my son wants to wear his sister's clothes...

Monica - posted on 05/30/2010 ( 53 moms have responded )

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So my son is almost 4. He thinks it's great when he wears his little sister's clothes... And he's asked me to put pigtails in his hair a couple times!! I don't know if he realizes that they're "girl" clothes, or if he thinks they're "baby" clothes... But now he wants to wear her purple halter top outside!! What do i do?!?!

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Dawn - posted on 05/30/2010

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So what if he does? To him it's just dress up.

What does it matter if he goes outside? If other people have issues with it they have sad little lives! Take a deep breath and chill about it, there are more important things to worry about.

Joanna - posted on 05/30/2010

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I saw a little boy in a tutu the other day, he was probably 3-4, and it was adorable. To me it's just the same as seeing a little boy in his superman halloween costume out grocery shopping. They want to pretend, but they also want to be able to make their own choices. So maybe try to find a balance, since nothing of his sister's fits him... maybe go to a used children's clothes store and let him pick out an item of clothing (Regardless of what it is) and let him know if the weather is right he can wear it out (no pink sparkly tank top in winter, dude, but summer is all right!) :)

Janine - posted on 06/02/2010

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Talk with him about girls and boys stuff, toys, songs, music, ballet, football. So he really sees the difference. I know his age but also on that age you can have love feelings, maybe he saw a girl who wear something like it and he would like to fit in her caractere? Or maybe he wants to have more attention from you, because his younger sister came on the seen and he lost a bit of your interest? Or maybe he really is a girl inside.
As long as he feels good and is not really disturbed by it i would let him be. :)

Cassandra - posted on 06/02/2010

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Hey there,

I work in childcare and its perfectly natural for little boys to dress up, You have nothing to worry about he just wants to see what all the fuss is about :) i have seen perfectly boyish boys dress up and it never hurt them. Dont discourage this behaviour because it may backfire let him prance around in girls clothing :) And let him know that it is fun to dress up but we do it in play

Sarah - posted on 05/31/2010

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As long as your rules are consistent, then I have no problems with them. I know that he will be teased, and I understand why you wouldn't want that for him. It just makes me mad that the world won't just let kids be kids. But, I am a realist and I know that he Will be teased. I think you are doing the right thing in allowing him to express his individuality, but there is nothing wrong in setting boundaries. You are the parent and if you say dress up is for inside the house- so be it. Maybe if you let him have more input in the purchasing of his regular clothes he will be more ok with them?

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Fiona - posted on 09/28/2011

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If they don't fit him, I'd just go pick out a "special" outfit with him. It may not even be about them being girl clothes. I kind of suspect he might be wanting to be the baby. But either way, I don't think it really matters. Just let him wear what he wants (as long as he's not physically uncomfortable). He's not even 4 yet!

Stifler's - posted on 09/28/2011

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He just wants to be like his sister. It's harmless fun and probably a phase.

Dana - posted on 06/15/2010

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As a side note, try getting a dressup box for the house. With old halloween costumes, check thrift shops for things that are odd. Hats and boots are wonderful. I found with my son it was more about something odd. Ofcourse he wore boots with shorts one summer for a couple weeks, but it was better than him wanting to wear girls clothes out. He'll grow out of it, its just a phase.

Cassandra - posted on 06/15/2010

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Yes we dressed up my brother and let him take himself out .. so if that answers your question then yes it wont make a difference .. If your daughter wanted to wear boyish clothes out would you let her??? then do the same for your son!! We are only trying to help you out no need to get crabby with us ... Its is just clothes nothing will happen to him if he dresses up!!

Lorraine - posted on 06/02/2010

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Maybe just distinguish the difference between girl and boy clothes. Let him know girls wear lots of pink and boy have clothes that are unique also. Maybe find some toys or cartoon characters he is interested in and look for clothes with those characters on them and say for example if its Cars that girls dont usually play with cars b/c thats something boys usually do so it would be rare to find a girl wearing a shirt with cars on it, as it would be seeing a boy wearing a pink shirt with princess' on it. I hope that helps in some way!

Monica - posted on 06/02/2010

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Ok I have said a million times I know its harmless play but can ppl please specify if when they say their boys do it too if you let them in public!? This is my question. I know its harmless!! Emilie does your son wear a tutu and heels OUT?? My son loved wearing my heels when he was 18 months I have absolutely no prob with that!!!

Emilie - posted on 06/02/2010

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It's really harmless - I have twins almost 3 years old - a girl and boy - he likes to wear her tutu and carry her purse and wear my high heels - it's just in good fun even if my husband is mortified - he'll stop soon - not a big deal...

