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Old 07-13-2009, 09:48 PM
 
Location: The brown house on the cul de sac
2,081 posts, read 2,750,403 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pitt_transplant View Post
Maybe you should try getting him gender neutral toys too. Not all little boys want to roll in the mud playing football. He probably equates girly things with lots of soft color and more quiet interactions.
I can remember having group discussions where a lot of girls said they "wish they were a boy" for the clothing. Did not really mean anything other than they hated skirts.
I am sure many women "wish they were a boy" some mornings while getting ready. I do think its good to have him in therapy because of how you are unsure how to handle this. They say that its best hope for success in mental treatment to get the kids before they are 8. It has been shown that treatment that is belated only makes the problem worse as they develop into an adult. Pre-teen treatment is good.
I think no matter what it will help him have great coping skills to deal with the world. I think you should get in some therapy yourself so you can handle this correctly and not say the wrong things or have unhealthy reactions that damage him.

Do not be upset about it...I think of all the great artists, movies, books, design etc we would of missed out on if all little boys played football.....Would be a rather dry world.

Be happy you have a healthy kid. Some people never even get the chance.
Good post. I agree about getting him gender neutral toys. How about Legos?

While I think all the above advice is good, no matter how much I unconditionally love my sons, I would be upset if they wanted to play with dolls vs action figures at age 5. Parents may love their children unconditionally, but sadly society won't. Kids tease each other for even the slightest differences. I think your son will have a rough road ahead of him if this isn't a passing phase. I am glad that you are seeking therapy. Hang in there and good luck.
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Old 07-13-2009, 10:44 PM
 
Location: Victoria TX
38,755 posts, read 39,267,653 times
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I'm glad that most of you said leave him be, and don't try to coerce him to be something else. That is the most sound approach, but it still won't be easy. He does not need "counselling", but he does need access to someone that he can share his feeling with who will understand where he is coming from. This is a very difficult journey to take alone. In fact, I think therapy would be a bad idea. It will underscore the idea that you find his difference to be unacceptable, and therapists are not always right.

I would also make sure there are boy things around the house---boy clothing and boy toys---so if he feels like it, he can do that, too. He might just be a simple cross-dresser (not the same thing as transvestite, and certainly not the same as gay) and he will be contented if he has opportunities to cross dress at times. If he can exercise his feminine side in privacy, he may be less inclined to feel the need to do it all the time and when exposed to public scrutiny. Maost adult cross-dressers are perfectly normal but sensitive males, who simply have a little thing in there somewhere that makes them like women's clothing. If this is what he is, a therapist will just nod and say it will never go away, help him live through it.

If that's the case, if he's just a normal male cross-dresser, he might be contented with girls underwear and sleepwear, and will then go on about the business of growing up being a boy. I think it you should keep this in mind as what might be going on in his head. For the time being, he is exploring boundaries, and you are lucky that he is open and forthcoming enough about what he likes that the family's cooperation can be helpful. He will, in due course, experience some humiliating experiences with people, which might reduce his enthisiasm for being outwardly girlish, but his inner feelings should still be respected by his loving family.
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Old 07-14-2009, 07:29 AM
 
10,151 posts, read 11,566,435 times
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[quote=jtur88;9751305]It will underscore the idea that you find his difference to be unacceptable, and therapists are not always right. /quote]

This is exactly why I suggested counseling for the parents. NOT because there is anything wrong with the parents but perhaps a therapist can help the parents accept their son the way he is right now and understand the harm of sending him messages that the way he is is "not okay". I think that if you send him to therapy at such a young age it underscores that you think something is wrong with him. I do think that at some point he might need therapy to help him cope with the world, but that can wait until he is older.

BTW-my very masculine boys (football, lacrosse, wrestling) all liked to play at the housekeeping center and all played with dolls at times when they were little. They are older now and are all pretty masculine. They also enjoy cooking and gardening. There is more than one way to be a man.
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Old 07-14-2009, 07:47 AM
 
Location: TN
264 posts, read 534,004 times
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i disagree that a child will think you believe there is something wrong with him if you send him to therapy...at this age (5) you just tell the child they are going to talk to someone about their feelings....my son actually really likes going to counseling...it's not as though the counselor grills them about wanting to be a girl...they just play, draw, and chat.
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Old 07-14-2009, 12:35 PM
 
Location: Bay Area
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wilsonmom3 View Post
i disagree that a child will think you believe there is something wrong with him if you send him to therapy...at this age (5) you just tell the child they are going to talk to someone about their feelings....my son actually really likes going to counseling...it's not as though the counselor grills them about wanting to be a girl...they just play, draw, and chat.
He's ONLY 5! Unless your child has witnessed something traumatic, has been abused, has parents that fight like cats and dogs, there are drug and alcohol problems in the home, or has violent rages where he harms animals..Why does he need to talk to anyone about a non-issue?

He IS expressing his feelings to you..He is telling you that he wants to be a girl. Actually not a big deal. My child of the same age tells me she was once an alien and that frogs talk to her (even act like a frog sometimes..totally embarrassing) but hardly a strong case for seeking out a professional imo.

