6 year old TomBoy

Leia - posted on 03/23/2010 ( 17 moms have responded )

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My daughter is 6 years old, she has been a 'tomboy' for about 3.5 years. She has never ever wanted to wear dresses or pink or anything girlee. She likes her hair short and would shave it into a mowhawk if I were that liberal.



The other day at school she was going to the bathroom and another girl told her that she couldn't be in there because she wasn't a girl. My daughter told her that she was, but the girl didn't believe her. This seemed to bother my daughter.



I feel like it is so hard to let your child express themselves...i just want her to be happy, but i feel like being happy for her is causing her pain. She has friends, but at times she doesn't quite fit right...she's not a boy....and she's not a girlee girl....



Does anyone else have a child like mine? What can I do to keep her confidence up against the odds of societal views?

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Kim - posted on 06/23/2012

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I was such a tomboy growing up. I had long hair though, but so didn't most boys LOL I think the other girl is the one that needs to be spoken too. I know a lot of girls that don't dress 'girly'. My daughter wore dresses, skirts or skorts everyday to school for 2 years. I think someone made fun of it because all of a sudden she stopped!! Won't wear a dress unless I make her. There are just mean kids out there. Its too bad one instance can hurt our kids so badly.

And my cousin was all boyish, she even was the only girl on the boys baseball team and wore pants at her 1st Communion. She wears dresses all the time now.

Lori - posted on 06/03/2012

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Hi Leia...OMG...I feel like I'm reading about my own daughter! Do you mind if we stay in touch and swop stories? I feel like I'm the only Mom at her school with a Tomboy like her. She is a very pretty blonde eight year old with blue eyes and dimples...who recently got her long hair cut into cute short layers which she absolutely LOVES...lol! On the playground she plays mostly with boys and loves pokimon, spongebob and anything boyish. This year she even put aside anything with pink on it and chose her real favourite colours...blue and red. She does have some girls who are friends and she will play barbies or polly pockets when they come over but only then to please them I guess. But I refuse to force her to be a girly girl and I just want her to feel comfortable and enjoy life. It just hurts me when she says that God made a mistake and should have made her a boy because to me she is Perfect the way she is. :) Anyhow, please stay in touch. Take care, Lori.

Jen - posted on 04/01/2010

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My 7 year-old is a tomboy. 95% of her friends are boys and it has always been that way for her. She plays on the boys baseball team. I love and accept her the way she is. That said I try to encourage her to make friendships with girls because as she heads toward those preteen and teen years she will need that girl support network. She wears her hair long but always back in a ponytail, (stressful for me because I am a hair dresser). I do not allow her to wear actual boy clothes to school because I don't want her to get teased, but sometimes she wears her brothers clothes when we're home. At school she wears very plain girls jeans and a t-shirt, she says anything I think is cute is"too fancy". It is very frustrating because I only have 1 girl and I want to do girly things with her! But i understand because I was an extreme tomboy, way more so than she is. I had experiences when people thought I was a boy. I try to help my daughter by not letting her get too extreme with her appearance so she will not have to deal with being teased or questioned by other people. I also try to be a healthy female role model by taking on both traditionally male and female chores and hobbies so she knows that she is free to develop her whole self without being boxed in to a certain stereotype of how a girl is "supposed" to be. For me the tomboy phase ended when I was 12 and the womanly hormones started kicking in and then I became very girly.Hope that is helpful!

Caroline - posted on 04/01/2010

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Hi Yes my daughter has been a tomboy since that age - in fact when she was 7 with her hair short most people thought she was a boy!

She's 16 now and just asked for a prom dress - well I nearly fell over!

Don't worry about it - try to see the good side - no short skirts or heels or make up, in fact it was quite a relief as the other girls started to dress like this that my daughter wasn't interested, and the boys who are friends with her don't like the girls with the make up on.

She will want a dress one day and if you have to wait for the prom then so be it.

Accept her for who she is and never mind anyone else.

Much love Caroline x

Janet - posted on 03/30/2010

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Yes children will be children my girl is the same she has always been a tomboy but gets hurt when some children at school say she is a boy because she likes to wear boys clothes she does just look like a pretty boy she prefers to play with boys, now she has turned 7 when we go shopping i let her choose her own clothes and she chooses her own friends she is happy in herself and i would'nt change her for anyone elses views.

