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Is this normal and how do I deal with it?

(43 Posts)
Mikamee Mon 16-Nov-20 23:11:24

Is it normal for a 3 year old boy to say they are a girl? He doesn't do it off his own back it's only when I've asked him but he is insistent. He has many typical boy interests, he loves trains, cars, planes and running about generally being boisterous, although he does love playing with his teddies.
I was just wondering if this is a phase kids go through? And how do I deal with it? Do I ignore it? Play it up?
Thanks

OP’s posts: |
FundamentallyFucked Mon 16-Nov-20 23:13:43

He doesn't do it off his own back it's only when I've asked him

What on earth are you asking him? And why?

Mikamee Mon 16-Nov-20 23:15:46

Its on the 36month ASQ sheet as to whether they can identify themself as a boy or girl, I was doing that and so I just said are you a girl or a boy? and he kept saying girl.

OP’s posts: |
AdultHumanFemale Mon 16-Nov-20 23:18:02

Am I reading this right; your son does not say he's a girl of his own accord, but does so when prompted or questioned by you?
Could you clarify, please, and give an example of how such an exchange might go, to clear up any ambiguity around what you have stated.

JaJaDingDong Mon 16-Nov-20 23:22:39

It's "off his own bat", not back.

ClaireP20 Mon 16-Nov-20 23:23:56

Is he at nursery? I wonder where he is picking up gender differences from at that age. Someone is clearly putting suggestive thoughts in his head. I have 3 boys and can assure you they don't take any notice of biological differences at 3 unless someone is making a big deal of it....

dottiedaisee Mon 16-Nov-20 23:24:54

Sorry this is where the world has gone mad !! When my children were three they were not asked such a stupid question? All it does is confuse them..sorry if my reply is not PC !!

Mikamee Mon 16-Nov-20 23:24:57

Okay so I was doing some of the things on the 36 month asq and one of them was can the child correctly identify if they're a boy or a girl if you ask them 'Are you a boy or a girl?' I asked him twice on two seperate occasions 'Are you a boy or a girl?' and he said:
'I'm a girl'
'ooh, You're a boy sweetheart, mummy is a girl'
'No, I'm a girl'
'No you're a boy'
Then he cried and went 'no, i'm a girl.'
So I said 'Are you a girl?'
'yes'
'Are you a boy?'
and he cried again and said 'no I'm a girl'

OP’s posts: |
ClaireP20 Mon 16-Nov-20 23:26:08

Arh just take no notice. Say 'no darling, you're mummy's gorgeous boy'. X

ClaireP20 Mon 16-Nov-20 23:28:25

Interesting. I'd take no notice but be mindful who is in his influencing circle, as they say. X

WhyDoesItAlways Mon 16-Nov-20 23:32:55

Try asking him whether other people, mum, dad, siblings are boys or girls. That might tell you if he just doesn't get the difference yet.

Either way though at 3 I don't think you have anything to worry about. DS4 was adamant until recently that he is ginger which he is not.

FundamentallyFucked Mon 16-Nov-20 23:35:15

Mikamee

Its on the 36month ASQ sheet as to whether they can identify themself as a boy or girl, I was doing that and so I just said are you a girl or a boy? and he kept saying girl.



Ah I understand. Have you previously told him he is a boy?

ComeOnBabyHauntMyBubble Mon 16-Nov-20 23:35:26

Probably bad advice but I'd ask him why .
Depending on his answer you could try and identify(no pun intended) where this is coming from.
For example did someone say he can't like/wear/do/play with x because he's a boy and only girls can?
Or is it because he wants to be just like you, aka a girl?

Freshair85 Mon 16-Nov-20 23:37:25

This is normal for his age, I remember my sibling at the same age always saying she was a boy she was just too young to understand and also got her him and hers mixed up when talking about people.

Mybrowneyedgal Mon 16-Nov-20 23:38:09

It sounds like he doesn't understand what it means. Just be factual about it "you have a penis so you are a boy" "I have a vagina so that makes me a girl". Gender stereotypes shouldn't play into it.

BornOnThe4thJuly Mon 16-Nov-20 23:39:24

My nearly 3 year old girl insists she’s a boy, if I say gorgeous girl/good girl etc. she says “no I a big boy”. I’m sure it’s just because she worships her older brother and wants to be like him! I just laugh and say ok, just like I would if she said she was a dinosaur.

AdultHumanFemale Mon 16-Nov-20 23:41:25

OK, cross-posted with your update, OP. Thank you.
Hm. I know it says to use "these exact words", but I think it is problematic; to your child, who knows you know very well whether he is a boy or a girl, it might elicit a 'trick-question response'. I really wouldn't labour the point. Don't revisit, he definitely doesn't need to be groomed into questioning his sex. Off the top of my head, as a parent and primary school teacher with Early Years experience, I can think of so many other ways a parent or a professional in a childcare setting would be able to ascertain whether a child considers themselves a boy or a girl in a much less intrusive way.

RoseTintedAtuin Mon 16-Nov-20 23:41:28

Does he play with girls? I had two older brothers and I was determined to be a boy when I was around 5 because even at that young age I saw how unfair the world was to girls. It didn’t mean anything I just couldn’t explain the complexity of the disadvantages I saw from being a girl as I didn’t have the language so I said I was a boy. Several of my friends have had similar with their dc.

ComeOnBabyHauntMyBubble Mon 16-Nov-20 23:45:03

BornOnThe4thJuly

My nearly 3 year old girl insists she’s a boy, if I say gorgeous girl/good girl etc. she says “no I a big boy”. I’m sure it’s just because she worships her older brother and wants to be like him! I just laugh and say ok, just like I would if she said she was a dinosaur.


DD was a cat for about 3 weeks. Then decided she wanted to be a bear when she grows up.
Still human....

Cheeeeislifenow Mon 16-Nov-20 23:50:25

My child described himself as a dinosaur for a spell around that age, I wouldn't concern yourself about it.

Porridgeoat Mon 16-Nov-20 23:56:24

I think part of the issue is family stereotypes around boys and girls interests/toys. Boys and girls can be interested in anything, they should not pigeon holed according to sexual stereotypes.

Kids are just playing with self identity at that age, it’s the norm. My 10 year old has just spent three months presenting to be Pokemon. I’ve not given it any thought and it’s not even a point of discussion

goldenochre Tue 17-Nov-20 00:03:40

3 is too young to really understand i think. My DS sometimes refer to himself as girl/boy and does the same to his baby sister (she/he).

I am not really sure how much they can absorb the difference between a boy and a girl other than the typical ones you see at nursery(hair, clothes etc)

Changechangychange Tue 17-Nov-20 00:15:04

DS wanted to be a girl like mummy, not a boy like daddy, for a good few months. He does know he's a boy now he is 3.5, but definitely didn't understand when he was 36 months.

And he still regularly misgenders women (but not men, weirdly). Toys flip genders all the time, mostly they are all boys like him even when they are clearly female (the dolls on Moon and Me, Skye from Paw Patrol, etc). I just don't really think they get it at this age.

GrumpyHoonMain Tue 17-Nov-20 01:08:01

Why is it important going through the sheet right now? Gender is fluid this early and it’s normal to have no concept of it until going to school.

notangelinajolie Tue 17-Nov-20 01:09:17

This is madness. He is three. He doesn't understand.
He probably just wants to be the same as his mum.
Tell him he is a boy like his dad.

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