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Daughter refers/describes herself as a boy

(38 Posts)
ooopsdidyoumeantodothat Thu 04-Feb-16 21:25:46

Just that really. 4 years old but has been this way since she was able to express herself. Not interested in girls clothes or toys. Will only play typical boy games and never takes a female role in playing. Uses a low pitched voice a lot (but not her natural voice). School have consulted psychologist for advice as other children are now at an age to start asking questions when she insists that she is a boy. Not really talked to anyone outside the family about this. She is a very happy child. I just am worrying about the future and what this might hold for her. She has talked about growing a penis and has tried to pee standing up. Not sure why I'm posting really. Just want to say it to someone else.

Neverpolishghillies Thu 04-Feb-16 21:48:53

Unless you use your genitals to operate a toy, there is no such thing as a boy toy or girl toy.

Changedup Thu 04-Feb-16 22:23:25

Neverpolish, I think that op is referring to toys which have traditionally (and yes stereotypically) been seen as boys/girls toys.

Op, I don't really have much to offer, just that I m sorry you are worried about your daughter but please take heart in the fact that as you say, your daughter is happy.

There was a thread recently where a woman described her three year old son as transgender (called him her dd actually) and LOADS of people said that their child had been through a phase / wanted to be the opposite sex / only played with x toys for years / etc etc. Essentially, loads of people saying it's a normal phase.

My son is four and has always loved pink, likes dressing as a princess etc.

If you're worried then maybe speak to your gp or HV, but I really don't think you have to worry iyswim.

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Thu 04-Feb-16 22:29:15

She is only 4. Humour her in this where you can (maybe try and dissuade the peeing standing up, unless in the shower!) She is happy, that is the important thing. If she wants to wear boys clothes, play with boys toys etc then no problem.

No need to worry about the future -there is plenty of time for her to grow out of it or not. What is important is that she feels loved and supported. At this age kids asking questions is not a problem as they are wee, so very non-judgemental.

PurpleDaisies Thu 04-Feb-16 22:32:04

Have you tried reassuring your daughter that girls can play with tractors, and girls can wear trousers and girls can be astronauts or whatever she thinks she has to be a boy to do? Four year old boys don't have deep voices so I'm not sure if really read much into that.

Apparently this sort of phase is really common in young children and the vast vast majority just grow out of it.

FishWithABicycle Thu 04-Feb-16 22:32:07

Let him be who he says he is. If it's just a phase she'll grow out of it. If it's not, you'll only push him away by trying to deny it.

HeyYouGetOffMyCloud Thu 04-Feb-16 22:34:11

My dd has all boys as friends. She has short hair, wears what people perceive as boys clothes, plays with toys generally preferred by boys and is baffled by girls.

However she identifies as a girl, has never expressed a desire to have a penis and has never said she wants to be a boy.

I think you are right to want to help her to understand how she feels.

Fourormore Thu 04-Feb-16 22:36:31

Let him be who he says he is.

This is so dangerous. She has no idea, at the age of four, of the implications of transitioning genders.
I despair of this "you must instantly accept" approach to children getting to grips with their genders.

HeyYouGetOffMyCloud Thu 04-Feb-16 22:36:49

Sorry not sure that my post is helpful. Just to give you a slightly different perspective.

She's happy and that really is the most important thing.

WilLiAmHerschel Thu 04-Feb-16 22:48:48

If she is happy I don't see why you have to do anything. One thing I suggest you is get the idea that some toys are for girls and some for boys out of your head, toys are for all children, and make sure your dd knows this too. In my opinion the same should go for clothes. They are just pieces of fabric after all, not extensions of our genitals. Just let her carry on being herself. As she enters adulthood if she still thinks she is a boy, then I'd start examining further but for now I think you should just let her be a child.

Soooosie Thu 04-Feb-16 22:55:14

Just let her be. Be honest with her about not growing a penis though!

I have four girls who are tom boys. I love that they aren't into pink, sparkles or 'girls toys'. They are very straight forward girls and seemed to bypassed the bitchy junior stage completely

OhSoGraceful Thu 04-Feb-16 22:56:17

My DS loves dresses, skirts, always notices what people are wearing. He's also interested in hello kitty, my little pony, pink things & dolls.

He's a 5 yo person. None of these things mean he's gay, or transgender. If he grows up & fancies men, or feels he's trapped in the wrong body, then possibly one of those will apply.

Right now, he's amazing, great fun & 5, which means he has many years before he has to really think about all this stuff!

HairyLittleCarrot Thu 04-Feb-16 23:21:28

That sounds totally normal, brilliant child behaviour. Which 4 year old doesn't think weeing standing up is a cool trick. I did.

And now you have the golden opportunity to tell her how brilliant and healthy her body is, and how brilliant and individual her mind is, and that girls can do and like and wear whatever they want. That she is perfect, and you wouldn't change a thing. That you are proud that your amazing daughter has a unique mind of her own, and a body that can do amazing things.

Or, you could direct her into confusion by suggesting that any girl who doesn't like 'girls clothes or toys' is not really a girl like the other girls and must change into a boy. Which is one way of enforcing really nasty stereotypes that I thought we'd left behind in the 1950s. But bizarrely, people are reintroducing these gender roles and herding children into constricted boxes of "acceptable behaviour for girls" and "acceptable behaviour for boys"

Please, for her sake, be positive about who she is, and all the things she can be as an amazing girl.

PurpleDaisies Thu 04-Feb-16 23:23:28

Great post hairy

MaryRobinson Fri 05-Feb-16 04:23:50

So agree with hairy too.

