Am I being unreasonable to be concerned about my 4yr old ds's desires to be a girl??(22 Posts)
I really hope I word this correctly, my recently turned 4yr old ds has always loved pink things, he treats his teddies like they are babies & a friend of ours recently gave him one of her dd's dolls which he always asks me to buy clothes for so he can dress it up as a "princess"! All his "friends" at nursery are girls, I know this seems almost ridiculous & DP says just let him be who he is but when he says he wishes he was a girl it does concern me? Am I being silly to let this worry me, I don't really know how to approach the whole situation it has been how he is ever since I can remember!
This is exactly like my dss aged 4. He even dresses up as a girl with a wig. Following.
He sounds lovely. What exactly are you worried about? My DS is 5 and has a dressing up dress, wears tights, and mostly plays with girls, but over the last few months he has been getting a bit more 'boisterous'. In his nursery the boys used to queue up for the dresses!
My 4yo and all his male friends the same age I know are like this, with the exception of some of the boys at his nursery (90 children) who have older brothers and another couple who have dads who have taught them that this kind of stuff is 'gay'. The others are come in for show & tell with their bears, dolls etc. and DS would be extremely happy if I let him have a pair of pink sparkly shoes like the ones he's hankered after since his first shoe shop.
In other words, it seems like typical boy behaviour to me!
Ellieb does it concern you at all or are you just happy going along with it then?
Oh yes, shoes. Shopping with DS for a wedding outfit was a nightmare. He wanted the pretty dress, sparkly shoes and the bag to go with it! Boys stuff is not nearly as attractive!
Really?? I suppose our nursery isn't necessarily a true representation then as the boys all seem to flock together around the cars etc (very noisy stereotypical stuff) then there is my ds & a handful of girls in the home corner or dressing up gear!!
What am I worried about? Well I suppose if there could be any transgender issues but I am probably being silly - we also have a 5mo who is a terrible sleeper so maybe my exhaustion is making my mind run wild! I just never know when he asks for girly things whether I should get them for him, say no & direct him towards other things or just ignore it!
He's so sweet and endearing it makes me laugh! We just let him be, he's obsessed with princesses even called his goldfish princess! I think he might just be more creative/artistic. I wish his mum would let him grow his hair though.
I refuse to buy pink shoes for him but other than that I let him be, in the same way that I am utterly unconcerned about DD playing with trains and Duplo.
Well, I don't dissuade him from any toys, and so we have a fair mixture in the house. He wears black tights to school and he tells me at least 1 other boy does too. But I have kept the dresses very 'dressing up' ones, and so he only wears those in the house.
Both mine went through pink phases at 3/4yo. DS1 was very disappointed to learn he would never be a mummy but seems to be over it now. He played a lot with the girls at nursery, I think probably because he was not a rough and tumble boy at that age. He's into stereotypical boys stuff now age 8yo - trucks, football, football and more football.
DS2 is almost 4yo and still a bit in the pink phase, but losing interest. I expect his will fizzle out like ds1's phase did.
According to a well-informed friend of mine, there is a key difference between 'I wish I was a girl' (so I could wear pink sparkly things without people laughing at me) and 'I am a girl'.
Many, many little boys say they'd like to be a girl. Very few will insist that they are a girl, past the age when they equally strongly insist they are a snail, hedgehog or tiger.
Yes I agree with the previous poster. If a boy is dressing up in pink and playing with 'girly toys' ( that's socially constructed anyway!) it is no issue whatsoever and very very common.
If a boy is saying 'I want to be a girl' then it is no more of a concern than them saying they want to be a tiger or a fireman. They are merely playing.
If a boy says 'I am a girl' beyond an age where he might actually believe he is a frog/astronaut then it may need some exploring.
And this would be a gender issue , nothing to do with sexuality.
At that age, and until I was about 7 or 8 I think, I really wanted to be a boy. It just looked more fun. I appreciate that it's much more socially acceptable for a girl to wear "boy's" clothes than the other way round, unfortunately. Nowadays I'm very happy being a woman and would not like to be a man at all, thank you very much!
I was the same as procrastinating and wanted to be a boy- didn't worry my mother at the time (beyond irritating struggles over pretty pink dresses which I completely failed to appreciate). Hasn't interfered with my womanly instincts in any way. Still not keen on pink dresses but that's because they make me look like a hippo on the verge of apoplexy, nothing to do with gender per se.
Thanks everyone for your posts, I rarely comment on mn just read others threads etc but I do feel reassured, can't remember who it was who commented on long hair ds does have longish hair which he brushes in the mirror regularly & asks me if he looks beautiful once he's done it! He has never insisted he is a girl just says he wants to be one so looking at the simple wording there I feel better!! Was the general consensus 7/8 that these boys stop the love of all things feminine??
OP my DS frequently prances infront of the mirror with my hairbrush, prinks his hair, flutters his eyelashes and asks me if he looks beautiful. It's hilarious.
If your concern is over gender confusion I would put it out of your mind. Wanting to be a girl so he can dress in the pretty sparkly things and do traditionally girly stuff is pretty normal at 4yo.
As others have said there is a world of difference between "I want to be a girl".. (so I get to do these things society has deemed as feminine and not for me) and "I am a girl" ie: my body is the wrong one
He has never said he is a girl, just wants to be & he does say he is the mummy to his bears/ doll but I think that's more his association with the types of thing I do with/ for him than what daddy does!! I'm going to try not to worry I would like him to have a couple of friends that are boys but again at 4 I don't suppose they make proper friendships yet anyway!
At 4 my youngest son wanted to be a princess and had a fairy dress which he wore all the time, he even wore it round tesco and got some smiles and some disapproving looks but it made him happy. Suggest to him now, aged 7, that he wear a dress and he laughs in your face. It's quite common for 4 year old boys to like dresses and pink. I would just go with it and not make an issue of it if the situation came up with a son of mine again.
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