Monica - posted on 06/02/2010

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My son and daughter get equal attention for sure and he knows he gets things that she doesn't sometimes cuz he's bigger! He's never had a prob withh having a baby sister he loves it! His wanting to dress up is in no way a problem or disturbing I just didn't kno if I shud let him t outside because I don't want him teased and or labeled

Monica - posted on 06/02/2010

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My son and daughter get equal attention for sure and he knows he gets things that she doesn't sometimes cuz he's bigger! He's never had a prob withh having a baby sister he loves it! His wanting to dress up is in no way a problem or disturbing I just didn't kno if I shud let him t outside because I don't want him teased and or labeled

Monica - posted on 06/02/2010

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My son and daughter get equal attention for sure and he knows he gets things that she doesn't sometimes cuz he's bigger! He's never had a prob withh having a baby sister he loves it! His wanting to dress up is in no way a problem or disturbing I just didn't kno if I shud let him t outside because I don't want him teased and or labeled

Darlene - posted on 06/01/2010

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I have a 6yr old boy 4yr girl and 2yr boy and they are forever wearing each others clothes, just recently my boys have been asking for ponytails aswell cause they like all the pretty stuff I put in my daughters hair and I just reasure them that girls have the long pretty hair and boys get to have short hair and some really cool styles (the trick is to change their style every so often either by getting it cut or trying hair gel and spiking it etc)... it's something they all go thru and will eventually grow out of. If he still insists in wearing girly clothes when he is around age 8 or more then u can seek some professional help... but right now it's all good! Hope I have helped in someway :o)

Monica - posted on 06/01/2010

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ok i'm not forcing him to stop, at all!!! I'm talking about out in public... ???

April - posted on 06/01/2010

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Let it be what it will be. In the end it is he that needs to decide. We all like to dress up at one time or another and forcing him to stop will only make it seem wrong.

Jen - posted on 06/01/2010

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i have 4 brothes n one sister n one of my brothers used to like dressing up as a girl wen he was little my mom just went with it and he grown out of.

Charity - posted on 06/01/2010

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I would go with it. If you try to fight it he may think that it is something he will have to "sneak." I bet if you just let him express himself, he will end the phase when he is ready.

Katriina - posted on 05/31/2010

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My 3-year old son wears his sisters' (who's 4-years old) clothes all the time - and the next moment he takes up a sword (any pointy toy will do as a sword ;) and starts to fight against a dragon which seem to run thru our house on daily basis... And he still might be wearing a girlie clothing.
So, I guess boys all around the globe do that (we live in Finland). And I bet it wont last - I'm happy that gets to be a child and play different kinds of things. :)

Monica - posted on 05/31/2010

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thanks for ur support, and he loves his regular clothes!!! He had like a zillion muscle shirts , loves wearing shorts, loves his summer clothes, but yes i do think it's a good idea to let him pick out something different... we always let him pick what he wants though. It's not like he's obsessed with dressing like a girl (lol) he just asked me that one time to wear the outfit he thought was funny cuz it was a baby's outside and i didn't know what to do!! I didn't want to just say NO. But i do think of what could happen and like i said b4 the neighbourhood kids around here might not be the nicest of kids who knows and he'll be going to school with them... I talked to my mom also and she feels the same way, it's not that it's a big deal, and i will let him wear whatever he wants mostly, but not something that could seriously hurt him emotionally!! Words stick with you for years, and can change who you are :S

Monica - posted on 05/31/2010

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it IS too bad, but my thing is i don't want my son to get teased and i feel he's too young to realize what consequenses it could hold... Since it's not a big deal, i think that "dress up" should be in the house and only outside for halloween!! If i let him, should i let him at school too?? NO. My daughter will have the same rule dress up inside because then they'll start wanting to take out whatever they feel like dressing in, my stuff, whatever.

Krista - posted on 05/31/2010

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I know, Sarah. It's sad, really. If a girl that age wanted to wear boys' clothes, nobody would think anything of it. But boys have pressure to be "masculine", even at that young of an age.

Sarah - posted on 05/31/2010

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Food for Thought:
-Until World War II it was not socially acceptable for a woman (or girl) to wear pants.
-How many women on here dressed up as "men" in dress up as children? (cops, fireman, indians, etc)
- How many women were "tomboys" as children?

Zoe - posted on 05/31/2010

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My boyfriend was like that wen he was a baby the midwife just let him do it cause he will only wanna do it foe a while...

TARA - posted on 05/31/2010

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funny, but we are there too! I think he thinks queens and princesses are badasses! hopefully they will out grow it!

Monica - posted on 05/31/2010

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ok thanks again everybody!! i will let him wear whatever he wants for dress up time inside or outside and i will relax about it and just let it be.

