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3 and a half year old boy hiding so that he can dress as princess, and really stressed out about it.

(24 Posts)
alinosa Wed 01-Jun-11 20:39:25

Hello. I went to pick up my three year old from the childminder today and he was hiding in her daughter's room. The childminder's son, who is 8, came down telling me, with a bored face, that my son was dressing up as a princess. The childminder went to fetch him and he came down crying because she saw him and it was meant to be a secret. She told me that it is not the first time this happened. I then told her that there were a couple of times when my son, when it was just the two of us, told me that he wanted to be a princess ( like her daughter) or wear a princess dress. when I asked why he said it was because he wanted to be pretty. I didn't say anything because I don't think I should make an issue about it and I don't think there's anything wrong with it either. But now at bedtime he was really stressed out about the fact that the childminder caught him. I didn't want to go on about it, but kept on asking him questions such as why and eventually he told me that he didn't want to people to think he was a girl. That broke my heart. I told him that the childminder was his friend and tried to say other things and he got more upset ( well he was really tired after a day in the park). Now, I am really confused. I hate this thing that boys can't wear pink etc but at the same time, don't want others taking the mickey out of my son because I don't want him to be hurt. My childminder is of the same opinion as me and she even said she would bring the dressing up clothes to the living room so that all the kids could try them on. But the thing is the only older kids he hangs out with are her children and friends, so something must have been said. I know that in a few years, I'll be laughing about this episode, but seeing my son so upset AND not knowing what to do is killing me....sorry about the long post!

Ormirian Wed 01-Jun-11 20:41:51

Tell your CM that if you son wants to be a princess he can be a fucking princess! He is too young to understand why it's an issue. No-one should be taking the mickey at this age of all times.

TheSkiingGardener Wed 01-Jun-11 20:47:18

Can your CM get all the clothes downstairs, have a really silly dressing up session and try and work out which of the children may have said something? It's horrible that he feels he has to hide and maybe finding out how he has come to feel like this could be the way to address it?

Themumsnot Wed 01-Jun-11 20:49:47

Can't you get him a princess dress to wear at home?

diggingintheribs Wed 01-Jun-11 20:49:48

I think you need to find out why he is getting so stressed and what has been said. My DS and nephew happily dress up in princess outfits. It's just dressing up. DS chose the WPC uniform the other day too.
Big up the whole make believe - if they mistake him for a girl then his dressing up is very successful. just like when I have to ask the pirate where DS is only to find out that it is him dressed up very convincingly!

Make it clear to CM that you don't want him to be made to feel bad. Maybe consider getting a dressing up box for home and throw in a princess dress or two. then he can satisfy his dressing up desire at home and away from the CMs where he may be getting comments.

Mummyloveskisses Wed 01-Jun-11 20:52:46

It sounds like the older children have been saying something rather than the childminder... I would have liked the CM to have a word with the older children and change their attitudes towards boy/girl toys, outfits etc

If the 8 year old boy is her son surely she can talk to him about your sons feelings and encourage him to talk about the princess stuff positively... it really makes me cross that any child feels they have to hide part of their personality just to 'fit in'. My son's favourite colour was pink up until he started school and the boys called him a girl!

Georgimama Wed 01-Jun-11 20:55:28

Clearly one of the older children has teased him about wearing the princess outfit, and he now thinks there is something wrong with wanting to do so - but being 3.5 he doesn't understand at all what it is that is supposed to be wrong with it (and the 8 year old probably doesn't really know why they are teasing him either). When DS was 3 the only other mindee at home with CM during the day was a little girl he adored so whatever she did, he copied. Grass skirts, necklaces, princesses, the lot. Means nothing at all.

I can understand you probably feel homicidal towards the 8 year old in question - I did when an after school mindee aged about 9 went from being little mother hen to DS to picking on him and I had quite a lot of sobs out of him about her changing so suddenly. Her parents were splitting up and the poor girl was lashing out at anyone and everything, understandably. She is now back to being an angel to DS and the whole thing has been completely forgotten - but it is hard at the time.

madwomanintheattic Wed 01-Jun-11 20:56:55

why is he hiding? i'm a bit confused.

there's nothing wrong with a 3yo boy dressing as a princess to be pretty - who has told him there is, and made him ashamed?

that's what you need to find out - and if it turns out the childminder is making him feel like that, find another one asap. and if it is other children whilst under the care of the cm, then she needs to sort that out - or ditto. find a new one.

why would anyone take the mickey out of a 3yo?

i have to say though - you going on and on about it with him has probably reinforced the feeling that he has done something 'wrong', so you need to be careful.

QuintessentialOldMoo Wed 01-Jun-11 20:57:11

Give the child minder notice, she is a cow.

