year old chooses the most odd combos, I let him be.

my kids are happy with that balance. they understand that sometimes I want them to look smart for the occasion (and for me) and accept it

school disco -pfft. let her wear what she wants.

ChippingInWiredOnCoffee Thu 27-Jun-13 13:57:20

I can understand that your DH just wants to protect her from being teased etc, would he read this thread? It might help him be a bit less stressed about it?

It is good that you are both happy to let her be herself - what will be, will be. I hope for her sake that she gradually starts to be happy being a girl (she doesn't have to embrace pink and dresses!) and doesn't feel like she should be a boy anymore - simply because that is a very, very hard path to tread - maybe that is what people are trying to convey when they say 'she'll grow out of it' - think of it as them reassuring you that her life might not be that hard.

zipzap Thu 27-Jun-13 20:53:20

Is there any reason why she has to wear a dress for her first communion?

If she so does not like to wear dresses then why not get her something else? I can't believe that there is a diktat that first communions will only work if you wear a dress as plenty of little boys have them and don't wear dresses.

Could she not wear a nice white shirt, smart pale chinos and say a little white waist coat or something more along the lines of what the boys would wear that she would feel more herself in (well to the extent that all of them feel a bit different as they are wearing an outfit they'd never normally wear, it's a special occasion with all eyes on them etc grin).

GrimmaTheNome Fri 28-Jun-13 10:06:07

>I much prefer her to go out playing in combats and t-shirts rather than impractical (and usually pale coloured) girly clothes.

oh yes. Our first foray into the 'boys' aisle was when I had that lightbulb moment that mud stains really don't come out of those things - khaki trousers reduce the detergent/stain remover bill! wink

vacantStation Tue 02-Jul-13 18:17:05

Hello sweetkitty

Some children go through phases where they play at being the opposite gender and this can be a powerful phase. I remember HATING dresses and feeling really out of sorts in them, I used to want to have a boys name and pretended that i had a winkie too!. A Friend of mine has a little boy who has been desperate to be a girl. He was 6/7 at the time. This went on for about 6 months.

A colleague today mentioned her 6 year old who said he hated his willie and didn't want to be a grown up man with a willie, he wanted to be a girl.

My DH describes HATING being forced to wear dresses as a child. He can't even talk about it and all traces of his original gender have gone. He has been male for 17 years, legally for as long as The Gender Recognition act has been around. (2004) and is very happy, good career, we lead an entirely ordinary (boring) life and hardly anyone knows his gender history.

He transitioned at 15 after puberty tipped him into massive crisis.

What i am saying is your DD is really young. Watch the space and perhaps let her dress how she wants. If she gets mistaken for a boy/teased etc. It'll either get her conforming which she'll get comfortable with, she'll not be bothered about what other people say, or she'll conform and be really uncomfortable. The third scenario is the one to worry about most.

She's only 7, seee what happens over the next few years. There is lots of support out there for gender dysphoria but she is really young at the moment.

If you really feel like you need specialist addvice, contact 'Mermaids' They are an organisation attached to the Tavistock and Portman that support families with children with Gender Dysphoria.

You sound really great actually. I'm sure you'll suss it out.

vacantStation Tue 02-Jul-13 18:27:40

Just to add before I get shouted down by the Mumsnetters!! I am not for a minute suggesting that your DD has gender dysphoria, I am only citing DH as an example!!

There was a great advert for lego from the 80's that was floating around on F/book a few months ago. The kid in the picture was holding a lego house she had made. She was wearing dungarees and a stripey jumper!! That was me in the 80's!! You never see adverts like that now.

Your wilful child is expressing her preferences which are quite sensible for a 7 year old!! The extremes of boy and girl (clothes/toys etc) are he product of socially constructed notions not usually innately driven inclinations which advertisers would like us to believe! But you know that anyway smile

Tigresswoods Tue 02-Jul-13 22:27:13

Hello Sweetkitty I think you may have posted about your DD before & I may have commented then.

I'd go with what she wants if I was you. I dressed like a boy & defined myself as a "tomboy" until I was 12/13 when suddenly something kicked in & I enjoyed being a girl. I'm never going to be a really Girly girl but I do now love dresses & wear pink often.

I think my issue back then was girls just seemed so weak & I didn't want to be that. As some have suggested find some great female role models who are strong women for her. Also there are girls clothes which are less feminine & could look good & make her not stand out as much.

And if this isn't a phase no matter what sort of person she grows in to I'm sure she'll be just fine. She sounds great! grin

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now