Our youngest went through a phase of asking is she boy, especially if she wore her superhero t-shirts. And all our girls thinking peeing stand up /growing a penis would be the best thing ever.

Your daughter (our daughters) are no more a boy, than they are the Queen of Sheba. And I think you are doing her a massive disservice lying to her that she is a boy.

Girls do get a lot of questioning from a very young age if they cross into boys territory. There is a lot of social pressure to conform and bewilderment if you push back.
I've asked kids how can a tee shirt be boy or girl, and what happens if a boy wears a girl tee shirt? Some parents are very touchy about this indeed.
In old money you daughter would be a tomboy, a perfectly valid thing to be. But sadly not any more.

whatdoIget Fri 05-Feb-16 04:42:53

I really wouldn't get psychologists involved. Please don't pathologise this. And fgs don't tell your daughter that she can become a boy. Instead, help her to understand that she doesn't need to be limited by gender stereotypes. She can play with, and wear, whatever she wants.
Fwiw, I wanted to be a boy at about the same age, just because it looked more fun than being a girl. I had short hair and played with boys. As an adult I have no desire to be male, and am heterosexual and wear dresses etc. So glad I was allowed to be myself without getting mental health services involved. I am old though and non of this gender stuff was in fashion then, thankfully

ooopsdidyoumeantodothat Fri 05-Feb-16 05:31:14

Thank you everybody for all your responses, which have certainly provided more food for thought. I have been a bit trapped in a cycle of just going round in a loop with my own thoughts so to hear others experiences and opinions is very helpful. But I would like to respond to some of the points raised. Sorry for not name checking.

I should say that when I refer to 'boys' things and 'girls' things it was just to illustrate the situation. I am one of those parents annoyed at the genderisation (is that a word?!) of toys and clothes.

I have never told my child she can be a boy. The way I have responded to her is that she is a girl (has all the girl's bits) but likes things boys things, and that is totally fine. I have never called her 'he', 'son', 'boy' etc... I have used 'tomboy' and given a definition for that.

My husband and I have always tried to provide strong positive role models both female and male for her. We have actively talked about female soldiers, athletes, helicopter pilots etc... My husband and I mix up the activities associated with traditionally being a husband/father and wife/mother (splitting of cooking/cleaning/childcare/gardening/DIY etc...). So at home there is a real mix. The toys provided to our children have always been a mixed bunch based on the interests of the child and some backlash of us against the annoying stereotyping of toys for 'boys' and toys for 'girls'.

The psychologist is involved by the school, not me and purely in a role of providing advice to the staff as to how to best handle the situation that has arisen amongst my daughter's class. But it does show that this is noticeable outside the family (not in my head).

So, all that taken into account, I am just posting because I am worrying about the future. I hope, like some of you have mentioned, that it is just a phase. That really would be the easiest most straightforward thing.

Thank you again for being my sounding board.

Fourormore Fri 05-Feb-16 07:59:39

The school have involved a psychologist without your consent? I'd be going barmy! That is completely and totally unacceptable.

80% of children who express a wish to transition end up staying as the gender they started with.

Your daughter is four. All of this behaviour is absolutely normal. Totally normal. There is nothing abnormal about it at all. I can't see a reputable psychologist getting involved, tbh.

ooopsdidyoumeantodothat Fri 05-Feb-16 08:07:10

Sorry, should have said that the school did speak to myself and husband before bringing in the psychologist. It was with our consent. And actually we were invited and attended the meeting at which the issue was discussed. It was a very positive experience, but at the same time it made it more real and out there for me. The school have been brilliant.

WhatTheActualFugg Fri 05-Feb-16 08:10:42

What happens OP when you tell your dd she's not a boy? Does she get upset? Or just take it on board?

I'm thinking of most 4 year olds who at some point or other have declared themselves to be a boy/girl/cat/dog etc!!

Do the school tell her she's a girl? Is there a culture of egg shells around this subject these days?

I have no experience in this particular area, but given her age I wonder if it's best to simply not worry about it or let it become a Thing. Not until if and when she's unhappy with being herself.

Whatever happens OP, your daughter will be fine as she has caring, loving and understanding parents she has. And the world is changing. Who thought even 10 years ago we could now tell our children they can marry whoever they want?!!

abbsismyhero Fri 05-Feb-16 08:18:37

sounds like totally normal behaviour to me why is the school so heavy handed about it?

seems ridiculous in this day and age children can't be children

my seven year old boy is helping me choose a prom dress for his sister he does this by holding them up against himself do i think he wants to be a girl? no he is just being him he loves "pretty" things because they are so "sister" and "mommy" not because he wants to be a girl

Fourormore Fri 05-Feb-16 08:26:08

Real and out there?
But it's normal behaviour. As I said, any reputable psychologist would tell you that.
This is so very unhealthy.

outputgap Fri 05-Feb-16 08:30:04

A family friend pretended to be a boy for i think the vast vast majority of her time at nursery. She gave herself a boy's name, wore boys clothes, was insistent on it and her excellent nursery embraced it and enjoyed it. Just like they would do with my son who is often a high speed train. But no one worried about it or read anything into it except how hilarious and amazing kids are. And now she's a lovely teenage girl.

I think school are way overreacting. If your child is happy, why the need to do anything?

whatdoIget Fri 05-Feb-16 09:16:43

Are the school not capable of speaking to the children and telling them 'no big deal, everyone's different, we must all be kind to each other'?!
Sounds like the school has jumped on the trans bandwagon and lost sight of what's really happening. A psychologist to speak to a tomboy's classmates? confused

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