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Niketa - posted on 10/27/2012

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Hi, My name is Niki Bhatia and I am the author o a childrens book, PINK IS JUST A COLOR AND SO IS BLUE. It is about letting go of our old gender stereotypes about colors (pink and blue) and toys kids choose to play with. The main character is a little boy who is not too athleti and his best friend is a feisty little girl who

tomboyish". Our ultimate goal is to assure that our kids grow upto be confident, productive individuals, without placing so much emphasis on color and toys when they are sooo young.



http://www.amazon.com/Pink-Just-Color-So...

Janet - posted on 09/06/2012

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I have a 9 year old just like that. I wanted to cry reading your post because my daughter is having the same issues at school. On the inside she is all girl and cries whn the kids even ask her if she is a boy or a girl. I wish I knew how to help her without telling her to change her style. She looks like a girl to me and her family but she struggles daily with other kids. I try telling her to ignore them but at 9 I know it is almost impssible. Have you found any ideas that have helped?

Gabrielle - posted on 06/25/2012

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I was/am like your daughter, and my daughter is a little like that, too. You should check out Pigtail Pals and Ballcap Buddies (website, blog, store, and Facebook) and Princess-Free Zone (website, blog, store, and Facebook). They are run by moms who are anti-limitations for their kids. They are great resources, and many of their followers are parents in the same boat, with kids who don't conform to limiting societal stereotypes about gender. The motto of PPBB is "Redefine Girly", and I love it because a "tomboy" is just another way of being a girl, which should be accepted and included in the range of ways girls express themselves, without having to be compared to boys.

Pam - posted on 06/19/2012

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I have 9 year old twin daughters who are TOTAL tomboys. I truly try to let them be themselves but sometimes I just hurt for them because of the meanness of others--especially some of the girly girls!! They look my daughters up and down as if to say---you look like a little urchin or something. My girls LOVE to get dirty--the dirtier the better!! They usually look worse than the boys! Most of their friends are boys and they only play with Hot Wheels cars, trucks, and other boy toys--stuffed bears are the closest thing to dolls for them!! They have been like this since they were about 4 and it is just getting worse. My daughters have also had the experience (on more than one occasion) of being told they need to leave the girls' bathroom or hearing girls say loudly "there's a boy in here." I don't have an answer for you--just wanted to know you are not alone!!! I guess I can say we are a little more blessed since they are twins and have each other. Good luck to you and your tomboy!!

Kristin - posted on 06/08/2012

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Why do girls always have to be stero typed into a girly girl? I was a tomboy growing up and I worki in a man's field. I always got along better with boys and men as they are less catty than women. I know I can do everything on my own; i can cook clean bake mow the lawen fix the bikes change a tire run heavy equipment and it does not make me less of a woman or gay. I have a wonderful man in my life but he works out of town so im gratedful i can do it all and i plan to raise my daughter the same way. All kids get teased in school for one thing or another either your too fat your too skinny your hair is too long or to short, kids will find something. All you can do is teach your kids to be confident individuals and to be who they are and love them and support them. Maybe I live in a red neck community but most women around here grew up as tom boys in one way or another and to me it makes us a more real stonger well rounded individual.

Wendy - posted on 06/28/2011

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WOW!! Just to let you know, I feel the same as you. My daughter is 8yo & that comment you wrote about self expression, yet letting her be herself might be causing her pain, is exactly how I feel!! It very confusing 2 be a parent in that situation. You want 2 help them do what would cause OTHERS to accept them more (less pain 4 them) yet, allow them to be who they wanna be/ look how they wanna look@ the same time....I have no advice....just wanted you 2 know others are out there going through the same thing!! Getting ready 2 read the advice other moms gave you & see if it may help me also!! Good luck, Leia!!

Heather - posted on 04/01/2010

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I don't have a daughter, however I was a child at one time and so was my sister. We were both Tomboys as children. If we were being bad our punishment would sometimes be to have to wear a dress to school. My parents would require us to wear dresses to church but the rest of the time we could wear our jeans. My dad recognized that we weren't girlee girls (and still aren't) and he would take us fishing let us play in the mud, but they would still get us some girl stuff like barbies. You may find that she will stay Tomboyish until she is an adult or she may grow out of it in middle school when boys come into the picture more. The best thing I can tell you is to just love her for who she is. And as far as the teasing, Rebecca is right, kids tease. Just let her know that kids see her as different because she like to play (football, fish, whatever) rather than playing with dolls.

