My son is playing with girl toys.

[deleted account] ( 39 moms have responded )

My son is about to turn 4 in about 2 weeks. He has recently started pretending that he is a girl a lot. He pretends that he is Rapunzel (he loves the movie) or Jessie from Toy Story. He does have a Rapunzel toy also that he plays with a lot. He also plays with superheroes (boys and girl ones) and pretends he his Thor at times. My husband is really bothered by this, and I keep trying to tell him it is a phase, but he is starting to put doubts in my head. I know he is afraid of how his family will react because I heard his mom telling our son that he can't play with Rapunzel because she is a girl toy. I guess I'm just trying to find out if this is normal.

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Lauren - posted on 06/12/2011

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my son is 3 1/2 and LOVES all things boys and playing dress up with girl stuff. I dont care, my husband freaks out at the thought but i think it's totally normal. whenever hes playing with a doll i make comments like "aww ur going to be such a good daddy" and that makes him so proud. now how do i get him to quit wanting a pink 4 wheeler? lol in 20 years we will be laughing we even worried about it but if u tell me that my kid is ok ill tell u that urs is. good luck these crazy boys!!

Lisa - posted on 06/15/2011

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I think its wise to consider it as a phase and/or as PLAY- which is what it is. Kids pretend to be pigs- they don't actually envision themselves adopting all pig quailities for the rest of their lives. Same thing applies here. To discourage it would be a bad idea- or to give it any extra attention. If he is playing very feminine roles when he is older, and receiving negative social feedback, then it might be time to simply talk about gender roles. Til then, its play.

Danielle - posted on 06/14/2011

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I think it's ridiculous how much people emphasize boys not playing with girl toys. People don't flip out when a little girl plays with a truck or something! My son (who's 2 1/2) loves to try on my high heals and he seems to really like the color pink, but I'm not freaking out about it. I think part of the reason young boys get so insecure with their sexuality is because other people put so much emphasis on it. Even if this is not just a phase with your son, you should treat it like one. The negative reaction to his behavior would not help. Don't worry too much about it. He will like what he's going to like whether it's typically boyish or not. It just seems to me that he's playing with things that are fun and isn't thinking about wanting to be girly at all - just playing what he enjoys playing with. Just love him no matter what.

Mrs. - posted on 06/16/2011

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"If he is playing very feminine roles when he is older, and receiving negative social feedback, then it might be time to simply talk about gender roles. Til then, its play."

Or you could still let him be and become an actor. A lot of very manly, straight actors have played women. Dustin Hoffman is not exactly a real fem man.

You kid is normal. Sounds like he has some imagination and I think that should be encouraged. Of course, if he continues to be shamed by showing vulnerability or imagining he is a princess it might something that is a passing phase to a life long habit of dressing in wigs and heels in private. Tell your husband that most of the men I know who do things like that were shamed by it when they were little...and I know a lot of men who dress in ladies clothes from time to time.

Heather - posted on 06/14/2011

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my 2 1/2 yr old son always plays with his sisters toys we even got him his own doll and stroller. Tangled is my Little boys favorite movie.

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Krista - posted on 07/12/2011

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Let him be a kid.

Besides, what message are we sending our boys if we make them ashamed for playing with "girly" things? We're telling them that "girly" things are wrong, and bad. Way to raise a man who'll someday refuse to cook a meal or change a diaper.

Carla - posted on 07/11/2011

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It sound pretty normal to me. I think it's more likely to be an issue if people make it an issue. There is no reason why a child can't pretend to be character or play with a toy based on it's gender. If people tell him his doing something wrong they could hurt his feelings or make him feel ashamed or confused. My opinion is let him be comfortable with who he is but that means the adults have to grow up a little and not make something out of nothing.

[deleted account]

Phase or not, who cares? He's having fun and not harming anything or anyone. Someone said it earlier...why are people ok with girls playing with "boy toys" like trucks but the second a boy picks up a "girl toy" all the sudden alarms are going off? Meh, let them play. My son walks better in my heels than I do.

Nickey - posted on 06/17/2011

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Its totally normal my son does the same, its just a phase.dont stress to much

Vicki - posted on 06/14/2011

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See Meagan I'm a stirrer so I'd probably do the opposite. As in put out all the fairy dresses and tea sets for when the family visits haha. As it is I'm working out which pair of pink trousers to pack on a trip to visit my boy's very conservative great grandfather.

