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287

Firstly, I have to admit that while reading your question I was wondering if you're being serious. For me (as a hopeful future father with the same questions in mind), your solutions sound shocking and I would certainly advise against them. To reflect on some points... 1) "no TV ever, no movies, no pop music, no magazines" Does this also mean no friends? ...


89

Kids like toys. My daughter plays with trucks and shovels and her toy lawn mower. My son will undoubtedly wind up playing with old toys that my daughter used to play with. This link from baby center would indicate that you, as a parent, are simply enabling your child's normal and healthy imagination and that: "playing with Barbies at age 2 or 3 isn't ...


74

Offer her more, different things. And if she likes pink, then just let her be pink! I am sure you are not holding "boy"-things away from your daughter, but if she doesn't care or them, that's life and how your daughter is. Certain LEGO play sets1 may still catch her attention (just find something pink). But above all, keep in mind: While having girls, and ...


61

Playing with "girl" toys at the age of five is indeed completely normal behavior for a little boy. You are correct not to worry and to allow your son to play in the way that he enjoys. It doesn't mean that he is gay, and it certainly won't "make" him gay; his sexual orientation is likely already fixed by the age of five, although he is probably still to ...


55

Boys !== girls When I had mine, one of the things I found really surprising (which with hindsight should have been obvious) is that girls and boys are not the same. I had always assumed tabula rasa, but this doesn't appear to hold water. My little girl will be happy for an hour playing imaginative games with talking ponies. When she gets together with ...


54

Wow! Well, it sounds as though you want to be the perfect family, and the perfect parents. And it's easy to understand why. Who wouldn't want the best of everything for their children? I have a couple of general comments, I hope you'll find them useful. Oh and before I forget, congratulations on your soon-to-arrive new addition to the family! :) So... ...


54

Your son is doing what he is doing in response to his own internal drives. His actions are nothing but a combination of genetics and life experience. Playing with dolls won't "turn him into a fag." He will eventually develop some level of attraction towards males and females that is determined by his genetics as well as prenatal testosterone exposure from ...


52

First, I think it is worth noting that gender identity and gender roles are not the same as sexual orientation--liking girly things is not the same as being gay. As far as your specific issues go, I agree with Rhea that these are not big signs that your son is experimenting with an alternate gender identity. Hanging out with girls, using female avatars in ...


47

We homeschool our kids, so perhaps I can provide a unique perspective. A lot of the other answers seem to be primarily worried about friends. People sparked friendships for millenia before television and public education, and they can do so today. It's hard to see when your own childhood friendships formed at school over common pop culture interests, but ...


46

There is a difference between exposing children to the various things life has to offer and forcing your choices on them. There is nothing wrong with pink princesses or other "girly girl" things. So, show her what's available but respect her preferences. edit Just noticed this part of the question: what is the bounds of her and my responsibility on ...


36

While I think your intentions are good, I think that some of what you are doing will actually have negative effects. Dolls are a perfectly healthy toy - both my son and my daughters played with them. They also all played with toy shops, aeroplanes, racing cars, horses etc. My point is: they are toys. Whether they have any gender affiliation in your family ...


33

In my experience, people see what they want to see in movies. For example, there was a brouhaha about Frozen promoting a gay agenda. If you actually examine the plots, the messages of princess movies are overwhelmingly that wealth and good looks are not enough. Snow White and the witch were both very beautiful, but one was vain and one was modest and ...


33

I agree that there may be an issue here - ie, some Disney movies perpetuate gender stereotypes, gender roles, and other things that aren't good things to perpetuate. However, I feel like this is similar to the censorship debate, in that simply not letting your kid watch them is not the right answer. Your kid will be exposed to similar issues whether or not ...


33

Your son likes picking out his clothes. I can't see that as a gender-defining issue. One of my (now married) sons had such a great eye for arranging flowers in the most interesting and imaginative ways that I would sometimes send him to the garden with a pair of clippers and a free hand (something my other children didn't get (blush)! Playing with a wide ...


32

I did a small amount of research into this. According to one theory, children at the age of 3 haven't solidified the idea of gender permanence, that they are one sex and remain that sex even if they wear different clothes, etc. A three-year old boy may understand that he is a boy, but not necessarily have internalized that he is always a boy and will remain ...


