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371

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? ...


102

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 ...


82

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 ...


76

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 ...


67

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 ...


66

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... some ...


64

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 ...


59

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 ...


58

Important caveat: I don't speak a word of Russian, so I'm using Google Translate for my examples. I own a cat. Naturally, we always refer to the cat by her name rather than as "cat", so my son has made the logical assumption that all cats are called [CatName]. So, when we are out and about and he spots some random cat and says "[CatName]", my response is ...


56

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 ...


56

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 ...


51

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 ...


51

Six years old is old enough to understand gender in a general sense, and it’s definitely old enough to have an intelligent conversation about the complexities of gender. So my answer is to be honest with them and tell them how you feel. If you know, then tell them. If you’re not sure, then say so- and explain why, and what is going on in your head. Say ...


42

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 ...


37

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 ...


36

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 ...


36

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 kind....


36

A decent approach may be to keep it simple: "I'm still figuring that out", which sounds like a decent summary of where you are at the moment. Most kids are pretty chill about adults admitting we don't know everything, and if they'd like more information, they generally have no problem asking follow-up questions. If that's the case, it might be worth ...


35

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 ...


33

I understand that having 2 miscarriages can be very hard. However just try to accept your kid-to-be for who he is. A girl will never be the girl you imagine, but her own person. So will this boy. Even boys can enjoy baking cookies or do many of the same activities that you would like to do with your girl. The important thing to to raise him with the values ...


31

This really resonated with me. From my own experience, and speaking as someone who danced ballet for a number of years (in point shoes), wore girlish clothes and make up, etc... –– it's impossible to know who your son is going to "be" when he's an adult. People tried this a lot with me. It was always painful when I was sat down and given the "talk" that "...


31

Because of a medical condition I had, I was told I would be very unlikely to bear children. When I got pregnant (the first time), I thought it would be my only child. I imagined (and wanted) a girl. An ultrasound revealing the male sex of my baby totally threw me into a panic. I was actually devastated! I did get used to the idea, but I was sad, I felt a ...


26

I think it's too soon to relate your child's use of gendered language to his own gender. As you say he is two, there's a good chance that he doesn't yet have a full concept of his gender identity. It is usually said to develop around 3 years of age, becoming fully realized closer to age 5. Of course he may be ahead of average, but I think it is more likely ...


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, however,...


20

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, ...


19

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 ...


17

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 ...


17

Depending on where you live, this might sound controversial, but children don't need protection from their parents as long as they don't engage in violent, sexual or otherwise unhealthy behavior in front of / with the children. Painting your nails, dying your hair or even dressing in feminine clothes is not sexual or unhealthy behavior, it's you living your ...


15

On top of the great answer from bmgh1985 (and I'd particularly second their recommendations of 'Something Special' and 'Balamory') here are some more suggestions: In the Night Garden: Very safe, very gentle stories for real littlies which sometimes star female characters, sometimes male (and sometimes ones where you can't tell). The DVDs have a special '...


15

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 girls....


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