Meagan - posted on 06/13/2011

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I've heard all boys go through that phase, although I personally find nothing wrong with a child playing with toys geared towards the opposite gender. Maybe when he is around family, hide the "girl" toys, so that you dont get grief from his family, but I think that you should let him play with whatever he likes.

Jill - posted on 06/13/2011

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This is normal and definitely a phase. Just let him be and encourage him to play with all kinds of toys. If anyone even suggests that he might need to be corrected- stand up for your boy. This IS normal.

Jessica - posted on 06/13/2011

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It's perfectly normal for young kids to explore all grown up roles, both make and female no matter what gender the child. It's society that tries to tell us otherwise. Try not to worry to much, and if your family says something, say something like, "He will make a better father some day because he's fostering his nurturing skills." (Say it with a smile and they won't be able to say anything.

Katrina - posted on 06/12/2011

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It's COMPLETELY normal. And it works both ways- my 3 year old loves her toy cars, and dressing up as a fireman, but at the same time, loves her girly dolls and Barbies. I don't think you should put prejudices into their minds at such a young age, as kids should be proud to be who they are, and not feel they have to conform to what other people think they should be/do.

Fiona - posted on 06/11/2011

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i believe its important part of a childs development to be able to freely exspress how he/she wants to play it dont make any difference if your little one wanted to play at girls things or boys things he is confident to do both and also i believe it can lead to understanding the feelings of others in role play if he is repressed from freely choosing how he wishes to play he may see that the adult part of the family think this is wrong and can cause your little one to have trouble expressing how he feels after all i loved playing with cars when i was younger rather than dollies it didnt make me want to be a man or make me confused about what relationship i wanted when i was old enough to understand

Dawn - posted on 06/08/2011

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This world is so stereotypical expecting boys to play guns and wrestlers and boy things and girls to play with dolls and girl things.....my son is 5 and could not wait to go to my neices house so he could use her play kitchen and her dolls same with my niece she loves to play with his spiderman toys let your husband know that just because a toy is stereotyped for a girl his little boy can also enjoy them. Its normal it doesn't make him any less than a boy because of this. I honestly think toy manufacturers should advertise all toys to be for both boy and girls and then maybe we would see less people judging children for not being femine enough or masculine enough. Let his imagination run wild its fine.

Elizabeth - posted on 06/07/2011

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My son is 3 and loves playing with his sisters dolls and he watches dora every morning. I wouldnt be to worried its just a phase that all boys i know have went through

Eva M. - posted on 06/07/2011

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Maybe, get your husband busy being an example for your little boy and have them do a lot of "big boy" things on a regular basis. Including forms of play and movies.
Regarding the toys and movies that are girly, just all of a sudden make them disappear. Just take them away, get rid of them. When asked what happened to them, just answer.."Oh, my, I don't know they are just gone, no more."
Stay consistent.
Father God says, woman was made for man and man was made for woman.
God Bless.

Bec - posted on 06/07/2011

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My son just turned 4 in February and he's always played with girl toys! I've always kept baby dolls & barbies in his toy box because he has 2 girl cousins that come over & play with him. He is not the least bit feminine & he loves to build with legos & crash trucks & play army, but there are times when he's dressing up a baby doll or barbie & acting like he's feeding it. We typically don't let him put on "girly" things like bows, things like that but there have been a few times that his cousins thought it was funny to put something like that on him. I think it's interesting that people don't think twice about a girl playing with a truck, but just about have a heart attack when they see a boy playing with a doll (pretending to feed/burp/change it). Your daughter probably won't be a mechanic or nascar racer (though she might too) when she grows up, but hopefully your son will become a daddy when he grows up :-) What better time to pratice?! My son now has a 1 year old sister & another brother/sister due in November, so he has a sister that plays dolls & trucks with him & a new baby that he can play with later! Hope your son has fun with his toys!!