They usually just grow out of these things and the less you bring it up, the less he'll seem so focused and preoccupied on it. And if he's still talking like this at 10 or later, then you can ask him if he'd like to talk about his feelings with someone.

Remember back when you were 7 or 8 and hated all boys (well, I did)? Well, imagine if your parents took you to a therapist because they swore you must be gay. Same non-issue.
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Old 07-14-2009, 01:46 PM
 
4,784 posts, read 8,037,776 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stratford, Ct. Resident View Post

I'm not advocating punishing him or withholding your love either. I feel that the best course of action is to lightly encourage him to emulate his brother and father. If he doesn't exhibit any change 10 years from now, then yes, the "decisions" should be left to him. Good luck to you and your family.
I agree with this! To the OP, I wouldn't solidly embrace your child's feminine side, but would lightly encourage him to be more "male" in his choices. Nicely of course, without threats or ridicule. My boys went through periods of trying on my high heels, wearing my clothes etc., and I even have some pics of them doing so. It was just a phase for them, though. Of course your son could carry these feelings on for life, but again it might just be a long-term phase. I would neither forbid his choices or totally embrace them, but would just try to guide him as best you can. You say therapy is not helping, what exactly does the therapist say about this? (I admit I haven't read through the entire thread, I apologize if you mention that at some point later)
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Old 07-14-2009, 03:21 PM
 
Location: here
17,028 posts, read 14,549,044 times
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This is very interesting. There seems to be a spectrum of gender confusion among people that all of the posters know or know of. I think that trying to remain neutral for now is probably the best option. He is expressing who he is, and it is very important to love him no matter who he is. But, he may grow out of it. My almost 6 year old son loves playing with the "girl" toys at school. He always wants to play in the kitchen, and used to dress up in the girl dress up clothes. His favorite colors are pink and purple. He also really like flowers (live ones) and seems to have an opinion about how things are decorated. He could grow up to be gay or he could grow up to be a straight landscape designer. Who knows? He never asks me to buy girls clothes for him to wear on a day to day basis. He seems to understand that he is a boy, and seems perfectly happy dressing like a boy for school. I do sometimes find myself discouraging some of his behavior not because I have a problem with it, but because I don't want him to get made fun of. The first time (age 4) that he came home and told me that his friends told him to put on the dress at school and then all laughed, I told him that if he WANTS to wear it, that is ok, but that he shouldn't wear it just because his friends told him to. I think it is normal behavior to a point. It is a hard situation. I think the most important thing is for kids to feel loved by their families no matter what.
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Old 07-14-2009, 03:48 PM
 
136 posts, read 182,317 times
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This reminds me of a movie I saw : Netflix Online Movie Rentals - Rent DVDs, Classic Films to DVD New Releases

If you get it, "Ma Vie En Rose," watch it without your son around.

When Halloween or other occasions arise, give him a choice of things like a "rock star" or (male) "superhero" costume. Maybe a "cowboy" or he-man "wrestler." Do you think he'd wear any of them?
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Old 07-14-2009, 04:25 PM
 
Location: CITY OF ANGELS AND CONSTANT DANGER
5,405 posts, read 7,981,155 times
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i say let him be himself, but notice his likes. we had to go through this as well.

was it a phase? was he going to be transgender? was he just attracted to the colors. it was HARD to tell.

one thing that the lil one liked to do was play with makeup. we didnt tell him it was wrong, instead we focused his energies elsewhere. it went something like this...

"hey babyboy, you know how you like to paint on your sisters dolls faces? well we got you this nice canvas, poster board, markers, pencils and paints. now you can draw real faces!!!"

all we had to do was channel the "girly" behaviour in another direction. he was still drawing girls faces and applying "makeup" but in a more artistic (acceptable) way.

the other issue was his attraction to all things disney princess. he always begged for pink belle or cinderalla t shirts. what we did was try to find shirts in neutral colors (green, orange, yellow) that did have princesses but also the beast. or the prince by himself. we also let him wear socks that were "girly", just not pink.

sometimes they grow out of it. sometimes they dont. the point was to protect him and nurture what he did like without making him feel ashamed.

good luck.
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Old 07-14-2009, 04:45 PM
 
Location: here
17,028 posts, read 14,549,044 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the one View Post
i say let him be himself, but notice his likes. we had to go through this as well.

was it a phase? was he going to be transgender? was he just attracted to the colors. it was HARD to tell.

one thing that the lil one liked to do was play with makeup. we didnt tell him it was wrong, instead we focused his energies elsewhere. it went something like this...

"hey babyboy, you know how you like to paint on your sisters dolls faces? well we got you this nice canvas, poster board, markers, pencils and paints. now you can draw real faces!!!"

all we had to do was channel the "girly" behaviour in another direction. he was still drawing girls faces and applying "makeup" but in a more artistic (acceptable) way.

the other issue was his attraction to all things disney princess. he always begged for pink belle or cinderalla t shirts. what we did was try to find shirts in neutral colors (green, orange, yellow) that did have princesses but also the beast. or the prince by himself. we also let him wear socks that were "girly", just not pink.

sometimes they grow out of it. sometimes they dont. the point was to protect him and nurture what he did like without making him feel ashamed.

good luck.
so, how old is your son now? what happened as he got older?
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