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I need a bit of hand-holding over tomboy dd2...

(48 Posts)
MumtoGirlBoy Wed 21-Sep-11 21:39:40

(I have namechanged to protect the innocent...smile)

Ever since dd2 was two years old, she has wanted to be a boy. I don't mean just wanting to dress like a boy and play with boy's things, I mean, properly want to be a boy. Whenever I refer to her as a girl, she point blank refuses to acknowledge it and corrects me,"No mummy, I'm a boy".

Often she says she 'wants a willy' and that she wishes she wasn't a girl. She dresses in boy's clothes most of the time. She chooses quite edgy, cool stuff such as military coats, shirts and ties - quite cool actually smile) or she likes to dress up as a vampire, Stormtrooper etc...

Her best friends are all boys, and she says that one day she's going to marry a girl. In fact I've noticed she seems to have something of a 'crush' on a girl in her class - she never normally notices girls nor particularly wants to socialise with them, but she will not stop going on about this girl and blushes and acts strangely whenever she sees her.

Please don't think I'm being closed minded or anything. I am absolutely in love with dd2, I think she's amazing and dh and I strongly encourage both our daughters to be who they are. I think I'm ok with it as she gets older, so long as she's happy. But sometimes I just worry for her, especially her self-confidence, how she'll fit into society, whether she might get teased as she gets older, whether she may feel uncomfortable as a woman and have gender issues.

She's still young, only just turned 6, and I suppose a lot of people who read this probably think I'm worrying too much... I kind of hope I am! but she doesn't seem to be showing any signs of becoming 'girly' and I'm not sure that it's just a phase. It has after all been going on for four years now. I'd be grateful to hear from anyone who has had a similar dd and how they've grown up.

Thanks for getting this far!

Chundle Wed 21-Sep-11 21:46:09

I think you know your child best and as long as you carry on as you are supporting her and loving her then she will grow up to be a lovely beautiful woman however she wants to dress and whoever she wants to love. It's great that you don't think it's too much of an issue.
I think some kids know from a young age what they want from life and some kids do just go through phases. I think you just need to wait it out to find out which your dd is. Your doing fab job though x

fortyplus Wed 21-Sep-11 21:49:31

I was your dd! grin When I was about ten I heard about sex change ops and was definitely going to have one when I grew up.

Then the hormones kicked in and I discovered what fun boys were to play with! Didn't want to be one any more grin

I'm still a tomboy though!

LeninGrad Wed 21-Sep-11 21:49:41

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MumtoGirlBoy Wed 21-Sep-11 22:08:16

Thank you Chundle - your words brought a tear to my eye. (I feel like a crap mum at the moment though - for other reasons!)

Fortyplus - that's v interesting RE the hormones, never thought of that.

LeninGrad - agree. I would rather that one day she is in a happy gay relationship than a miserable straight one. I would hate her to live a lie just to appease us and society. I will consider counselling for her if problems arise.

Thank you for your contributions.

lingle Thu 22-Sep-11 18:15:00

You are so not a crap mum. Indeed, you show signs of being a great mum!

There is a little boy in DS2's year who wears his sister's flowery pink coat to school. His mum just does the "yes he likes that coat" thing. So she's going for the "I don't owe anyone an explanation" strategy. This works really well. I'm sure she has her worried moments too but she keeps them offstage, as it were.

My DS2 is a bit different too, for other reasons, and I agree with what Leningrad said.

SocialButterfly Thu 22-Sep-11 19:55:24

I could have written your post, DD is 7 and exactly the same. It does worry me I have to admit and I try not to care but deep down its hard not to. I dont care if she is gay or not - its not that, just that I feel that life will be more of a struggle for her if she is very different.
Im hoping the hormones will kick in when she is older, at the moment she wants to be called Ben!
So anyway, I here holding your hand - as I could do with a bit of hand holding too wink

MurunBuchstansangur Thu 22-Sep-11 19:58:56

I just wanted to come and smile at you, it sounds like you are doing a great job of letting her be herself.

KateMush Fri 23-Sep-11 09:58:17

My 6 year old DD is the same, wears boys clothes, wants to be a boy, wants her hair cut very short like a boy (no), I even had to buy her boys school shoes this term! Most of her friends are boys and she hates anything girly or pink.

Just to let you know you are not alone...

fortyplus Mon 26-Sep-11 00:20:26

ps my 16 year old son used to play with girls, dolls houses etc and dress up as a fairy. Even now he's not afraid to explore his feminine side so is very popular with girls as he's a lovely caring lad. But he's definitely not gay!

MamaMimi Mon 26-Sep-11 00:50:31

My sister asked for a willy on her Christmas list when she was about your dd's age, by the time she was 10'ish she was obsessed with Barbies and Sylvanian families!
Actually she didn't only ask for a willy she used to use a plastic corregated tube thingy and stand up to wee through it!
I do think sometimes that it is just a fascination with things that are different to what they are or have.

Sounds like you are doing a great job of letting her work it all out for herself. Sometimes it's good to be different, why be a sheep?

On a slightly different note a little girl I used to teach insisted that she was Jake from the Tweenies and would only answer to Jake!

TheLadyEvenstar Mon 26-Sep-11 01:31:31

I was your DD.

At 5 I went with my mum to the hairdressers and my blonde long hair was cut. I had it shaved with about hairs and a nit hanging down the back. When I had been asked how I wanted my hair my reply was "Like a boys" similar to this but pony tail was further down

I lived in pinstripe skinny jeans and trainers or cords and trainers. Played with action men, evil kinevil toys, played soldiers with the boys where I lived etc

I hit 10/11 and discovered dresses could make you look nice as well as jeans etc. I turned 16 and got my first boyfriend who I stayed with for 5yrs.

