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Tom boys

(20 Posts)
BambooBear13 Sun 02-Mar-14 23:00:04

My 4 year old is a total tomboy and I am so full of pride In her, annoyance at society for expecting her to conform and worry that she will be fine at school. Anyone else the same ?

GuybrushThreepwoodMP Mon 03-Mar-14 07:17:11

Does society really expect her to conform? Why not bin the label 'tomboy' (which suggests something relative to what she 'should' be in itself), keep being proud of her and get on with your lives? I seriously think it's a non-issue. But you might make it into one if you turn into a battle between her and the rest of the world.

purpleroses Mon 03-Mar-14 07:31:57

My DD was a tomboy at that age. It was a definite advantage at school as it gave her more choice of friends as she could play with either sex. Tbh a lot of kids play with either sex in reception. They become a bit more segregated by around Y3. My DD is 10 now and a bit less of a tomboy. She still like playing with boys but the girls at school give her a hard time if she does so she mainly plays with boys just out of school now. But Reception was fine.

sooperdooper Mon 03-Mar-14 07:33:33

Stop labeling her a tomboy, just let her be as she is, you're being part of the problem by thinking its in any way an issue

purpleroses Mon 03-Mar-14 07:33:45

She did find the label tomboy helpful for a while when she was little and would really have preferred to be a boy like her brother.

BambooBear13 Mon 03-Mar-14 09:25:29

I agree re the the term tom boy and personally detest it but it is used, so people understand what I mean. I let her choose to be who she is, but yes society tells her what 'girls should wear / play with' she hates girls clothes as she has no interests in pink, princesses, fairies etc Even girjs shoes are the same. She has no interest in dolls etc I get tired of other parents commenting. People ask me why she has a boys bike (black&yellow), laugh that she plays Footy and not ballet etc. Even at school nursery she is the only girl that wears trousers in winter. It's more prevalent than most people realise

shakinstevenslovechild Mon 03-Mar-14 09:38:05

On Saturday my 9yo dd was asked if she was a tomboy because she has short hair and was on her way to her boxing club. She said 'I don't even know what a tomboy is, I'm just myself' grin

My dd is popular, outgoing, clever and also has never been one to conform to anything, as long as your dd has your support I wouldn't worry about her at school too much, just keep on encouraging her to be who she is and her confidence will shine through.

MrsShrek3 Wed 05-Mar-14 22:12:53

I'm not a fan of the term either but we don't have a decent point of reference otherwise. I don't use it as a label for my dd. The fact that she has two brothers and prefers football to other sports is just her personality. however on the playground (juniors) it does mean that she plays with a few girls (inc her best friend) who are similar to herself and a bunch of boys. they avoid the "girly" girls who are apparently "boring and bitchy". she went to "Rainbows" for a year just to keep me happy it seems, as when she turned 6 she breathed a sigh if relief and said "can I go to Beavers instead now?" She's now a cub. her interests are more boisterous activities, sports and crafts. she's ace!

When your dd finds like minded people she'll be fine.

perplexedpirate Wed 05-Mar-14 22:16:39

Tomboy is a horrible word. Doesn't it have it's roots in homophobic abuse towards woman some time around the Victorian era?
I'm very uncomfortable with it being used today, especially towards children. Yuck.

purpleroses Wed 05-Mar-14 22:26:40

I am surprised by how many people don't like the word Tomboy. To me it's always just meant a girl who likes playing with boys, or doing the things that boys are traditionally expected to do (climbing trees, playing football, etc). And unlike 'sissy' - the converse term for boys - it doesn't to me carry any negative connotations.

When my DD was about 3 years old it became apparent that she thought she would be a boy when she grew up shock I sadly had to shatter her illusions, and tell her that she wouldn't ever be a boy like her brother, but that she could be a tomboy instead - a girl who played with boys. She clung very happily to the label for many years, helped by the fact that she knew an older girls who I can only describe as quite extreme tomboy (androgynous looks, completely accepted socially by the boys, could shimmy up any tree trunk in a matter of seconds...) who described herself happily as a tomboy and my DD looked up to her a lot.

My DD (aged 10 now) is a bit less of a tomboy now - she is still very happy in boys company but wouldn't use the term to describe herself any more. But for several years she would have done, and found it a really useful term to describe part of her identity. For as long as we live in a society where boys and girls tend to play separately and somewhat differently, I think the term tomboy is a useful one to allow those who don't conform to find a way of fitting in. I just wish there was a similarly neutral term for boys who prefer playing with girls.