~My husband says I need to go back & take phsycology so I can become an advocate speaker for boys playing with dolls! He's a brat!~ lol Then again a boy playing with a doll at 9-10 might be a little ummm.....akward :-))

Erin - posted on 06/06/2011

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Yeah, I don't think you'll find too many dissenting voices here! All normal. I have a son nearly the same age, his alter ego is Ariel. I made him a mermaids tail for Christmas and while some of my friends rolled their eyes I figure later he'll probably identify with the male characters and I can throw in a beard and a trident!!! He also has an imaginary baby he takes everywhere and he's the Mum not the Dad. I think these female roles allow him to be nurturing and kind and all sorts of things that the male ones don't allow. These are such important things for him to develop and eventually he can reconcile them into the one package. In the meantime I have lots of stories and embarrassing photos lined up for when he's a surly grunting teenager who makes my life difficult! I am dying to utter the words 'tidy your room or I'll show your friends the photo of you in your Ariel costume!!!'

[deleted account]

Please don't inhibit your son from his fantasies...imagination plays a vital role in learning, without the ability to imagine one has great difficulty in grasping ideas, and inventing solutions...your son sounds like a normal, healthy child of four, please stop loading adult intentions onto what is essentially normal childhood play...

Louann - posted on 06/06/2011

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lol Tell them to chill, It will pass slowly. Our grandson loved the color pink would wear high heels the minute he could find a pair and tried on more lipstick and nail polish then i ever wear,,lol (ok so i gotta admit i wasnt crazy about that part myself but it has passed.. i almost miss those days.. so far we spent hours in the er thinking he broke an arm by jumping off his desk, almost a week in a soft cast for jumping off his top bunk so he could fly and a broken toe from trying to be some super hero. there are so many of them i cant keep track.. so becareful what you wish for.. i almost miss the days of high heels..LOL just kiddin

Isolin - posted on 06/06/2011

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Hi Carrie,
My 4 year old not only plays with dolls but he dresses up in my foot wear and have worn my clothes when he was 3. Men are always the 1st ones to panic about these things. Don't be troubled by your mother in law but support your son in play because they are not governed by the gender divide in toys and need to explore, investigate and play.

Amanda - posted on 06/05/2011

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Totally normal. My 3 yr old son loves nothing more than to play with his sisters dolls and set up tea parties. My daughter also loves playing with his wrestling men and cars. Toys are toys for kids.
We are going to a fancy dress party in a few weeks and my son told me he wants to go as a fairy or a ballerina

Sharon - posted on 06/05/2011

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Totally normal!! They are completely into role playing at this age. My son is 4 and a half and loves to play princesses with his little sister, but will turn around and they turn the play food in the kitchen into weapons and bombs, too. They just are trying to figure things out - how would a princess save the day? What would a policeman do to scare away the dragons? It has nothing to do with who they will become! And why shouldn't he play with Rapunzel? She's a strong heroine and your son is just seeing the world through her eyes. Do the other grown-ups really think your son is going to grow up and be Spider Man? No. So why would he grow up and be Jessie? Just a normal developmental phase that encourages empathy.

Heather - posted on 06/05/2011

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It is a complete phase. Tell your husband to relax, he has nothing to worry about. It's best not to put things in categories such as boy toys or girl toys because your son will play with them anyways to spite other people. Then it will only make him more curious. My father was told that when he was younger. He was told that he couldn't play with his sister's things because they were girl toys, and he was a boy. Now he has a few behaviors that he is in the closet about that he only recently told my sisters and I about. We don't ever tell our 3 1/2 year old son that there are boy toys and girl toys. We have a 22 month old baby girl, so of course he is going to push around a pink little tikes grocery cart, and push a baby stroller because those toys are just as cool to him as it is to play with Thomas or his Lightning McQueen Cars. Nothing wrong with it at all. My son even has his own boy cabbage patch doll, he calls it his baby, nothing wrong with that at all.

[deleted account]

It is just a phase. My daughter pretends she is a boy all the time and she will be 4 next week. My husband thinks it's wrong too, but I know better. She has 2 older brothers so of course she wants to act like a boy. She also likes to act like a princess.

Corinne - posted on 06/05/2011

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It's normal and telling him he can't play with certain toys will only confuse and upset him. My son is nearly 3yrs old and likes to play Rapunzel or fairies with his big sister but then, she will also play Transformers with him. My little boy is also going through a pink phase which my husband tried to stamp out until I pointed out 'it's just a colour'

[deleted account]

Tell your husband and his mom to suck it up and let your son play w/ whatever the heck he wants to.

Kristi - posted on 06/04/2011

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did he recently watch Tangled? I am sure it will pass. I don't have any girls but when we visit family my son plays with whatever his cousin (a girl) is playing with. i wouldn't worry too much-unless he is wearing dresses in middle school.

