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HELP! My son wants to be a girl, he is only 3

(16 Posts)
caromide Tue 16-Nov-10 21:45:23

I am at a total loss with my son, he is 3 years 8 months old and constantly talks about wanting to be a girl. He wont go to nursery without wearing a dress on top of his normal clothes. He wont even go through the door if i insist he leaves it at home. He has started to also become more aware of his mixed race skin colour and wants to be white like me. He has a 2 year old sister whom he has been jealous of since the minute she was born. It is just me and the two kids at home, he doesnt see his dad and I think that confuses him.
His behaviour at nursery is terrible, and very attention seeking of the other chidren and staff. I work full time and try my best to give them every opportunity for positive time. I dont know what to try next, any suggestions will be greatly received!!

CommanderDrool Tue 16-Nov-10 21:50:26

Can you talk to the nursery about all this?

I wouldn't worry about the dress thing, but he sounds unhappy.

caromide Tue 16-Nov-10 22:01:35

Hi. I have been into nursery twice to have meetings with them and devise plans to address his behaviour. Some of the time he is doing ok, or so they tell me, and other times he has a bad day. There seems to be no logic to it, as his bad behaviour is not linked to anything happening at home. He can have a brilliant day/night at home and go to nursery and be terrible.

cory Wed 17-Nov-10 08:22:55

I think this is a classic age for discovering differences and wanting to be like your parent (2yos don't really care, do they?). This was the age where dd started saying she wanted to be "white" like me, she didn't want to be "dark" (she meant blonde and blue-eyed rather than Mediterranean style). I got very worried, thinking that she was picking up racist vibes from somewhere, but in retrospect I don't think she was, she was just making a totally normal observation and wanting to be like mummy. That was before she moved into the stage of not wanting to be like mummy....

I also found it the most difficult age behaviour wise.

I would let him dress as he wants, as that seems a very minor issue. When my brother and I were that age, we insisted on taking on personalities out of a book - and come to think of it, my brother was a female character- even when we went into hospital, the hospital staff had to address us as these characters rather than with out own names (fortunately, they were very good natured about it). We've grown up perfectly ordinary people.

As for the behaviour, keep having discussions with the nursery staff, but do not jump to conclusions that difficult behaviour at the age of 3 is any clue to what kind of a person he's going to be or even a sign that something is terribly wrong. 3 is one of those awful in between ages when they want to be babies and grown up at the same time and it is really difficult to know how to treat them.

Octaviapink Wed 17-Nov-10 09:51:05

I agree - I wouldn't worry about the wanting to be a girl thing, he's probably just becoming aware of gender roles and 'dressing up'/ trying it out (much the same way as some children get massively attached to their spiderman pyjamas or similar).

cory Wed 17-Nov-10 10:26:17

I have a lovely photo of ds aged 3 dressed in a pink tutu and gazing adoringly up at his older sister. At 10, he is so consciously male that it gets on my nerves.

FernieB Wed 17-Nov-10 10:37:22

I wouldn't worry too much about it. When mine were 3 they wanted to be lions!

May possibly be something to do with his jealousy of his sister, but more likely just to be because he is 3 and starting to become more aware of things.

NeverendingStoryteller Wed 17-Nov-10 15:24:20

Don't worry too much - my youngest son (almost 5 now) has spent the last year telling people that when he grew up he wanted to be a girl. Or a slug. Or a ballerina.

He's recently amended this to tell me that he now wants to be a jet man and a ballerina.

We're pretty cool about this kind of thing - it's usually only a phase - if it isn't, I'm really looking forward to some good seats at Covent Garden when he's a ballerina.

grin

UniS Wed 17-Nov-10 21:42:55

Mine wants to be a dog. I have to take him for walks.

mumeeee Wed 17-Nov-10 23:36:21

Sems normal to me. A lot of 3 year olds want to be something diferent, When DD3 was 3 she wanted to be a horse.

wigglesrock Thu 18-Nov-10 09:59:27

My 3 year old dd wanted to be a boy until about 2 months ago now she wants to be a monkey, a real one, to the point where she hangs upside down off sofas, windowsills etc shock It sounds cute but can be really frustrating, she also discovered an aversion to wearing clothes last month, feckin' freezing here and no knickers as husband now calls her is running around demanding bananas grin

BeenBeta Thu 18-Nov-10 10:10:18

I would not be worried about the wanting to be a girl.

However, my sister is white and she has two mixed race children. The older DD bonded with her father but he left shortly after her younger DS was born who has no bond with his father. The DS hates the fact he is 'black' and has said to his Mum that he wants to be white, he is jealous of his sister, 'hates' his father and is very insecure to the point that he used to get very stressed if he was away from his mother even for a few hours even as a teenager.

He is 17 now and just beginning to come to terms with his identity. It is difficult and TBH my sister never found a good resolution. I suspect this issue is common for mixed race children.

ginodacampoismydh Thu 18-Nov-10 10:34:55

my dd always wanted to be a boy and would tell me she is a boy and not a girl, this gradually disapeared now she is a monkey.

iwouldnt worry about this but maybe try to work with him on the behaiour, looking at rewards etc, could you try to improve his relationship with sister through encouraging him to be helpfull, look at books together and games together and praise his kindness, seems like he could be encouraged a lot for when he shows indipendance to encourage a little more so he does not seek attention.

i find my dd is a little demanding when playing, wants me to join games all the time, on the odd occassion she does play well on her own i tell her she played for such a long time on her own and remind her how nice it is to have her own sppace some times and she must be so grown up and tell her im proud of her. 3 is a dif age in terms of branching out on thier own as they still want to be babied at times and have indipendance, its about striking a happy balance.

SoupDragon Thu 18-Nov-10 10:39:04

DS1 wanted to be a crocodile when he was 3.

I wouldn't worry about the girl thing. It could be because he feels his sister gets more attention than he does and thus, due to his 3 year old logic, he wants to be a girl like her.

skin colour... I guess just ensure he is proud of who he is and of his ancestry. leave it at the moment, just tell him that its no different to being blond, tall, fat, brown eyed...

Jux Thu 18-Nov-10 10:56:28

When I was about 3 I was a boy. Well, not all the time but pretty often. I'd tell mum in the morning when she was helping me dress what my name was (there were two I used) and if she forgot I would be furious with her.

Old family story: one day, mum'd taken us all to the shops; it was a day when I was Angus. While mum was in the queue, we all wandered off so she called and called. Of course, my brothers returned to her when they heard their names, but I wasn't Jux that day, I was Angus. There she was getting truly worried calling Jux Jux, come here, where are you? Eventually I turned up, declared very loudly "And I'm ANGUS" leaving poor mum desperately embarrassed surrounded by strangers who thought she not only didn't know her child's name, but didn't know her child's sex either grin

caromide Sun 21-Nov-10 20:16:53

Thanks everyone for your mesaages, Jux that really made me chuckle!

Today's latest is that he announced he wants a boyfriend, as in two boys together. I mean where does he get all this from, he is nearly 4. I am beginnng to think the story is already written for him!!

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