32

There's nothing whatsoever wrong with your son, but there is something very very wrong with his father. The best thing you can do is try to limit your sons exposure to this person. If he has these sorts of attitudes you should be able to argue that he is a danger to your sons emotional well-being and potentially have his level of access limited to only ...


30

You lack one key: To be wonderful, to be amazing, to be successful, she must not be locked in this overwhelming strategy. Sadly, you are contributing to "this sexist world". It seems the motivation behind her future micro-managed life is that she is female, and as such will require much more "equipment" in order to survive. This is false. Your daughter ...


24

I highly doubt there is a correlation between sexual orientation and the kind of toy one plays with at five years old. I can't imagine what would cause that, anyway; 'boy toys' and 'girl toys' are social constructs mostly unrelated to biology or sexuality, but to the expected role those children will play as adults.* There is probably a correlation, ...


19

My daughter is about to turn 11, and I have similar hopes for her. Each of the paragraphs below is a category that her father and I have found to be influences on her in some way, and ways we try to approach them. Provide positive examples. This needs to be both men and women, of course: women who embody the values and confidence you hope for her to have, ...


17

Play with her. Play by yourself. Model the behavior you expect from her. Give her access to other role models that exhibit the behavior you want her to experience. She may never choose to play with them, but with new toys she may be confused or unfamiliar with them and not understand what her relationship and behavior towards them should be. So sit down ...


14

I have no experience of children I know having such issues, but I myself did when I was a child. Not a definitive answer here, but it's possible that a lack of prompting/conversation about this (when I was old enough to sensibly talk about it; i.e. probably when I was first cognisant it myself, when I was around 8 or 9) caused it to be something of a loose ...


14

I think this is 100% normal. Many kids do this - one of mine did - and then grew out of that phase and now likes toy guns and fighting. Kids need to play act, I don't think it matters what they play act as. I wouldn't pay it any attention one way or the other - I would doubt gender confusion is even a thought in a 3 year old's mind!


14

Some straight people have feminine tendencies like Cross Dressing and it could be a case of your son exploring an identity, or your son could be gay. Either way is a different lifestyle choice that will make his life more difficult. In every society in the world being gay is a negative and will expose gay people to ridicule at best and death at worst ...


13

I think you're overthinking this a bit. It's great for brainstorming, but don't let little things like whether or not she gets to play with dolls distract you from your primary laudable goal of raising an amazing daughter. For instance, why wouldn't an intelligent and happy child be able to enjoy and possibly even benefit from a bit of TV? What's so ...


13

As others have mentioned, enjoying dolls isn't particularly unusual for a little boy and does NOT mean your son will grow up to be gay. The bigger problem here is your and your son's relationship with his dad. I'm a big believer that children need positive role models of both genders --but those role models don't necessarily have to be the children's ...


13

I have a really simple trick for this, and I've used it to encourage "outside toys" vs "inside toys", "quiet toys" vs "loud toys", etc - even if my child really wanted only one type (and I wanted them to have the other for some reason). This also works for "stereotypical type A" vs "stereotypical type B", and it seems to work equally well with boys and ...


12

I am 53, and I have been married for 24 years with 2 sons. In my childhood I spent all my time playing with the dolls people gave my sister; I also won prizes for cookery, sewing and flower arranging - my wife has several items of clothing I have sewn for her. My sister spent all our childhood playing with the toy cars and so on people gave me: she is ...


12

First of all, he's just fine. Nothing to correct here. Second, I don't think sexual orientation is a choice or something you can change. You're born with it. I see it like this. If the doll represents anything, it most likely represents his mother. He lives with her, sees her living as a woman, dressing up, putting on makeup, etc... and he's emulating ...


11

Remember her interests may change. When I was very young (3~6) I bought into pink, white, purple color schemes, kittens, barbie and girly things because it was what was fed to me. My favorite colors started to change around 7~9 to blue and green which have remained pretty consistent. Also around that time I watched jurassic park, so I ditched most girly ...


10

If you want him to be "normal" treat it NORMAL. Kids at school will make fun of him and will be a bigger impact on his decision to act girlie or not than what you could say to him. Making him feel abnormal will lead to way more problems in his life than being gay. I live in Utah and have a cousin that recently said she was lesbian. Her parents are super ...



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