4 year old boy wants to play with girl things!

TP - posted on 01/26/2015 ( 9 moms have responded )

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Our 4 year old boy usually always seems to gravitate towards playing with barbies & princesses! If we take him to the toy store he always goes straight to the girls dept and wants a princess. This is starting to make my husband upset. Our son also likes boy things such as kicking the soccer ball around, wrestling and so on. Any thoughts on this subject?

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Ev - posted on 01/26/2015

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It is honestly normal for boys to want to play with girls' things and for girls to play with boys' things. There IS NOTHING WRONG WITH IT. Parents make a very big deal out of a natural curiosity that each child has. Allowing them to play with either set of toys helps them in their imaginative play and learning problem solving skills through PLAY. That is what the toys are for. Playing with toys meant more for girls or boys does not mean there is something wrong with the child. I do not know who decided that certain toys were for boys and girls but I can give you some examples of boys that played with girl toys and are sound minded men. My father played with his sister's dolls. When a boy does that he gets to play daddy to the doll and it helps to nurture him in the care of a child like a real father would do. He might learn to be more sensitive. My kids' one cousin wanted to have a kitchen playset (considered a girl's toy) and his dad was against it until he found out his son wanted to play restaurant. Again, he was not being girly and there are male chefs. My own son who played with his sister's shoes trying them on and wearing them around the house because he preferred them to dad's or mine because they fit better; took his sister's barbie dolls and used them to push around in his toy cars they fit; who suggested to his sis that her barbie dolls marry his GI Joe; and who played with his girl cousins' toys at their house because that was all there was. Today he is just fine. I think parents are afraid if their kids play with toys more meant for the opposite sex, that there is something wrong with that child. There is nothing wrong. Its natural to want to play with all kinds of things.

Ev - posted on 01/27/2015

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TP--

I was glad to do that. We (those that have been here a while) have seen this question a lot. I gave examples from my own family because I felt that it would give an impression that might stand out. I also used to work with kids with special needs and even the boys with those special needs would also play with the kitchen, dress up, dolls and other girl like toys. The girls would also play with the boy like toys. To me a toy is a toy. Its how the child explores the world and learns. If they were only allowed the toys related to what the child is, it would hinder them greatly in that exploration of their world.

Amy - posted on 01/26/2015

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My son's favorite color is pink and he is 10 years old, to which this bothers my fiance. I say it takes a real man to like pink and wear it. I agree with those below, tell your husband to get over it. You should love your son no matter what he plays with, inform that to your husband. As Jodi says kids dont care what they play especially at age 4.

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TP - posted on 01/27/2015

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Interesting that you bring that up because he is a special needs child so we were thinking maybe this was a reason why he is attracted to dolls & princesses, not sure what the connection would be but that was sort of our thinking? Maybe some type of sensory issue with the hair and the shiny things? At times he just seems to be a little too consumed with the whole princess thing. At first it didn't seem like a big deal but as time goes on he wants to wear my shoes (heels or boots for play) and it just is starting to seem like maybe it's getting a little out of control? Sometimes it's hard when they are still small to know when do you draw the line? I was a tom-boy growing up but I still loved my barbies! But for my son, for some reason right now it's the barbie or princess like 80% of the time. He loves to rough house so he already shows a lot of masculine qualities but also loves princess crowns! I have to admit because he seems a little consumed with it I am starting to get a little concerned. It's especially hard when he is a special needs child to know how to handle this. I just don't want him to continue to want to play with barbies as he gets older. I was thinking of maybe just consulting with a psychologist just for a professional opinion. I was researching this and Dr. Phil came up and I guess there was a family who had this same concern about their son and his advice was to take all the girl type toys away from him. Not saying he's 100% right but I just want to do what's right for him as a growing young male and for him to not be confused by male and female roles.

TP - posted on 01/27/2015

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Thank you Evelyn, your post was very informative & allowed me to think that a good majority of boys probably do go through this phase. Thanks again for taking the time to also give me the examples. It was very helpful!

Jodi - posted on 01/26/2015

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Your husband needs to grow up. Who says they are girl things? Is a soccer ball a boy thing? Actually it isn't. Girls play soccer too. It is only society that imposes a perception on what is a boy toy and what is a girl toy, but honestly, kids don't care!! And neither they should.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with a boy playing with "girl" toys - it is their way of exploring the world and all boys do it.

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