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Old 07-12-2009, 08:58 PM
 
Location: TN
264 posts, read 715,971 times
Reputation: 288

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I am wondering if anyone has had experience with this issue or can offer any insight:

My 5 year old son, who has a twin brother, seems to be suffering from gender confusion. For about 2 years now, he has gravitated towards all things "girl"...loves the color pink, prefers to play with girls at school, tries to wear long shirts and pretends they are dresses, begs for toys from the "girl" aisle at the toy store, pretends to be a fairy during make believe, etc. His twin brother, in contrast, is a typical rough and tumble, loves sports little boy. When he was younger, his father and I tried to look at his behavior as a phase that he might outgrow, but the longer it goes on the more I worry. I have read some books on the subject and one suggested steering him away from all things feminine. We tried that for a while, but the little guy became depressed and ashamed of himself, even though we tried to gently correct him in a positive way toward things more masculine. He even told us one day that, he was willing to be a boy for now, but when he got up to heaven he would ask God to finally make him a girl, which broke my heart. I just want him to be happy, but I don't see how indulging his fantasy is at all going to lead to his eventual happiness. I am wondering if there is any hope for him to change without becoming a miserable, depressed child in the meantime. We do have him in therapy to work out his issues but have not seen that it has helped.
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Old 07-12-2009, 09:09 PM
 
13,496 posts, read 13,968,489 times
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I really have nothing to go on other than my gut and I would allow him to be who and what he wants to be. I think people are born who they are and there really is no changing it. I would worry if trying to change him might be more confusing and troubling for him and making him ashamed. even if he is a young boy that spends his entire life wanting to be a girl he should not have to suffer being made to feel ashamed of something he has no choice in. who he identifies with has nothing to do with if he is a good person and that is all parents really want for their kids, to be good, honest and happy. all you can do is offer him love and understanding, try to prtect him as best as you can from kids and adults who would make him feel bad. perhaps one day he will change his feelings but if he doesn't I think all you can do is make sure he feels love and accepted. good luck to you.
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Old 07-12-2009, 09:20 PM
 
Location: chicagoland
1,636 posts, read 3,653,671 times
Reputation: 1061
LET HIM BE!!!!!!

Children this young DO know the sex they "feel" on the inside. You will mess him up if you don't allow him to be who he is.

Please don't let anyone tell you any different. The evidence is out there. I have friends who are transgendered and they DO NOT CHANGE WITH TIME OR THERAPY.

Many of them agree that most of their mental/emotional anguish came from family not accepting them.

You'll be fine, he will be fine. Please just love and accept him/her
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Old 07-12-2009, 11:46 PM
 
Location: Arkansas
2,383 posts, read 5,394,715 times
Reputation: 1123
I have to agree with the other two posters. Your son will decide who he is and if you try to push him in one direction, he may resent you later on in life. We all want the best for our children and sometimes we think it's best to lead them in a certain direction but if he is already saying things like oneday when he goes to heaven he will ask God to make him a female, then he needs the support of his mother, father and brother through this time. He does not need anyone steering him in another direction, he needs support for what he chooses. Unconditional love. Good luck and love him and hug him!!!
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Old 07-13-2009, 05:11 AM
 
2,005 posts, read 5,121,815 times
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agreed... don't try to change him, it will just confuse him and make him depressed. Accept your son for whatever he becomes. He was born that way and should be loved and accepted unconditionally.
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Old 07-13-2009, 05:46 AM
 
11,614 posts, read 19,707,814 times
Reputation: 12043
Quote:
Originally Posted by wilsonmom3 View Post
I am wondering if anyone has had experience with this issue or can offer any insight:

My 5 year old son, who has a twin brother, seems to be suffering from gender confusion. For about 2 years now, he has gravitated towards all things "girl"...loves the color pink, prefers to play with girls at school, tries to wear long shirts and pretends they are dresses, begs for toys from the "girl" aisle at the toy store, pretends to be a fairy during make believe, etc. His twin brother, in contrast, is a typical rough and tumble, loves sports little boy. When he was younger, his father and I tried to look at his behavior as a phase that he might outgrow, but the longer it goes on the more I worry. I have read some books on the subject and one suggested steering him away from all things feminine. We tried that for a while, but the little guy became depressed and ashamed of himself, even though we tried to gently correct him in a positive way toward things more masculine. He even told us one day that, he was willing to be a boy for now, but when he got up to heaven he would ask God to finally make him a girl, which broke my heart. I just want him to be happy, but I don't see how indulging his fantasy is at all going to lead to his eventual happiness. I am wondering if there is any hope for him to change without becoming a miserable, depressed child in the meantime. We do have him in therapy to work out his issues but have not seen that it has helped.
Maybe you are the one who needs therapy to accept that he is the way he is. I do not say this out of nastiness, but rather out of concern. I think that he is who he is and that he needs support from you, NOT therapy. He needs you to allow him to be who he is without any threats of you removing your love and approval.

