5 1/2 year old boy showing weird interest in other boys
My husband and I have been having some high anxiety because we're worried our 5 1/2 year old is exhibiting same sex attraction. The other day he told us he thought a boy in his class was cute then the other night in the grocery store we were on the aisle with the hair products and there were rows and rows of hair dye with pictures of women (with beautiful hair of course.) Only one box had a male model. My 5 year old asks his 3 year old brother-- which one do you want to marry? I have no idea what my 3 year old said, but my 5 year old loudly says, I want to marry the boy right there-- and points to the one box with the male model. I nearly burst into tears in the grocery store. Should I be worried? What sorts of follow up questions are appropirate to ask a child of that age to get a better idea about what they mean when they say stuff like that?
Is this a passing fad or the result of the influence of an older child (emo kid?) or a role model who is gay? If your child really is gay or this becomes more than a fad, I'd say that the most important thing would be acceptance from family. I would also, think that the child as well as you would need therapy to prepare the child to discover and accept who he is without shame and guilt while simultaneously preparing this boy to exist in a society that is unfortunately often times biased against homosexuality. I myself am not homosexual, but I do have interest (my other post) that would chap the posteriors of those who believe in Victorian era sexuality. I advice against Christian therapist because they tend to believe that homosexuality is an abomination to god. History records that the bible has been edited on more than one occasion. Yet overzealous Christian idiots cannot usually tell one: when the bible was edited or when it was edited; how or when it was used (or misused) to control societies. Growing evidence suggest that homosexuality may be genetic. Check out Howard Hughes medical Institute and gay mice. When in the next five to ten years, homosexuality's genetic causes are mapped and discovered, the bible will say that homosexuality is an abomination to god, which will then mean that those born with certain genetic characteristics are an abomination to god, which would not be very godly at all. In other words, find a competent secular therapist for you and your child if this condition continues and above all, love and support your child, for if he truly is gay, he will need all the unbiased, unconditional love a child can get to face a world that is too often bigoted against those who are sexually different. Good luck and I hope it all works out for you!! :)
You could talk to a therapist, I do think some adults who are gay will tell you that they always knew, or that they always did relate romantically and sexually to the same sex, from an early age. It's not like little boys of 5 have overt sexual feelings, but I do think kids at 5 have romantic feelings (however vaguely they might picture romantic love working in practice). I certainly know I did when I was no older than kindergarten -- I was all about wanting to marry the prince in my Walt Disney book of Cinderella.
A group you could look up the website of is PFLAG, which is Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays. I haven't seen their site, but it would surprise me a lot if they don't have a FAQ section, and some of your questions might be answered there. When one of my sisters came out, my parents found a lot of help there.
And as a_184cm_ef says, the best and only thing you can do is love your child and act unalarmed at who he is. All the research is saying that being gay is an inborn thing, not changeable, not learned. The difficulty will be for him to learn that many people think it's not OK. Especially, gay teenagers face real difficulties (the suicide rate is very high) and the support of parents can make all the difference.
Take care, I hope you get good answers from a counselor.
Honestly, I wouldn't worry about this. He may or may not be gay but I wouldn't try to figure it out today at 5. There are posts here all the time from people siting things that their boys do that are feminine or something the parents question-------- and they are things that I've seen a lot of little boys do that grow up to be heterosexual. Do we really need to decide a person's sexuality at 5? I don't think so, personally. See how it unfolds. Your best bet is to keep him involved in decidedly kid things like playing outside with other kids, doing arts and crafts, music, sports, etc. I wouldn't worry about who he is going to marry just yet nor should he. So try not to worry------ what will be will be---------- and focus on giving him all of the kid like experiences he needs to be a well rounded person. (not saying you don't by the way---------- just saying, some things are out of your control and some things aren't. I stop talk of who we are going to marry as I had a kindergartner last year crying because a girl said she wouldn't marry him. Yeesh. Broken hearted at 5. So . . . I have tried to help my kids understand they worry about kid things and not things they do as grown ups and haven't had an issue since.) I'm sure you'll love your son no matter what his gender preference is as an adult . . . so try to relax during these years. He has a long way to go before he has to be one thing or another. good luck
Before you asked that question did you ask your self "would I still love him"? I have an issue with being blunt, so sorry. What would you do about it any way? Try to fix something thats not broke is kinda pointless.
Now... He's five.. Kids test waters as we all did and do. Spend more time thinking about your reactions other than his actions. My daughter is 4 and loves trucks and wants to be a BOY pirate for Halloween, and the kicker is she wants to marry snowwhite because shels pretty. Not concerned about her being lesbian.. Actually didnt cross my mind till now. Im more worried about her getting in to drugs, or a bad relationship later in life. Hes just 5.. He will do it more if you react to it, they thrive off of our reactions. Let them be kids with supportive parents..
Thanks for all the comments.
The question was never, 'will I love him less?' My self-queries are more along the lines of-- 'how is this making him feel?'
He just started a new school (kindergarten) and left the warm confines of a beloved early learning center and he has yet to make any friends. Every day he tells me that he does not have friends. When I drop him off, his isolation is apparent. There are other kids in the room, but he just puts his backpack up and then either goes to his seat or stares at something on a display board until the teacher herds them off to where she wants them to be.
