4 year old is jealous of male babies?(5 Posts)
Hi, it's my first post here.
I'm really worried about my daughter Emily ,she seems to be jealous of male babies and toddlers. My friend recently had a little boy and when we were visiting him I offered to change his nappy. Emily came over to me and pointed at his bits and then said "I'm supposed to have that mummy"! She also wants boy clothes and short hair. I have no problem with this at all but it's the jealousy of little boys I'm worried about, she seems really upset that she wasn't born a boy, how can I help her?
How can you help her? By not making a big deal of it.
It's very common, when seeing a penis for the first time, to be mildly fascinated.
But make her upbringing as free of gender stereotypes as possible. At age 4, there really isn't anything that can't by done by both boys and girls. If she feels she is missing stuff she wants to do because of her sex, you need to find out who is putting limits on her and remove or counter their influence.
I don't stereotype her clothes or toys at all. I let her wear what she feels comfortable in and her toys are things she wants and likes. She has hair down to her neck but she wants it shorter. I don't think she's JUST jealous, I think she has gender dysphoria but I don't know how to help her with that.
I would cut her hair shorter ASAP if that's what she wants and make sure you use neutral words when describing her new hair, so say wow your hair looks so cool/funky like that rather than saying your look so pretty with short hair, like a little pixie (not that you can't call a boy pretty, I call my boy pretty all the time but maybe she is going for something different).
I would explain difference in genitals very matter of factly at this stage something along the lines of "baby Tim has a penis and you have a vagina, that's how you were born, it's like baby Tim has brown eyes and you have blue eyes, and baby Tim has red hair and you have brown hair, you can still do everything you want to do and when your an adult there are ways of changing the things you were born with (mention hair dye maybe/contact lenses)" maybe try to find out from her what she feels a penis allows a person to do differently, I was very jealous of my brother when we were small children as he could wee on stinging nettles, I used to have a reoccurring dream that I grew a penis, my brother assumed that when he grew older his penis would fall off and he'd be like our mum (no father in the picture).
I don't have any experience of this myself, but this is what is do whilst looking for some more specialized info, maybe there are forums where you could get advice.
I agree at this age don't make it a big deal, show her that boys can have long hair too, buy her neutral clothes but don't assume she has gender dysphoria just yet, she is only 4. As she grows older if she is adamant she is a boy then start making more changes, like hair cutting and so on.
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