I then met DS1's father and stayed with him for 6yrs.

I split up with him for numerous reasons but the main one being I discovered I was bisexual - it took me until 26 to do so. He couldn't cope with it.

I pretty much stayed single then until I met DP 6yrs ago, before we go heavily involved with eachother I told him about my sexuality, he has accepted me for who I am.

My mum doesn't know as I have never told her.

I wish I had been able to but she is now in her 60s and well tbh its not important.

Your DD will be who she is and you will always love her for that person.

Now DS2 is just 4 and he has

my little pony quilt set
21 my little ponies
pink dolls pram and car seat
dolls
cookers
ironing board

Loves to wear pink, in fact when he needed new trainers a few weeks ago he insisted on these
He has long hair and many people think he is girly looking but you know what? He has freedom of choice and he will be who he is. If I start worrying well I will not be helping him.

hester Mon 26-Sep-11 02:39:35

I don't for one second think that your concerns indicate any lack of understanding or acceptance on your part - please don't think it comes across that way. Of course you have these concerns - society is not an easy place for children who don't fit the gender mould.

It may of course turn out to be a phase. It may be that she'll just always be a bit tomboyish. Or of course it may turn out to be true gender dysphoria, in which case you will want some specialist advice and support. Some links in case you want/need them:

www.mermaidsuk.org.uk/

www.guardian.co.uk/society/2008/aug/14/children.youngpeople

www.amazon.co.uk/Transgender-Child-Handbook-Families-Professionals/dp/1573443182

ttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transgender_youth

All best to you x

MumtoGirlBoy Mon 26-Sep-11 16:54:58

Thank you so much everyone for your replies, they have been very reassuring. Thank you for the links Hester I will look into them later.

I'll always support dd2 whoever she is, she's such an amazing character with a unique sense of humour and quirky outlook on life. At the moment she's dressed in a tweed jacket, velvet cropped trousers, shirt and tie, pretending that she's just come back from a day in the office and planning to take her girlfriend out tonight grin

I am bisexual, as is my aunt, and I have a sneaking suspicion that my mum is too but in in denial! smile So it wouldn't surprise me if dd2 has the 'gay gene', should it exist... Or maybe she'll turn into a man-loving nymphomaniac, whatever. She's my gorgeous girl... boy... whatever, she's fab and I'll never stop loving her.

hester Mon 26-Sep-11 16:56:24

That's lovely, MumtoGirlBoy smile

MumtoGirlBoy Mon 26-Sep-11 16:56:56

Oh, and just because I am bi please don't think I've vicariously forced dd2 into an alternative existence. We're actually a pretty conservative, mundane family!

hester Mon 26-Sep-11 17:01:09

Hey, me and my dp are lesbians and we are the most tediously suburban family you could hope to find. It's more book clubs, apple crumble and Neighbourhood Watch than the L Word round here smile

FairyArmadillo Mon 26-Sep-11 17:05:40

You sound like a wonderful mum. I have a gay friend who tried to suppress it all her life. It wasn't an option for her if you know what I mean. She left her husband two years ago for the woman she loves. Marriage was miserable. Even if they had a son together she was living a lie because she thought this was what she was supposed to do. Unfortunately her mother isn't speaking to her because she doesn't approve of her lifestyle (very religious family). It sounds like your daughter will grow up confident in her identity whether she decides to be straight or gay or bi because you accept her for who she is.

MumtoGirlBoy Mon 26-Sep-11 17:06:41

Sorry hester, I realised after I posted it that I made a completely sweeping generalisation smile

<<Off for a few L-word style fantasies while I make the kid's tea>>

OTheHugeRaveningWolef Mon 26-Sep-11 17:07:30

MumTo Just wanted to post and say I'm so glad there are so many lovely families out there who don't throw their hands up in horror at the idea of children who buck traditional gender stereotypes. Whether she turns out straight, gay, bi, trans or whatever, your daughter is very lucky. smile

Ladymuck Mon 26-Sep-11 17:07:38

Would second Hester's link to the Mermaids organisation. There is a yahoo forum for parents on there - sometimes it can be helpful to have some contact with others in the same boat. No doubt there will someday be a MN category too!

Marne Mon 26-Sep-11 17:11:22

I have a tomboy who is 7, i gave in a few weeks ago and bought her some boys clothes (army trousers, dinosaur t-shirts and boys shoes), she only plays with boys and say's 'girls are too complicated' smile, it wouldn't bother me at all (or suprise me) if she is a lesbian, i will suport whatever she does. I have tried to get her to like girls things in the past but she's happy wearing boys trousers and playing with Bakugan. She does have a few girly things/toys (which she has asked for but hardly played with) and a few bits of girly clothes (just incase).

MumtoGirlBoy Mon 26-Sep-11 17:11:47

Fairy, as an aside I too feel as if I'm living a lie. While dh is wonderful, handsome, kind, and fun (and I still fancy him) I do have a side to me which fancies other women, much more than other men. In fact dh is the only man I've fancied in YEARS whereas I have had some quite bad fixations on other women, all of which I've managed to hide and suppress but some days I fel like crying!

Dh is quite conservative and even though I told him I was bi when we met we haven't really discussed it since. I think it would cause more hassle than good tbh.

Anyway, that's another thread that maybe I'll have the courage to start one day.

All I know is that I don't want dd2 to grow up feeling like I do sometimes.

MumtoGirlBoy Mon 26-Sep-11 17:12:47

Thank you OTheHugeRaveningWolef!

MumtoGirlBoy Mon 26-Sep-11 17:15:00

Marne - yes dd2 I think finds girls too complicated. She's quite blunt and straightforward and I think she enjoys the more 'upfront' natures of her boy friends.

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