When his classmates are running and playing tag, he doesn't participate. When I ask why, he says 'because they are already playing with other people.' However, he tells me he LOVES school.
Its almost like self-imposed isolation. All the other kids seem friendly. Clearly, I am more worried about 'real' problems-- an unwanted/inappropriate touch, drugs, bullying, etc. But I also do not want to be dismissive of his emotional well being.
Additionally, my husband and I had a heart to heart about how to react when/if he says anything else alarming about liking a boy. We want to ask a couple follow up questions, without it seeming weird.
My main priority is helping him grow into a happy, confident, kind and successful adult with a career he enjoys and a constructive lifestyle-- whether that is traditional or non-traditional, who cares. I just want to see how he feels about the things that he is saying. Does he really feel that way and says the things to see how me and my husband will react? Is he just trying to be different to, as one parent put it, 'test boundaries?' Is he just an open kid who would describe girl or boy as "cute" if that's what he thought? Who knows. But coupled with the isolation, I am just a little worried.
Hi. I get it completely. I think I would look at it this way to start with---------- worry less about his comments about boys and more about helping him improve his social skills and friendships in the new school. I have a kindergartener myself--------- he can be a little shy and not want to join in sometimes. He also likes girls and girl games as much as boy stuff. He's always had female friends and he'll play dolls and dress up (in girl stuff), etc. as much as he'll play star wars and tag. So I feel even more sure of my comments that what you want to do with this boy is help along so that he feels comfortable in his own skin and gain confidence in general with his peers. Some ways to do this is to get some one on one play dates going with some of the other kids outside of school. You could ask his teacher for the name of a couple of boys that he gets along with in class and be bold and email the mom's to set up a time to get together. I just did this yesterday with my little guy. I met a mom and her son at a park before school (we do afternoon kindergarten) and they played really well. Then they played at recess when at school that day. First time he's ever played with that boy as he has "other" friends in class and my son wasn't joining in their games. He's more comfortable now with this boy and that boy is more comfortable with him------ and as we have more playdates, I expect that to grow. Does that make sense? Create those situations for your son. He'll become more comfortable being himself and having friends of all sorts. I will tell you one way that we have made friends with other families within our school community is by my volunteering. Anything you volunteer for through your school PTA has other mom's with kids. You'll be amazed at how quickly you build a network of people around you. I just think that helping a child be well rounded overall will help them feel less isolated and putting them in situations in which they are with other kids is always practice. Help him along if you notice any deficits in social skills.
I might mention that my son that is now in first grade has sensory integration disorder and lots of social issues that we've worked through. He had not a friend to his name at 4 but now is "one of the guys" at 6. And there are no expectations of how he is to act as my goal was to let him be who he is while teaching him skills of proper social interaction (sharing, taking turns, being flexible, etc.).
These are things that really helped------- one on one playdates with kids in his class either before/after school or on a Sat or Sun afternoon, Cub Scouts that kindergarteners can now join in mid Spring, and a sport team such as soccer (just because being part of a group is good interaction). If he does not like sports-------- try "Kindermusic" or some type of group setting such as art classes. Karate is good too. But something where there is a group of kids doing the same thing being let by an adult.
I liked what you wrote, and I was pleased at all the support Bruce was offered by many. However, I must take exception to your remarks about the sexuality of five year-old boys, in which you said that 5 year-old boys lack overt sexuality and are practicing romance. 5 year-old boys have sexual feelings and they do masturbate as early as age two. This information can be Googled, and yes, some of the sources are credentialed. Finally, your term “romantic love working in practice,” was well... Just remember that men invented language, which is why the term is called “falling in love” and not “the unexpected early realization of one's romantic goals.”
It's called falling in love because no one wakes up, yawns, stretches and then looks at their spouse says, “Honey! Let's go fall down the stairs, posthaste!”Take care. As I said, overall, I liked and agree with what you and others wrote.
My reading of masturbation in children has much to do with pure sensation vs. sexual urges. They usually stumble upon it accidentally and then continue as it feels good. They do not fantasize about sexual encounters and being with a partner the way adults do. If a 5 year old is doing that, they have been introduced to sexual content which is not age appropriate.
to BlacheKBruce and others. My long post, which precedes this one (necessary as it was) might distract from the essence of this thread. To remedy that, I offer the following:
To you and all:
The important thing here is that you continue loving your son for who he is while preparing him to be a healthy person who contributes positively to society. Part of this will be preparing him for the negative experiences that society's ignorant bigots will surely bring. It would seem that you agree with this as have others. Beautiful!
Secular therapist if therapy is needed. If therapy is needed, you need and deserve the best that modern medicine has to offer, not some pseudo therapy mixed with a Christian interpretation of a book (the bible) that has been edited on multiple occasions in history and may say that homosexuality is an abomination to god.
Specialmom has helped many more than her share of familiies here with her expertise,if you would care to scroll down to the comments on this forum, for me as a mom its my gut and my caring love of children being a child advocate ....I do take umbrage of what seemed like an attack from you on her person ....this forum would be a far less great forum parents can come to for help....without her ...
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