Sharice - posted on 05/31/2010

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Let him but explains that they r girl clothes. He will grow out of it. When my second son was 2 he asked santa for a barbie beach. I got it for him and not that he is 13 he cant believe he had a barbie. He also can't remember telling me he wanted to be a drag queen when he grew up. lol

Krista - posted on 05/30/2010

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True -- a lot of rock stars do paint their nails. You could get him more "boyish" colours like green, blue or black.

I wish I knew what advice to give you. On one hand, I think your boy should be allowed to wear whatever he darned well pleases. But I can understand your concerns about teasing and about wearing clothes that don't fit or aren't occasion-appropriate. I guess all that you can do is pick your battles and maybe put your foot down if he wants to wear something that's ill-fitting or that isn't appropriate for the weather or the activity, but otherwise, let him fly his flag.

Monica - posted on 05/30/2010

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rock stars paint their nails!!! ooooh i love that!! Lol. i don't know i guess everyone has diff "things" for diff reasons, the way they were brought up or the way they want their kids brought up!!! If he was 7 and telling me this, i would let him wear what he wants to wear. But he's not even 4 yet. I just want to protect him... But at the same time i agree w/most of the women who are saying it's not a big deal!!! If i saw another boy wearing a dress, i'd probably laugh, but i mean then whatever. I wouldn't think much of it , or say omg or anything. But with my own son, i just think there should be some sort of line that he has to (unfortunately) conform to, in order to be a functionning member of society?? :S booo. lol.

[deleted account]

Monica, I personally would never paint my sons nails, not even clear. A few little boys have come in to the daycare with their nails painted and all of the teachers always freak out. I guess it's because society has set us up to feel like genders have sertain roles that they need to stick to. I live in the south and it's all about being a manly man down here. So, boys wearing girls clothes and such is not acceptable. I had a family pull their son out of the daycare becasue he peed his pants and the only extra clothes we had were girls shorts so that's what we put on him. i think weraing a dress or pink shorts and purple top is no different than painting his nails. how are you going to tell him that those clothes are for girls only when you paint his nails, which is supposed to be for girls?

Monica - posted on 05/30/2010

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does no one think that toe nail polish (which my son has been doing with me, matching alot of the time:P) and wearing pink short shorts out are kind of different?? Like is wearing a dress equivalent to nail polish... i don't really think so :S i don't know!!! But i mean yes i would let him wear a cape, or a weird hat out, or backwards pants lol.... BUT i wouldn't let him wear a mask out, i don't know why. He's a boy!! Shouldn't I be protecting him at his young age?? I'm really thinking of him like losing potential friends and stuff, that must be ridiculous :S I just want the best for him!!

Abbie - posted on 05/30/2010

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My son also wants ponytails, knows where ear rings to and pretends to wear make up ( he sits in the sink infront of me while I get ready.) Also right now he is running around iwht green toenail polish on, because when I was doing mine he demanded to have his done, pale green was all i could fine other then bold red or dark brown......lol

I wouldn't worry! Really let him explore.

Michelle - posted on 05/30/2010

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haha....i have three boys who like to get into their sisters nail polish.....the four year old sounds exactly like your little man....who cares.....i try to encourage all my kids to think outside the square a bit....otherwise they may end up being judgemental of others differences and that is not something i want for them....the world is too diverse these days to judge anyone on anything i think!!

Monica - posted on 05/30/2010

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lol :P
thank you all for the advice, i was looking for a way to smooth this over with my son and figure out maybe new ideas and it has helped... I will always accept my son as he is or wants to be... He had a phase and still likes wearing my nail polish, and i've always let him. He played with my hairbands... when he was 18 months he would walk around in my heels!!! LOL. i never minded of course.. But to me, wearing pink short shorts and a purple halter w/a pink flower on it is just like wearing a dress (or tutu :P) and i just don't want him to be "the boy who thinks he's a girl" or "the boy who dresses like a girl" because i know he's just playing, but kids can be mean and he will be going to school with alot of the kids who are in his neighbourhood, and if i let him once, where will it end??? That is how i feel... So hopefully he can go through this phase with his family, because he's not old enough to protect himself from mean ppl :( ♥
some family members were really mean about him wearing nail polish (screw them!!) but imagine them seeing him in girl clothes, head to toe?!?! no thanks!

Teirdre - posted on 05/30/2010

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hey monica

well its normal for kids to experience diference things so dont worry he will grow out of it.

but i would skip the pig tails. he he

Amy - posted on 05/30/2010

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You can set rules like he can't dress like that for school, but I'm pretty sure the sooner you stop fighting it the quicker he'll get over it! Also if another kid asks you simply reply I don't know he chose it you'll have to ask him. As far as his father goes what he does now is in no way a reflection of how he's going to dress 15 years from now and even if it is you'll still love him for all that he is!