Rebecca - posted on 03/25/2010

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i just want to point out that ALL kids get teased and there is no way to avoid that. other kids will FIND and ZERO IN on something to tease about. kids are VERY inventive when it comes to finding out what to tease someone about.

so the key is not for your daughter to wear different clothes or be any different, the key is to equip her with the SKILLS for dealing with teasing. in my country kids wear gender specific school uniforms, so there's no choice on that. however, my daughter is a bit of tomboy and loves climbing more than anything in the world, therefore she opted to wear shorts under her dress so she doesn't have to worry about kids seeing her knickers (and teasing her about that) or about being demure (which is virtually impossible for her anyway) .... now she is getting teased for wearing shorts under her dress. i told her it is her choice whether or not she wants to wear them (she previously was at a predominantly muslim nursery so most of the girls wore pants under their dresses) ... however, i told her that if she chooses to wear them, then she needs to laugh the teasing off -- she needs to be confident in herself to do this, and so i focus on building her self esteem.

since we live in a predominantly "black"country, the school where she goes has predominantly "black"children; one day some girls said she couldn't play with them because she has blonde hair. they were just being mean THAT DAY, for whatever reason. there are other days where she comes home with other teasing stories -- being told she had fat legs at their swimming class etc.

BUT she is actually one of the POPULAR girls, surrounded by friends (boys and girls), sometimes she is overwhelmed with the number of children competing for her attention.

so even POPULAR kids get teased. getting your child to wear different clothes than she would choose for herself will not prevent teasing -- they'll just find something else to tease about.

equip your child with skills to handle teasing rather.

my daughter knows to say: "that's not a very nice thing to say. if you keep saying those sorts of things people will think you're not a very nice person."

most teasers squirm when they get this sort of feedback.

also if someone says she is ugly, my daughter knows to say: "well i still think you're beautiful." normally she's made a tight friend for giving that kind of response.

i've taught her to try not to get too upset about it and take it in her stride and try to laugh it off. i've also taught her that there are ways of responding that do not involve her in being spiteful back.

and yes, my daughter often is the ODD one out, because of the "race", religion and cultural aspects described above. teach your daughter that being different is good -- the world would be a very boring place if we were all the same.

Samantha - posted on 03/25/2010

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My daughter is 6 and I'd describe her as a tom boy, dont have any problems with it although she tends to have boy friends rather than girl friends. I feel she will decide who she wants to be and maybe she might change when she get's older. I feel its her decision to make as an individual person, I would never force her to be something shes not. As for societal views, my daughter is not bothered by them I have bought her up with the understanding that she has the right to be whoever she wants and no-one had the right to tell her otherwise and if they do she dismisses it. She knows shes much loved just the way she is by many and the 'many' are the most important so nothing else matters. I'm sure your daughter will be fine despite peoples ignorance unfortunatly even if she was girly they'd only find someting else to pick about. Just remind her if people are horrible then they are not worth your time, its the people that love you, you should listen too.

Amanda - posted on 03/23/2010

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My daughter is the same way. She's 8 and 2 weeks ago when my mom took her shopping with her, she asked for a dress. I don't force her to wear anything that she doesn't want to wear. She's in girl scouts and in co-ed baseball. She has a couple of friends but at least she's getting confident about herself the older she gets. When she says that boys tease her, I pull out my childhood pictures and show her that I use to wear big "dork" glasses and I got tease because I didn't start wearing dresses till I was in high school. I like the color pink but I prefer the color black. It kind of makes her feel better that I can relate to what she's going through.

Elizabeth - posted on 03/23/2010

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Also you might find out if there is a girl-scout troop in your area she could join.
Kimberly loves all the hands on activities and nuture fun and outdoors skills.

Elizabeth - posted on 03/23/2010

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My kimmy is a bit of a Tom boy too. Maybe if you take her to a store just for girls and let her pick out three things she likes. It will help both of you. She WILL find something she will like that conferms her femaninity. (say that 10 times fast) You will feel good knowing you were able to help her.

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