3 Specific Questions About my Princess Boy

Kristen - posted on 07/14/2011 ( 4 moms have responded )




Hi Madres. My husband and I love our theatrical, energetic five year old.  He loves to make up stories, do dramatic play, and listen to chapter books. He is (sometimes delightfully) opinionated about what to wear.

His interests orbit around princess stories, designing clothes, tinkerbell, and he is a great appreciator of feminine beauty.

Since this situation is densely packed with a can of glitter pink worms, my hope in this question to fellow moms is fairly limited.  It is grounded in these decisions we've already made:
1) testing limits and relationship norms, kids are bound to be mean at times.
2) we allow our son to wear dresses at home. We received a trunk of dress up clothes from a friend of his, they were intended for his younger sister.  But even before these clothes arrived, our son would ask me to tie his baby blankets around him "like a dress"
3) "don't encourage it!"-my mother's advice.  We have noticed that doting parents go to great lengths to affirm and develop their children's interests. Why else would there be moms and grannies packing up and paying hundreds of dollars to attend the American Girl conference, where they can buy outfits for the doll they own that looks like them?  Why else would toy and party stores sell all things spider man?
4) I am no longer asking why its empowering for my son's friend Olivia to have a spiderman birthday party (and thomas the year before) but emasculating for our son to have a princess or tinkerbell birthday party.
5) we know our son is "a great kid, so happy, bright, articulate" as friends have said.
6) we've read a ton and know that it's not our job right now, as parents, to"figure out what this is.". He doesn't even know.  Could be that he is in the future a straight gay or transgendered adult.  Right now, it's gender variant behavior.

So, here are my questions:
1. Our friend's daughter in Disney Dance Camp with him, was almost in tears at dinner last night, telling her mom how mean the other girls were to my son. (he wears a white shirt, black shorts, boys tap and jazz shoes). I have checked with the teacher and she has said there was a little bit of meaness, which she felt she handled....I am mostly interested in what they are saying and how to equip him with resilience to respond.  I don't want to talk to her to prevent it, but there's a tv where u can see them.
2. What do you tell your kids when/if they talk to you or ask ??s about boys like mine?

Thanks for sharing your thoughts.



Jenn - posted on 07/14/2011




A dear friend of mine has a child just like yours! He loved dressing in her clothes, put on her makeup, wore his hair long, etc. He did that until he started first grade. Now he's still very theatrical and loves pretty things but for whatever reason he's conformed to what is considered "boyish". My friend has never discouraged her son from being who he truly is and he's happy, doing well in school and still has friends who are girls AND boys. Her son at least knows that his family accepts him...all of him...always. Maybe that's the best you can do.

As for other parents, me included, we should always teach our children that everyone is different. I work with my girls to be accepting of everyone, no matter how they dress, how they behave or if they are phsyically different than them in any way. If our society is to involve into a more accepting and loving one, it starts with the parents. Unfortunately, the ADULTS in our society are the worst at judging and condemning. Children ask questions or are curious but can generally accept the reality we're all individuals. Many adults can't.

Christy - posted on 07/14/2011




You will disagree with some of what I say as I have an old fashioned mind set. I would encourage what I suppose society refers to as male gendered things.....sports, toys, etc. in addition to what he is into now. Unfortunately most of society today isn't ready for what they perceive as the non norm. That being said that is probably why your son is being picked on in his class, and quite possibly may be picked on indefinitely. Not saying you should do an about face and take away all that he loves. Encourage him to be strong and have self confidence, no matter what and take it with a grain of salt. The more he lets things bother him in an a obvious manner (in case he is getting upset when the other girls are mean to him) leaves him open to get picked on even more. If he is handling it well, then good for him. If it continues, though I would suggest talking to the teacher and/or the parents of the girls picking on him.

We tend to hurt for our children as much if not more so than they are. Don't let him know how much it is bothering you, and maintain open communication with him as you have done. Good luck to you and your boy!


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Belinda - posted on 10/05/2014




Hi Kristen. My daughter is 15, and has recently decided to become an a-gender individual. They have struggled for more than half their life about this, and it probably all started close to the age your son is right now. We never even considered that this could have been an issue for our child growing up, as they were discovering as they went along, and for us it was all an internal process.
I am still trying to understand the ins and outs of it all.
All I know is at this point my child is different, and all they are asking for is to be accepted no matter what. Providing answers to children about your son should always be stated in a way that you are totally open and accepting about him no matter what. That way no matter what the answer is, you are opening the door for these questioning children to be open and accepting about him, no matter what colour he likes to choose, or how he chooses to express himself for a given time. The common thread that we share is that our children are going to be up for a long hard climb to finally fully accept themselves and stand up for who they are because there will be many, including people responding to your questions right here who will just not understand.

Krista - posted on 07/14/2011




Hi Kristen,

Unfortunately, our society still does have a herd mentality, and anybody who is different often receives a fair amount of flak for it.

It takes a strong kid with a lot of support to be able to withstand that type of thing. I LIKE to think that kids today are more open-minded than previous generations were, but that could be wishful thinking.

With regards to your questions, I think that the way to equip him with resilience is to be open and frank with him. Tell him that it's totally cool that he likes what he likes, but that, as he probably knows, some people won't understand and will tease him. Try role-playing. Talk to his friends' parents and ask them to talk to their kids about sticking up for a friend who is being bullied (it's easier to be resilient when you have support). Be there, and listen, and be vigilant with his teachers to make sure that they're not putting up with any intolerance from the kids.

As far as question #2 goes, I haven't run into that situation yet, as my son is not even 2. However, I do plan on fully emphasizing to him that everybody has different interests, and that there are NO interests that are inherently "masculine" or "feminine", and that if someone isn't hurting him, then he's to let them do their thing and be happy.

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