BambooBear13 Sun 09-Mar-14 21:30:16

Thank you for the comments. I must just ignore those who comment on her being like a boy and stay proud that she knows who she is. I was very similar asca child and feel her frustration... Even my own family insist on buying her girls dresses which she hates. Thank god her school is full of girls in trousers, girls doing all sports and she will be able to join beavers and cubs.

WorraLiberty Sun 09-Mar-14 21:35:07

She sounds like a perfectly normal girl to me

When she starts school, you'll look around at the hundreds of other girls and realise that.

Not all girls are 'girly' and since the dawn of time, they never have been.

I'm 44 and I certainly wasn't.

BambooBear13 Mon 10-Mar-14 07:34:59

Thank you worraliberty. I was the same too and hated being forced to wear dresses for parties, skirts at school etc and being given dolls as presents. I loved action games and Lego. I let her choose her clothes and support for playing footy, riding a 'boys ' bike to school nursery, wearing unisex swim T-shirts and swim shorts for swimming etc I just get tired of people commenting. Even at parties she snubs princess party bags and asks for what ever the boys are given!!

Eletheomel Mon 10-Mar-14 08:14:55

I was always a tomboy, hated dolls, loved soft toys, was always off climbing trees and buildins (that I should' have) playing football and chase games with older kids on our street, had no interest in pink (did love my long hair though!), and hated wearing skirts/pinafores to school (mum used to make me) I was happiest in jeans and trainers (I would have cringed at the thought of a 'princess' bag!)

I managed to get through life fine, and even now (as someone in their forties) I live my life in jeans and flatshoes, despise clothes shopping, love watching football, darts, rugby, athletics (basically any sport) and am really pleased I've got 2 boys to get muddy in the park with. I do get dressed up a couple of times a year (which DH loves!) and I no longer climb trees :-D

Let her live the way she wants to live, makes the world a more interesting place :-)

MsMischief Mon 10-Mar-14 08:24:26

I think as she gets older you will see that all the other girls in her class are individuals too with there own likes and dislikes. I was a 'tomboy' for want of a better word and never had any negativity and one of my dds is the same. It's my barbie loving glittery girl who gets all the disapproving looks and comments. People don't believe she can really prefer skirts to trousers, dolls to lego and pink to blue but assume that she is a conformist sheep incapable of knowing her own mind. It's far more annoying.

Odaat Mon 10-Mar-14 11:15:56

I was a tomboy growing up. I am not anymore, my dd i though. I love it! I am really not into showering little girls in pink and making them princesses etc etc

Odaat Mon 10-Mar-14 11:17:01

... Unless they wanted to of course! But seems it is imposed in a lot of little girls.

AnnieLobeseder Mon 10-Mar-14 11:23:26

Unfortunately the way of society at the moment is to push children very forcibly into boxes which are coloured very brightly pink or blue, and there is very little wiggle-room for children who don't conform. I think it's absolutely tragic and support campaigns like PinkStinks, Princess Free Zone and Let Toys Be Toys which actively promote letting children be who they are without the limitations of gender stereotypes.

For now, until things change (and I hope they will), all you can realistically do is keep letting your little girl know how perfect she is just as she is, and how proud you are of her.

BambooBear13 Mon 10-Mar-14 11:34:23

Yes thank you that is my plan.. And to keep adding all my support for the campaigns as they are now very very close to my heart

lockie1983 Mon 10-Mar-14 18:32:22

I actually think msmischief is closer to the mark here, the way of society is actually celebrating girls who don't like pink, dresses and princesses and turning their noses up at girls who want to play with dolls and like glittery things. This is just as bad.

Saying you are proud because she likes "boyish" things suggests you wouldn't be if it was the other way around. This actually compounds stereotypes rather than allowing children to like what they like regardless.

Of course certain roles, games and clothes will, for a long time be thought of as traditional for one sex or the other, by seeing your child liking these as "good" or "bad" you associate the connotations that will be carried forward a generation.

This has negative effects for women in general, we do not have to all renounce traditional roles if we don't want to, that doesn't make us conformist sheep incapable of intelligent thoughts. We don't have to be "boys" to make our mothers proud.

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