[deleted account]

There was a boy in my mom's day care that would pretend to be Buttercup from Powerpuff girls. It was something fun for him. He also played with toy guns and pretended he was a dinosaur. I wouldn't really worry about it.

Jennifer - posted on 06/03/2011

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OH, NO! I just gave my 5 1/2 year old Buzz Lightyear and Woody (the ones that talk and Buzz's wings pop out and laser lights up) for her 5th birthday and "RC" from the first two movies for Christmas, along with other toy story things during those two occassions! What was I thinking?! The horror! I must take them away from her (and my 20 1/2 month old daughter) right now before people question ME about THEM!....yeah, no.
Uhmn, yeah, Rapunzel is a girl movie just about as much as Toy Story was meant just for boys! Didn't YOU see the warning flash across the screen during the movie previews that this movie is strictly for boys / girls?!
I wouldn't worry about it. He's just barely even 4 and in no way is this foretelling the future. If he's got a bit of a feminine side, all the better: we could use guys with a bit more femininity! Then we could call those guys, men! And if he turns out to be homosexual or this that or the other? Well, taking away a toy isn't going to prevent that further down the road even if it does happen. In fact, preventing him from playing with the toys he's interested in, be it gender labeled or not, would probably do him more harm than good.
When I was a child I loved legos, I loved wooden trains, and some other things that boys frequently played with, and loved Barbies and some other things that girls more commonly were found playing with as well. Growing up as a child I was more of a tomboy than anything, as a teenager I got along with guys better than girls and now that I'm 27? I am more feminine now than I ever was from the time I was born to 19. So, really, what you play with as a child has nothing to do with how you turn out! And in case anyone was wondering lol yes, I like males! Might be how I ended up with two kids.... (:

Amanda - posted on 06/02/2011

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Totally normal, my son goes over to my friends house and the first thing he grabs is the pink vacuum... and now asks to play house( but that because he sees the girl doing it) and idoesn't know there is a difference between boy toys and girl toys... its our screwed up world that has pushed these views on us.... and children at this age are innocent, and its just
meaningless play..

Amber - posted on 06/02/2011

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I wouldn't worry to much. My son is almost 4 and loves playing dress up in his big sisters clothes. My husband is not thrilled about it but everyone (including his Dr.) says it's normal. I think they are just using there imaginations. It seems if my husband does say something my son does kind of get hurt feelings or he tries to hide it from him, which i don't think is good. I'd rather him be himself and I believe he will outgrow it. I do see why they like the girl stuff though, such pretty colors and usualy sparkley! LOL

Candice - posted on 06/02/2011

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Totally normal. Let him do it,kids don't need gender roles pushed on them. :)

Vicki - posted on 05/31/2011

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If any of your family bother you about it, get overly dramatic, slap your forehead, say 'OMG! Better take them off him or he'll be gay! Gay is bad! Stop him now!'

I get sarcastic with intolerance. I think it does more damage to a child to pigeonhole them into society's gender expectations to be honest. Ask your husband/family what they think will happen if he plays with 'girl' toys. Are they worried about homosexuality? Or that his penis will fall off? Or that he would be feminine? What's so wrong about feminine?

He's just being a kid, perfectly normal. It's society and our screwed up views of sex and gender that is wrong.

[deleted account]

The first thing that came to my mind was, "who cares?" Encourage him to play with whatever toys he finds interesting. Just because he's a boy doesn't mean he has to be rough and tough and masculine 24/7. Remember, he's just a kid! The worst thing you could do would be to make him feel bad about liking certain toys...that will just confuse him more. There is absolutely nothing wrong with him and yes, this is completely normal! Individuality is so important and if he doesn't 100% fit into the mold of the "typical boy" I would celebrate that, not discourage it!

Anne - posted on 05/31/2011

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I wouldn't worry too much, it's a phase. My 4-year old loves Dora and his favorite colors are pink and red - the only colors he uses when coloring! He also loves to wear my shoes. But, he also loves Thomas the tank engine and goes crazy over monster trucks.
My daughter on the other hand also plays with Thomas and her brother's Lego castle, but likes Barbie and make up.
Latest when your son starts school and the group separates into boys and girls, he will figure it out. I wouldn't make too much of a deal about it.

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