Child Behavior Forum
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Boy interested in girl stuff???

My son just turned 4 & is intrested all of a sudden in Barbie and girls clothes and makeup.  He hides this from me.  He did it when he played with a girl cousin (supervised) who is 8.  He is definetly into boy stuff.  Just very curious.  He plays w/ this cousin a lot and she plays here most of the time.  I did explain that it is okay to play with girl stuff just as cousin plays w/your boy stuff.  I just wonder if I should be worried.  I know this is a society where we are more gender biased.  How do I approach him in saying that it is not the best idea??  I explained that he never has to hide anything from me and can talk to me about anything..  I am so lost...am I doing something wrong as a parent?  Please help.  Thank you in advance.
6 Responses
242606 tn?1243782648
It's clear you are torn about this. On the one hand, you say that you tell your son it's OK to play with things that are more typical of girls, yet you also say you want to tell him it's not the best idea. He will sense your disapproval or worry, regardless of your words. It is OK, and as a matter of fact it is quite normal, for a child of four to play in the manner he's demonstrating. Let the play develop without intervention on your part, in either direction. Were you to visit any number of pre-schools, you'd see countless instances of boys and girls playing with items that might stereotypically be associated with the other gender.
Avatar universal
yikes that would be tough...i am only 18 so i don't have any real experience in dealing w/ this problem as a parent but i would maybe just be very attentive to how this interest of his continues to develop and if it you start to get really worried about it i would consult a child therapist or something of that nature with regard to what you should do.  hope this helps at least a little

-j. t.
Avatar universal
Thank you very much!!  Your help is appreciated!
Avatar universal
My advise to you is to not worry and don't display disapproval towards your son. A four year old hasn't been 'programmed' yet to understand that he is playing with girlie stuff. Think about it, there are so many cool toys and stuff out there for kids to play with, boys and girls. A four year old doesn't know the difference between how much joy and fun he should have with a tonka truck as opposed to a barbie doll. I think I know what you are worried about and playing with girlie stuff doesn't make it so. Relax, let him have some fun.
Avatar universal
My 4 year old was determined that Santa would bring him a Barbie Phone.  So, Santa got him a barbie phone.  He was thrilled, played with it for a week and has since forgotten about it. My brother, when he was 8, wanted a 'Dancerella' (doll with long hair that piruetted).  He also got his Dancerella and played with it for months. He grew up perfectly happy and healthy, and recently married his girlfriend of 4 years - and they have one of the healthiest relationships I've seen.
Don't worry about it - let him explore all types of play.  He'll be fine.
Avatar universal
A related discussion, Is playing with girls normal for 6 year old boy was started.
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