Is My Son Going to be a Pansy?

When Gavin was little, he liked wearing hairbands and he was attracted by the colour pink.  He loved playing with cooking toys and pretending to cook.  These days, he likes watching Chloe’s Closet

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QkwT4c_k6vc

and reading Dora the Explorer books.

Should I be worried that my son likes “girls’ stuff”?  According to Baby Center, this is perfectly normal:

“Right now your preschooler is learning to pretend, and part of this process is experimenting with imaginary roles. Playing dress-up — whether he wants to look like Daddy, Mommy, a football player, or a fairy princess — is common and entirely normal at this age, and isn’t limited to roles embodied by members of a child’s own sex. (It’s interesting that parents are often concerned about boys who enjoy girls’ toys or clothes but don’t seem to mind when girls play with trucks or dress up like cowboys.)

The fact that your son enjoys playing with girls’ things is an indication that you’ve been open and supportive and that you’ve provided him with opportunities that go beyond typical “boys'” play — and not an indication of his future sexual preference. The truth is, he may grow up to be gay or he may not, but playing with Barbies at age 2 or 3 isn’t going to “make” him anything other than an imaginative child.

To further encourage your child’s normal and healthy imagination, make sure he has a chance to play with a variety of toys in a variety of ways. Also be alert for gender stereotyping in the stories you read together, the activities you provide, and even the offhand comments you make. Rather than “shushing” your child when he tears up, for instance, let him know that crying is okay. Be sure to encourage his gentleness with pets or younger siblings, too.

Of course, even if you’re open-minded about your son’s experimentation, friends, family members, and even complete strangers may not be. Respectfully acknowledge their comments (or defuse them with humor), but also remind yourself to trust and value your own judgment. After all, if your child is happy and playful — even if he’s trying Mom’s high heels on for size — then you’re doing a good job.”

I have also read before that the preference for girl’s stuff is due to the female influence during the early years.  When a baby is born, a large part of the time is spent with female caregivers (usually Mum) and this naturally extends itself to a curiosity for the activities and things that Mum does – like cooking and cleaning.  When the boys make the transition to Dad’s camp in an effort to be more like him, they begin to discover and get interested in all the cool boys’ activities.

Gavin isn’t the only boy with an interest in girl’s stuff.  A friend of mine has a son who also enjoys watching “Chloe’s Closet”.  Another friend of mine once asked her son to pick out a pair of new shoes that he would like from the shop.  He kept choosing girls’ shoes because they looked so much more interesting and fun than the boys’ shoes.

Dads may be alarmed by these behaviours in their sons, but it’s really nothing to worry about.

Published by Shen-Li

SHEN-LI LEE is the author of “Brainchild: Secrets to Unlocking Your Child’s Potential”. She is also the founder of Figur8.net (a website on parenting, education, child development) and RightBrainChild.com (a website on Right Brain Education, cognitive development, and maximising potentials). In her spare time, she blogs on Forty, Fit & Fed, and Back to Basics.

6 thoughts on “Is My Son Going to be a Pansy?

  1. Ha… It’s certainly fine at this age. I buy pink cloth diapers for my boy and convinced hubby to wear link because their fair complexion look fantastic in pink.

    And the world’s best chefs are guys, right?

    I’m planning to buy a doll for my boy since he loves babies. Wondering how hubby would react to that. :p

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  2. That’s the thing that always confuses me – the world’s best chefs are guys and yet so many people think it’s weird for little boys to play with cooking toys. What’s with that? When hubby took a set of masak masak toys in the toy shop and asked Gavin if he wanted it, an onlooker gave him the most incredulous stare ever. It was as if he couldn’t believe that any father would willingly let his son play with masak masak toys.

    Gavin had a pink diaper, too. Nobody seemed to think it was an appropriate colour… I guess I never thought too much about it because my brother wears pink shirts. He even bought hubby a pink shirt for his b’day which hubby hardly wore :-p

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  3. my son’s fav color is PINK and he enjoys playing masak-masak and hosting tea parties for his soft toys. his fav flavour is STRAWBERRY.
    he also likes to watch HELLO KITTY not like all the time but he does request to watch the VCD. as for diapers, i think i bought a pink one for him before…… plus he had a pink polo shirt too.

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  4. On Daddy’s birthday, Connor and Daddy dressed up in matching pink polos. Connor loves to mess about the in the kitchen with me too. Everytime we’re in Toys R Us, he makes a beeline for that ultra expensive doll that can talk and laugh when you press her bracelet. In fact, I remember once when we were there and three fascinated boys were crowded around that doll, all taking turns to press her bracelet.

    Nothing wrong with it… all I can say is at least they’ll grow up to be men who are sensitive to women’s feelings and that’s not a bad thing, right!

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  5. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with pink polos. My brother wears pink shirts and pink polos. Definitely nothing wrong in that.

    Girls stuff is cool – that’s why all the little boys want in. That’s when they’re still smart about it. It’s only when they grow up and start thinking, “Ew girls stuff!” That’s when they start to become the men we know :-p

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