[deleted account]

Ok, so I guess I am close-minded because I would not only discourage the behavior but i would not allow it. I know that children do play dress-up and and it doesn't really matter to them what gender the clothing is meant for and that you aren't supposed to discourage imaginative play. But i have a friend whose son started out wanting to dressup in girl clothes. It then went to he always walked arund with a towel on his head saying it was his long hair, then he started pretending to be a girl. Now he is 7 and he claims that he wants to be a girl. I know that it could be a case of GID (Gender Identity Disorder) but it could be just because he was never discouraged from dressing like a girl. The bible says that a man should not wear garments that pertainith to a woman and vice versa. When my son tried to paly dress up I bought him boy dressup clothes and if he asked for something that was girly I just told him. That's for a girl and you are a boy and left it at that.

Monica - posted on 05/30/2010

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Lol I've never seen a little boy do that! I let walk around without a shirt and I get funny looks and kids ask me "why isn't he wearing a shirt?". I can just imagine what wud happen ina tutu LOL. I'm sure u guys are rite and I need to get over my discomfort because it shud be his choice!! But what about preskool?? And I kno I'd hear it from his dad if I let him...

Monica - posted on 05/30/2010

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I kno he's smart but I also don't let him go out in just his underwear or with shorts and no underwear so sayin his 18 month old sis clothes are 2 small isn't really a stretch by any means! I do want him to be independant, he IS! If he wanted a pink shirt that fits him, fine! but for me, dress up is somethinng for inside the house

Julie - posted on 05/30/2010

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I agree with let him do it. He'll get a few bites on his belly...proving the point. My 5 y.o. insisted all his pants had to be on backwards when he was 4. Same thing, he kept doing it until we just gave up. We realized eventually it would just be uncomfortable enough and he would stop. he did.

Melissa - posted on 05/30/2010

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First you gotta laugh its really kinda cute, don't sweat the small stuff!!!

Amy - posted on 05/30/2010

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You've told him he can wear them at the house but not outside, and the reasoning is they're too small. He's 4 they're smarter than you think and they're trying to establish there independence! He knows it bothers you because he can wear them inside but not out, once they know you have a problem with it they keep doing it because they're trying to establish independence. For example my son insists on wearing his sandals on the wrong feet because he knows it bothers his father and he doesn't understand what the big deal is. My son now wants to wear headbands because his new baby sister has them, I don't care so it's a non issue. Let him do it people will probably laugh at him and he'll love it!

Monica - posted on 05/30/2010

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Anyways i wudnt mind if it was to the park or sumthing but we're going on a nature walk with a guide and group and i told him mosquitos are gona bite his belly lol the clothes ARE too small!!! LOL

Monica - posted on 05/30/2010

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lol i'm don't need a deep breath i'm not worried about it, i don't want to tell him what to wear and what not to wear, but i also don't want him being subjected to stupid ppl u know?? I love him and i want him happy!!! He's too young to realize and i want to protect him!!

Monica - posted on 05/30/2010

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i told him that it's ok to play dress up in the house but not outside, and also that they're too small for him and he's going to stretch them... He refuses, he wants to wear them out, saying please please and he says it's ok if the other ppl think he's a girl, even though i didn't mention that again...

Monica - posted on 05/30/2010

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thanks guys!! but i don't think he likes the colour pink, i think it's more the baby clothes. But i tell him "you know those are kinda girl clothes, ppl mite think ur a girl when we go out..." and he says "that's ok!" LOL. He has loads of tank tops/muscle shirts, he loves em it's all he'll wear, and he loves monster trucks and all that... But he doesn't like gel in his hair or anything, he doesn't even like me playing with it i've tried that!!! But honestly he wants to go out in his sisters halter top and pink shorts cuz he thinks it's funny they're baby clothes... should i let him!?

Sandra - posted on 05/30/2010

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My son went through a phase like that too. He wanted to wear dresses like his little cousin. Girls clothing is a lot more interesting then boys and there is so much variety. If you are not comfortable with him in the tank top outside then see if you can get him a boys tan top.
The thing with the pony tails is probably because you are spending time with your daughter doing her hair and no time with him doing his hair. If you took some time to put gel in his hair or do his hair he wouldn't want pony tails.

Don't worry about it at all. All boy do this at some point in their lives.

Faith - posted on 05/30/2010

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maybe its just the "baby clothes" i know when we are in stores and stuff, my son grabs pink clothes. i think if he really wants to wear it, try to find a boys pink shirt...its even in style these days for males to wear pink...as the saying goes: real men where pink!! HAHA... could even find a shirt these days that say it...good luck!

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