NormanTebbit Wed 01-Jun-11 20:59:40

Yes I think the 8 year old has been involved in this. Tell your CM that your DS was really upset, everyone getting dressed up is a good idea and encourage him to be proud of his appearance.

carocaro Wed 01-Jun-11 21:00:26

Just 4 ds 2 also likes to dress up as a princess, at pre school and home, I actually bought him a dress to add to his and his brothers dressing up box, he wears it from time to time, but also likes to dress up as darth vadar, buzz lightyear and a pirate, he does go all shy and silly sometimes when in the dress, but we just normal with him. At pre school they say it's totally normal, lots of them dress up and mix gender rolls, but no eye brows are raised when 'Amy dresses as bob the builder' but if 'Dom dresses as Aurora people freak. I think as he is a pre school where they are all the same age it's no big deal, does he go to a pre school so he can be with his peers?
His older brother is 9 and was embarrassed at first and laughing, but we told him it was just dressing up and not too and now he does not even blink an eyelid!

I asked a couple of gay friends, because lets face it, it is the gay thing we worry about and they said they did not dress in dreseses as far as they can remember and they don't wear dresses now!

You child minded needs to sort out the other kids ASAP. Don't worry!

Georgimama Wed 01-Jun-11 21:01:16

I don't think it's the CM's fault.

Hulababy Wed 01-Jun-11 21:02:22

But the childminder isn't the one who is wrong is she? The OP says that the CM has not said anything negative and is happy to have the dressing up box downstairs for all the hildren to play with.

It sounds more like the comment, if any, may have come from the CM's children or their friends.

QuintessentialOldMoo Wed 01-Jun-11 21:04:02

She is not really minding the kids if they are upstairs on their own, and she has no idea what is going on?

diggingintheribs Wed 01-Jun-11 21:04:14

The only thing that makes me think the CM may have said something is that he was upset that SHE had seen him and he was trying to keep it a secret - from who? Could you hear him crying when the CMs son came down and before she went up?

I'm not saying she is doing it maliciously but some people do seem to think it is wrong for boys to dress up in dresses etc. I would suss her out

Mummyloveskisses Wed 01-Jun-11 21:07:10

I was thinking the CM innocent too, but digging makes a good point...

diggingintheribs Wed 01-Jun-11 21:08:58

Or alternatively, the 8 year old set him up. Made him think dressing up is naughty but better not et CM catch you as she'll be cross.

Can't decide but your CM needs to deal with it!

And I think you should get him a princess dress up!

madwomanintheattic Wed 01-Jun-11 21:10:23

the cm may not have been the one who has made him feel ashamed, but it's not the first time it's happened, and she's done bugger all about it.

if i had a mindee who had developed a secretive complex and was crying about being 'caught' (and had done so previously) , i'd have made damn sure that i worked out why he felt the need to hide, and dealt with it appropriately (particularly if there were other children involved).

as others have said - like bringing the box downstairs and getting everyone to dress up.

i'm a little wary tbh. the cm sounds quite odd about this.

Georgimama Wed 01-Jun-11 21:10:30

I agree with dig's second theory - I think the OP's son was upset about the CM seeing him because he had been made to think he was doing something wrong/bad, therefore he was upset about being "caught".

madwomanintheattic Wed 01-Jun-11 21:11:38

that's what i said - who has made him think he is doing something wrong?

whomovedmychocolate Wed 01-Jun-11 21:13:15

I have a nearly three year old DS who is obsessed with fairies. Frankly anything which is a break from fucking Thomas is fine by me wink

I'd go out tomorrow and buy him a big flipping crown and dress and tell him to have fun. People who want to rope small children into these stereotypes either way need their heads looking at IMHO. They seem to have this weird idea that preventing children engaging in non-gender appropriate games will lead to them growing up gay. Which would be funny, were it not so sad.

MumblingRagDoll Wed 01-Jun-11 21:15:05

One of the older kids has said something....this is the hard thing. Your DS is with kids who are not sensitive...I would change minders. It's too they're HER kids...she won't be watching them too crefully will she?

whatcakeydid Wed 01-Jun-11 21:19:10

this makes me sad. my boys are both wearing dark purple nail varnish this week and I will not tolerate anyone taking the mick. If they did I would have a word with them/their parents as appropriate. I think you need to chat to the childminder.
Good luck.

alinosa Wed 01-Jun-11 21:51:36

gosh, thank you very much for all the replies... I am sure that one of the older kids made a comment, which maybe wasn't said with the intention to hurt. or maybe he heard something on the park, who knows....I think that kids hear things and just repeat them sometimes....The childminder is a lovely lady and she's had him since he was 8 months, so I don't think she has said anything bad or reacted in a bad way to the episode...It is just that it is hard to see him so upset and feel so helpless...but thanks for the suggestions. I think I will buy a whole load of outfits, including princess outfits, to keep at home and will ask the childminder to do a session at home, and maybe to take part in it in a week or so.. I agree I shouldn't have pressed my DS on the matter, but sometimes you need to find out their reasoning....

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