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10323817 tn?1409295535

My daughter is insisting she a boy .. almost 3

My daughter is almost three and she has been insisting shes a boy now for about 6 months. she wants to wear boy clothes wont were dresses or let me do her hair. she also in the last 6 months started becoming very interested in super hero's.This concept of them being males and her wanting to be like them may be whats confusing her too idk just a thought. I believe from all the blogs iv read this is a common thing with this age group. I dont know if this is because they are just becoming aware of the difference in boys and girls and being a boy is something new and exciting for them to explore but ... she is really concerning my husband and other relatives. Im just wondering if there is a way to show her she can have those interests and dress how ever she feels without always everyday feeling the need to tell us shes a boy ... i know this is a reaction sort thing and she wants to feel affirmed about her decision but Im just looking for some advise. on even how to assure family this is just a stage. I really dont want to talk to her about not doing it as not to make this a bigger attention getter for her. just looking for some thoughts

This discussion is related to a three year old girl who insists she's a boy!.
18 Responses
5914096 tn?1399918987
To be a Tomboy isn't uncommon for little girls.  This more than likely is a fad that she grows out of as many girls do.  At the age of 2, it is highly doubtful that this behavior has anything to do with sexuality.  

I really don't see anything wrong with her preferring boy clothing and engaging in boy-type activities.  These are all stereotypes.  We really should not get into the habit of saying that girls can only wear these clothes or play with these things to fit their gender.  The more we stereotype, the greater chance we have of making kids feel bad for wanting to feel good if this makes any sense.
Avatar universal
Why don't you just let her be who she wants to be? Surely who she is, is more important than your families thoughts on it.
If she really does want to be a boy, stand beside her, don't try to force her to change.
10323817 tn?1409295535
I agree I have no problem with her wearing what ever she wants or liking what ever she wants. I don't care if she really does want to be a boy or what ever. but she talks about it all the time and that's what I need help with I just was wondering if I could do something to satisfy her needs while getting her to stop bringing it up to her father. he is really uncomfortable about this. I have talked to him about it but he still wants her to stop. I cant make her but Iv given her everything shes asked for he just wants her to stop telling him that sisters a girl mommys a girl shes a boy and daddys a boy.I I love her I just want to make it easier on every one if possible  
973741 tn?1342342773
I went through a phase I even 'sort of' remember in which I liked boy things. I even had a belt of my cousins that had a big metal MIKE as the buckle.  I wore this belt everywhere.  Along with a football jersey.  It's kind of funny as at some point, I discovered lip stick and skirts and have never looked back.  

So, she'll be whatever she is to be.  I would not make a big deal out of it one way or another so she never has a feeling of what others want her to be.  good luck
5914096 tn?1399918987
You say that she talks about it all the time.  What exactly is she saying that makes you feel uncomfortable?

I don't think she wants to be a boy.  She merely enjoys boy clothing and activities.  These really are two separate issues.  Maybe this is the problem.  We are interpreting her behavior and her verbalization's as her wanting to be a boy. She is only 2 years of age.  She doesn't even know what it is like to be a girl yet!!  I really think we may be over reacting.
189897 tn?1441126518
   One other question I always ask in a similar situation is who is her primary playmates?  Kids do like to copy.
13167 tn?1327194124
I think this could go either way.  Girls who grow up and go through sex reassignment know at this age that they're boys.  Chaz Bono's story is a case in point - she knew even when Sonny and Cher were trotting her out in those ridiculous fluffy dresses that she was a boy.  

On the other hand,  it sounds like she's trying to be on dad's team.  Do you and your older daughter kind of have a close  "team" thing going - and she wants a parent to be on her "team"?  

It sounds like one of your major concerns is your husband's reaction,  and the constant questions from extended family.  For your extended family,  I think you need to come up with a short simple response  " We'll have to wait and see whether this is a temporary thing.  In the meantime,  she's very creative and enjoyable and we love her as she is".  

