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Late

Wow. I really didn't mean to not blog today. I swear it's not a sign of me losing interest, I just had a bit of a busy morning so it didn't happen.

Then I sat down to read a book and next thing I knew it was lunch time and I realized I hadn't blogged.

So we'll have a discussion today, shall we?

What would you do if you had a son who loved to wear dresses, play with dolls and pretend to be a princess? Would you be worried? Would you forbid it? Would you pray that it would just pass?

Thoughts?

Comments

Claire W said…
I think a lot of that depends on the child's age. There is a big difference from a preschooler/early elem kid doing that versus a 5th grader. I would honestly say that it will just pass on its own. I had a friend growing up that really loved girly stuff and carried himself very effeminately. I would have bet a lot of money back then that he was gay. Maybe he is, maybe he isn't, but he's married with several kids now and I know his wife must feel very lucky to have a husband who can make professional quality cakes and do the girl's hair like none other. I know his parent's never discouraged him from learning the more "womanly" things, like awesome cake skills, from his mother but he wasn't out there in skirts and make-up either.

I think that most of the discomfort people feel about boys being interested in more "female" hobbies/toys/outfits/whatever is that it might mean they are gay. As far as I can tell, people like what they like and toy preferences aren't necessarily harbingers of gayness. With that said, I think it's important for parents to teach what is socially acceptable. Crimson went through a five year phase of wearing only boy clothes. I know it is different with girls, but I still had to tell her "if I let you wear boy clothes most days, you will not fight me about wearing a dress to church, to holiday parties, for pictures, or anything other time that I tell you it is appropriate to wear a dress" and she agreed and has kept that promise and never put up a fuss. I see nothing wrong with a little boy playing princess, but at the same time I think it's best to tell the boy that it is not appropriate to wear the princess outfit to the grocery store. It's not necessary to make him feel bad by saying "because it is for girls" as I'm sure a sibling or playmate will catch him up on that one! I think something like "boys must wear regular pants outside of the house" is a fair enough statement of society's expectations, akin to "girls must wear a modest dress to church". No biggie :)

Oh, if a person just can't hang with the boy playing princess, if he's old enough to talk it out, I think it might help to ask what about the princess thing he enjoys and see if you can find those same qualities (let's say shiny) in a more boyish toy (something chrome looking that lights up?). I would think outright forbidding it would just cause him to be very confused about why sisters/girls can play with things but he can't, assuming he's at an age where he doesn't quite get the real distinctions between boys and girls yet (tends to happen around age 4 or so).

All bets are off with this advice if you tell me we are discussing a 5th grader :P
Jill said…
My younger brother (2 years younger) played everything with me--which meant we played dress up and barbies. He loved to wear dresses (we have many pictures of him in my bright pink skirts, old dresses of my moms, etc) and even owned his on barbies. We both had our own Hart Family. I actually would get jealous at Christmas because one year he got a new Ken doll and clothes for his barbies that I liked better (he had broken my Ken's head off a while back, so I thought it was unfair). When I was in fourth grade and he in 1st, I decided I shouldn't play with my little brother any more and essentially "broke up" with him. Now he is a very manly man--enjoying mountain biking, crazy stunts and doesn't wear anything pink. He does sew, but it's to make special outdoor sweatshirts that he can't find anywhere else. He served in the Army as a guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington (my mom says his former love of playing dress up showed in his pristine uniform).
I wouldn't worry too much... hope a real life example helps :)

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