Just let him be who he is.
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Old 07-13-2009, 06:07 AM
 
Location: Hillsborough
2,825 posts, read 5,952,246 times
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I agree to let him be who he is and not try to change him. He needs your support. But I also think you could both probably benefit from some kind of therapy or support group in dealing with this unusual situation.

I recently heard a radio story about 2 kids like this. You might find it interesting or helpful. This American Life
Act Two. Tom Girls.
Lilly and Thomasina have a lot in common. Theyíre both 8 years old. And they were both born boys, although it became clear pretty early on that they'd prefer to be girls. There arenít all that many kids in the world like them, but recently, at a conference in Seattle on transgender parenting, they met. And they immediately hit it off. They could talk about things with each other that they'd never been able to share with other friends back home. And thatís comforting, even if they never see each other after the conference ends. Producer Mary Beth Kirchner tells the story, with production help from Rebecca Weiker. (17 minutes)
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Old 07-13-2009, 06:24 AM
 
Location: Cleveland, OH
753 posts, read 2,164,376 times
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My son was somewhat similar when he was between 3 and 6. He LOVED pink. It drove his father crazy. But it's just a color. He also loved to play with girly toys, we had to avoid the girl isles at Toys R US like the plague because his father would have died!

It's very sad that America has set in stone what a male child or female child must like and play with. Gender roles are only what we have prescribed, they are not the end all be all. He really needs you to just let him be, he is going to have a hard enough time once he goes to school - especially in the higher grades, and he will need someone to lean on. If you aren't there for him and supportive of him, who will be?

I decided to sit down and have a talk with my son before he started kindergarden. I explained that I did not care what he wanted to play with, but when he goes to school, and the other kids see him playing with toys that most people consider girl toys, they will make fun of him. I told him he should think about playing with what people consider a boy toy when he is with non family if he doesn't want to be made fun of, but if he doesn't mind the other kids laughing at him, he should play with whatever he wants. I told him they may even be very mean and hit him.

I wasn't trying to scare him away from being who he was, but I didn't want him to be surprised by other peoples reactions either. We talked about it a few more times, conversations that were started by him. He didn't understand why other kids would care what he played with, especially when he thought these toys were the best! But then he started asking me about every toy he liked and if it was a boy toy or girl toy. He still played with girl toys outside sometimes, but if anyone said anything, he put it down and moved on to boy toys without a scene. I think he was more driven by wanting to be played with than be with the toys he like and be alone.

There have been a few times the other boys played with him with girl toys, like barbies, but they played with them like they were boy toys and made them girl rambos! He has grown out if that faze.

The one funny thing I remember that almost sent me over the edge was when my son was 5, I was watching Sweet Home Alabama, and my son walks over and says after seeing the movie, he wants to be a girl because they have pretty legs! Now how could I argue with that! LOL
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Old 07-13-2009, 06:25 AM
 
Location: N of citrus, S of decent corn
34,525 posts, read 42,694,765 times
Reputation: 57174
It sounds like you are a loving and supportive parent trying to do the right thing for your son.

All I know about transgender is from two actresses I've seen on TV. One is the Arquette sister who was born a male. Both said that they were happy because of the loving family support and acceptance they received growing up. Fortunately, society has become more accepting of things like this.
I don't know how to handle things like public school for these children. Surely there might be tough times in that regard.
I would try to find some support groups of others with transgender children to help your family adjust.
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Old 07-13-2009, 06:30 AM
 
Location: TN
264 posts, read 715,971 times
Reputation: 288
Quote:
Originally Posted by Momma_bear View Post
Maybe you are the one who needs therapy to accept that he is the way he is. I do not say this out of nastiness, but rather out of concern. I think that he is who he is and that he needs support from you, NOT therapy. He needs you to allow him to be who he is without any threats of you removing your love and approval.

Just let him be who he is.


suggesting that a gender confused child does not need therapy is ridiculous, in my view. even if I went to target today and bought him all girl toys and dresses and let him grow out his hair...he would still need to explore his feelings with a trained counselor...because trying to be something you are not is not going to be an easy life, either way.
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