Best wishes.  We had a neighbor who was a really handsome,  loveable and cooperative little boy who wanted to be a girl.  He always said he was a girl and his parents wouldn't allow him to dress as a girl or wear a girl haircut - he always looked exactly like a boy.  All the neighbor kids who knew him referred to him as girl,  one even saying one time,  "He IS a girl" which such an interesting twist on the language.  Last I heard he was a junior in high school and seemed to have grown out of it.  I think that happens a lot.
10323817 tn?1409295535
she constantly telling my husband " im a boy and mommy and sissy are girls" I dont think she wants to be a boy but i let her have "boy" clothes and play along . Its my husband and his family who she is really close with are really religious and this upsets them. I just dont know what to do. I tell them she doesnt want to be a boy then they are still mad she keeps saying it .. I tell them she just wants a reaction .. they still wont believe me im just want advise on how to explain this to them so they will realize .. yelling at her or punishing her for it doesnt help .. shes just a little kid ..  
From your original post it sounds like you want her to act more like a girl (which is, like most comments here say, ridiculous). But from what you see here it seems like you are really looking for advice on how to get the rest of your family to accept her? In that case you probably shouldn't be looking for answers under the topic child behavior. I'm not sure where would be better. Maybe another site that isn't medical?
5914096 tn?1399918987
Has anyone asked her why she wants to be a boy or what is/are the differences between a boy and a girl?  I think that the answers you probably will get is that she likes to wear boys clothes and engage in boy activities.  If this is the case, saying that she wants to be a boy is her way of expressing this.  Remember, we are talking about a 2 year old who doesn't even know yet what it is like to be a girl not alone biological differences between the two genders.  Additionally, she doesn't have the verbal skills to express herself appropriately!  Punishing this behavior is plain out ridiculous.  It sounds like this reaction to you daughter is being fueled by religious beliefs which needs to be put in check.
5914096 tn?1399918987
Not to mention, the more attention is given to this non-issue, the more this issue will be kept alive.  I think all involved needs to chill out, take a deep breath, and refrain from reacting or over reacting to a non-issue.  Remember, these reactions can very well end up as a permanent emotional scar that your daughter will need to cope with for the rest of her life.

The most effective method to reduce or eliminate inappropriate behavior of young kids like 2 or 3 year olds is simply not to fuel the behavior with your attention.  If you simply provide attention for appropriate behavior and ignore the inappropriate beahavior, your child will eventually give up on the inappropriate behavior because all kids love receiving attention.  

But please keep in mind that I am not saying that anything your daughter is doing or saying is inappropriate.  However, this is simply food for thought.
973741 tn?1342342773
I have one other story to add ----  when my son was about 3, he went to the store and was allowed to pick out a toy for himself.  HE picked out ballerina Barbie.  He loved his Barbie.  He said that HE wanted to be a Ballerina.  

Now my husband is a macho kind of guy.  And he would do father son trips to the macho hardware store . . .   and he would take deep breaths as my son insisted on bringing his Barbie with him.  We didn't say a word.  And off the hardware store the three would go, Dad, son and Barbie.  

My son is now 10 and wouldn't be caught dead with a doll!  

That age is just so young.  I am guessing what you are really hearing is your child enjoying some attention.  Quit arguing with her about it and don't make it a big deal.  Ignore it.  Completely.  

And then as she gets older, you'll have a better gage.  And if she ends up transgender, so be it.  But right now, she's just little and you all are most likely taking this a little bit more seriously than you need to.  

good luck
4851940 tn?1515694593
You should not yell or punish your 2 year old for saying that she is a boy.  

If you and other members of your family are reacting to this, you are instilling into her that she will get attention from you if she says it.  Attention can be good or bad, but it is still attention.

I get the impression that she has bonded more with her father and wants to be like him, this is not unusual.  

If she does say that she is a boy again, explain calmly to her that little boys have a little "sausage" peepee pot and little girls do not.  Nothing to do with wearing different clothes.  

I have different aged grandchildren and they (even at the age of 2) were  aware that the sisters and brothers are different because little boys have "dangly" bits and little girls do not.  They notice these things when they need to use the bathroom and when they used to share a bath together.  

