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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

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

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

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.

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

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).

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.

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.

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!

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

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.

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

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?

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.

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

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.

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.

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 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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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!

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.

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!

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.

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