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My 3.5 year boy wants to be a girl?!

(21 Posts)
LMonkey Sat 18-Jun-16 23:52:45

It's been going on for a few months now. I realise it's normal to a certain degree but he loves trying to squeeze in to his baby sister's clothes, he mainly only hangs around with one child at preschool who is a girl, I went to pick him up from preschool the other day and he ran up to me wearing a dress and he had been wearing it all day apparently. Whenever there is a toy pram around he wants to play with it, he loves his sister's dolly, he has said he wants to be a girl or a 'princess', and that he wants long hair, he loves pink. I would love him just the same if ever it turned out he was gay or actually wanted to be female, I just worry so much about bullying, although I suppose undeniably there is a part of me that just longs for my kids to 'normal'. I think DP would have a hard time coming to terms with it, especially if it ended up being a transgender issue.

Am I just being silly? Is it normal to this degree?

Newtobecomingamum Sun 19-Jun-16 07:30:47

I have no direct experience of this, but from reading your post I think your mind is going into one. I see and know of lots of boys who mess around trying on girly fancy dress/clothes, trying on mums shoes, even stealing make up and putting all over their face and they aren't gay or want to be female. Also, my son who is 3 mainly has girls as friends and I don't think this is anything to worry about. I would try worrying less and just go with the flow and see how things pan out x

Convoysandwich Sun 19-Jun-16 07:33:51

Totally normal at that age - try to relax about it!

Micah Sun 19-Jun-16 07:36:47

Do you honestly think he wants to be a girl?

Or is it more likely he likes things seen as "for girls", thinks if he wants to play/dress up he must be a girl?

He may also be seeing the attention his baby sister is getting for her "girl" attributes- she's so pretty, love her dress etc, and want the same.

Tell him people like stuff, nothing is for girls, or for boys, he can be a boy and wear a dress if he likes.

branofthemist Sun 19-Jun-16 07:38:33

Ds went through the this stage at a similar age.

He is now five and 'hates pink' and you couldn't wrestle him into a dress or put ribbons in his hair, now.

It really didn't bother me either way. And it passed.

It will either pass for your son or it won't. Panicking about that now, won't change the outcome.

Emochild Sun 19-Jun-16 07:40:05

My dd wanted to be a cat when she was 3

They are so little they have no concept of gender or even human -they just like the things that they like

It's a perfectly normal developmental stage

FeckinCrutches Sun 19-Jun-16 07:41:23

You're reading far too much into it. Totally normal at this age.

samlovesdilys Sun 19-Jun-16 07:41:26

My son loves dressing up in dresses for a while, and loved dolls - he is eleven now and definitely doesn't any more!! Sounds like a combination of curiosity and jealousy for little sisters attention...

needanewjob Sun 19-Jun-16 07:41:43

I think a lot of boys go through a phase of testing gender boundaries and good for him and you for just allowing it to happen. I've a feeling it will phase out but if it doesn't it doesn't.

insancerre Sun 19-Jun-16 07:42:02

I work with 3 year olds and its totally normal
The boys love wearing the dressing up dresses and playing with the dolls

It doesn't mean they are gay or gender confused
Children copy what they see and they are also exploring their own identity and trying to make sense of the world and find their place within that world

On the other hand, he might be gay or want to be a girl.
Many of the children at work want to be cats or dogs and crawl around and woof or miaow. My own dd wanted to be an ice cream van at that age
That's what I love about children, the potential is there for them to be anything they want. Though an ice cream van is probably my a little unrealistic

WellErrr Sun 19-Jun-16 07:42:10

Totally normal.

He does not 'want to be a girl.' A 3 year old has no concept of this. He just sees things that he wants to play with being called girls toys, and wants to play with them too.

Don't make a big deal of it, just let him play with what he wants.

BabyGanoush Sun 19-Jun-16 07:43:56

My son went by a girls name and wanted to be a girl for over a year (when he was 3)

For him being a girl was not about pink glittery princessy stuff though, maybe because the girls and women he knew were more outdoorsy/sporty? Long hair was not his thing either (maybe cause his dad, unle, had long hair and his mum short hair?) Who knows.

At playgroup they said it was a normal phase. We called him by his new name. Refered to him as she/her.

He grew out of it by 4.

Just leave him be, time will tell.

BabyGanoush Sun 19-Jun-16 07:45:57

My nephew, at 4, just told me he wants to be a giraffe when he grows up.... grin

EDisFunny Sun 19-Jun-16 07:49:53

My son wanted to be a girl because the best thing, according to him, would be to have a baby. He thought sex was a choice and he could become pregnant when he was an adult.

At 5 he understands some basic biology and knows it won't happen. He's fine being a boy now as he can be a father instead.

I think kids this age have all sorts of ways to organise and understand their world and we just have to support them and explain things to them.

ididntsignupforthis1 Sun 19-Jun-16 07:52:50

One of my boys always had the nurses dress or minnie mouse tutu on and the other was a dog called Pooey and chased balls we threw etc.
It was a stage
Dh wouldn't let the dressing up boy out of the house in the clothes though

MrsJoeyMaynard Sun 19-Jun-16 07:58:26

It's normal for children that age to explore their identity - he's too young to have any real understanding of what gender is. Or even human. Mine went through a phase of insisting he was a train at that age. He would get terribly upset if someone called him a boy instead.

For now I'd just be telling him it's ok for boys to wear dresses and play with dolls if they like. It may be that he's got the idea that only girls are "allowed" to play with dolls etc.

Anyway, it will probably pass. It might not. But too early to be worrying about what ifs.

MsKite Sun 19-Jun-16 08:10:19

Just don't make s big deal out of it, it's normal for him to play with thjngs that he likes. And as a pp has said, he's probably seen his sister getting lots of attention and he equates that with being a girl.
Tell him he can wear what he likes and play with what he likes. Don't tell him certain things are for boys or girls, but don't tell him he can change sex when he's older. That's not true and will just set him up for s lifetime of disappointment/medicalisation.
I wanted to be a boy when I was that age. It looked more fun. I felt like that until I was about 8 or 9. I'm so glad it was before all the transgender stuff was in fashion because I'm very happy to be a woman now. If I had been referred to a gender clinic I could be sterile by now.

Kennington Sun 19-Jun-16 08:14:47

I wouldn't worry. Being into princesses isn't 'for girls' - it is just he cartoons they watch. And sparkly things and pink are attractive to everyone not just girls.
Again long hair is worn by boys in many cultures.
It is lovely he wants to look after a dolly.
It is all healthy and normal. It doesn't change his sex.

MsMargaretCarter Sun 19-Jun-16 08:20:03

It's adults who have decided that pink, dolls and dresses are "for girls". Children eventually come to believe it only because adults perpetuate it - because they fear bullying - and the cycle continues.

LMonkey Sun 19-Jun-16 08:24:24

Points taken! Thank you all for your replies. I will stop worrying! smile

Nodney Sun 19-Jun-16 09:23:44

Jut one from me OP, I have 3 DS, 9, 5 and 3. My 9 year old loved Leli Keli sparkly shoes at 3, sobbed when I wouldn't buy them for him (maybe I should have). My 5 year old, at 4, would only wear frilly socks without a big fuss, so most of the time I just let him wear them (they were mine!). Now, my 3 year old loves pink, wears pink and I'm really not bothered. The older two grew out of pink and sparkly so I expect my little one will too.

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