Avatar universal
Hi!  My daughter went through the same thing when she was a kid.  Starting at about 3-4 years old she only wanted to wear boy clothes or non gendered clothes.  She hated pink and everything frilly.  She liked to play with trucks and action figures and never liked dolls/barbies etc.  I don't ever remember her telling me that she "was" a boy, but she did tell me a few times that she wanted to be a boy.  I told her that she is a girl and that being a girl is awesome, but it doesn't mean that you have to wear pink and frilly clothes or like to play with dolls. Most of her friends were boys. I told her that she can still like all the things that she was interested in and still be a girl.  She had long hair, but she often wore it in a ponytail under a baseball cap.  Often people mistook her for a boy.  If I am being honest, that did bother me, but i tried not to let her know that. I just politely corrected the people telling them that she is a girl.  It bugged me to no end when we would go to mcdonalds and they would ask if she wanted the girl toy or the boy toy.  I refused to answer to that and would ask them what the toys were that day and i would simply answer "we would like the truck".  I remember in the 1st grade i took her to the store to get a lunch box for school.  She picked one that had a boy on it riding a skateboard.  I was probably injecting my own fears, but I was concerned that she would be made fun of for having this lunch box.  I still bought it for her, but I told her we would have a fun activity and make the kid on the lunch box look more like her.  We drew long hair on it and wrote her name with a glitter pen.  She thought it was awesome....i was working through fears and concern.  In a way I took her rejection of femininity personally.  I thought maybe i did something wrong.  I wondered why she didn't want to be like me?  I tried my very best never to let on to her that i had any of these concerns though.  Over the years of elementary school my daughter continued to wear "boy clothes"...mostly jerseys and jeans.  She was very good at sports and even played on some boys teams and was very competitive.  At about 7/8 I stopped worrying and just went with it.  I always wondered if some day it would turn out that she was gay.  I was ok with that, but a bit apprehensive at the same time that her life would be harder.  Fast forward to 7th grade.  I took her school shopping and she could no longer fit in the boys pants because she had started to get hips.  This was really hard for her.  It was as she felt her body was turning against her.  We found her some girls jeans that she felt were acceptable though.  Needless to say, she wasn't very happy when she started her period or needed a bra.  Then in 8th grade she came to me and said she was anxious because she wanted to start wearing girls clothes, but she was afraid everyone would stare at her because they were used to her in boys clothes.  I helped her work through that and she made that transition.  She got positive feedback from her peers too.  (although she was always very popular with the other kids when she wore mostly boys clothes too)  Then in high school she continued to change and become more comfortable with femininity. She started to wear a bit of make up.  In her senior year she got a boy friend.  She is now 25 and although she is still her awesome tom boy self and can compete in sports with the guys and knows as much about sports as most sportscasters, she is a knockout very feminine woman when she wants to be.  She wears make up, has long hair, can rock a little black dress, etc.  Basically, beyond telling her she could be a boy, I just let her be and do what she was comfortable with.  I guided her, but also just held on waiting to see where this ride was going to take us.  For her it was a phase....a long one, nonetheless.  I think your husband and his family is going to make things worse though with their negative comments.  THAT is what is going to hurt your daughter....not her wearing a t shirt and jeans and playing with a truck.  Good luck.  I know how you are feeling.  
4851940 tn?1515694593
I agree that family comments will cause more psychological problems in the long term.

I too was very tom boyish as a young child, I hated dolls and threw my very first doll into a water puddle that my aunty bought me for Xmas.  We didn't have the range of clothes that we have now, nor lots of clothes stores andt they were expensive.  My mother used to make our clothes, so we had to wear what we were given.

I used to stand my ground against any boy, had a scrap with my older cousin who thought he was strong than I was - I proved him wrong.  I used to love climbing trees.  I certainly didn't play with any "girly" toys - of course there wasn't so much about as there is these days.

I too as a young child wished I was born a boy.  But as we grow, we learn to accept who we are (well most of us do).

Avatar universal
My daughter is 4 years old ..From last six months she is saying dat she is a boy and she doesn't like girls ..when we told her that she is a girl not a boy ,she starts crying nd fighting that she is a boy and insist us to call her with boys name .She has mostly male friends from starting ..her cousin of same age is a male ..May be for dis reason she is behaving like this ..what should we do in dis case .should we seek for psychologist help
Avatar universal
I don't want to be harsh, but you are making a problem where there isn't one. Not all girls like dresses and doing their hair. Just let her do what she wants to be instead of trying to force your they way you think she should live on her.

It is possible that she is transgender, but she's probably still to young to be able to tell. This doesn't have to be the case though, so I wouldn't cross that bridge until you get to it.
(In case you don't believe someone can be transgender. It has been scientifically proven that there is a difference between the brain of a male and of a female. Transgender people have quality's of the brain of the opposite bio gender)
Avatar universal
Only a few people have touched on a very possible subject: s/he may be trans. Someone said that s/he's too young to tell, but that's not entirely true, some trans kids start transitioning before they've even hit puberty (not that there's much to do yet). Don't say that it's wrong, or punish her/him, don't even make it a big deal. Nobody should worry about this. And it is also entirely possible that it is just a phase, but don't rely on that fact, and don't instill in her/him that being trans is wrong.
Avatar universal
Stop giving it attention. My boys went through a phase also. I believe most children do. It doesn't mean she's transgender.
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