Post # 1
My four year old daughter is a tomboy. We even have a hard time getting her to admit that she is in fact a girl. She wants to dress like a boy. When she and her sister play house, she says “I want to be the brother”. The main reason that this upsets me is because as an amputee, she is already different. I don’t want her to struggle with gender indentity issues on top this. I just want her to love and accept herself.
Were you a tomboy growing up? If so, at what age did you become more in tune with your “girliness”? Do you feel that being a tomboy as a child was an indicater of your sexual identity? If you are a parent and have dealt with this, please offer advice.
Post # 3
I was a huge tomboy growing up. And I mean huge.
I had a mushroom cut for a while, wore boy clothse, and wanted to play football. I was mistakened for a boy for a while.
I had older brothers and no sisters. I just wanted to be with them and play with them and such, and my mom, being not over into fashionhair/makeup, didn’t discourage it either.
i was mostly tomboyish from grade 1-4. Grade 4 being the absoulte worst. I would wear baggy jeans and football jerseys. When I was little though, I thought I was a boy, and wanted to be a boy, and denied having girl parts haha.
But grade 5 started to turn around. Nothing in particular happened, just puberty I guess. By grade 6 I was normal girly. And now I am pretty girly but can appreciate boy things at times!
I woudln’t worry about it. Let her do what she wants, and find what she wants herself. I rememer what I hated most, was when people tried to force me into girly stuff. Or tease me in certain ways that made me feel ashamed. Making comments didn’t make me want to become a girl, as if I saw “the light”, but made me pissed off embarrased and more tomboyish.
This doesnt mean she is goign to turn into a transgender, or some sort of “freak”. It is normal. Just let her do her thing. Try to encourage girly things, but subtly enough so it is not like you are trying to change her. I could tell, even when I was young, when people made comments to change me. Encourage girly things, but if she declines, be perfectly accepting to that, and allow her to gravitate to what she likes. In the end, she will figure it out.
Post # 4
First and foremost she is only 4. Let her be a tomboy. My niece was a huge tomboy, she is totally a girly girly now and she is 14. Nothing wrong with her wanting to be that.
Post # 5
@MrsFuzzyFace: My son is 3 and he loves everything girly. I think all kids go through a time where they explore gender. However, if it continues with my son into grade school, I would, of course, have him see a counselor regarding his gender identity. I very much doubt that this is something that will “last” but if my son or your daughter continue to insist that they are of the opposite gender into mid to late grade school, there is no harm in having them see a counselor that specializes in gender identity.
Post # 6
I was the biggest tomboy as a kid. I climbed trees, played race cars, ran around with the boys in my neighborhood, the whole 9 yards. I started to get into the girlies stuff around age 11. Now I am a solid mix of a race car drivers and princesses.
As a student of child development who has taught many, many 4 year olds, I can tell you not to worry. Kids experiment with gender roles at this age. Also does she have a brother? She might be experimenting with having one, if she doesn’t. Or, she may feel very close to him, and want to represent him in her play.
Also, since your daughter is an amputee, she may be catching some of the “society fall out.” Boys and men are precieved as stronger and more capable in TV shows, movies, etc. Your daughter may be trying to take in some of that strength.
Just my theories and attempt to make you feel better. Good luck! I’m sure your daughter is a wonderful little girl.
Post # 7
Well maybe by acting like a boy she is loving and accepting herself for what she is at the moment. I think its a pretty normal phase.
I didn’t care much for brushing my hair, showering, makeup , sparkles and pink until I became a teenager and I started to take note of things. When I was a kid, I had a brother and did everything with him and his friends and I enjoyed playing outside and doing gender neutral if not boyish thing all the time. I even played in a softball club called the Tomboys 🙂
Try not to worry too much! I also agree with the PP who talked about the Amputee & “society fall out ” factor.
Post # 8
@MsTireSmoke: Yes, I worry that she is putting herself in a boy category due to being an amputee. She wants to be strong and capable. She has no brothers and has been a tomboy from very early. Thanks for your input.
Post # 9
HUGE tomboy all through middle school. Bowl hair cut skinny little kid I convinced people I was a boy all the time. I played on the pop warner football team and a boy came up to me and said, “hey! I heard there is going to be a GIRL on our team, what the heck?!” hahha.
I’m completely straight but still identify as a ‘tomboy’, i also like nice clothes and makeup too.
Besides…your daughter is only 4!
Post # 10
@MrsFuzzyFace: Of course! I wouldn’t worry about it, but if you need something to make you feel better, maybe try to expose her to some strong women role models. Women who climb mountains, rule countries, and break records. Again, don’t worry, she’ll be fine. =)
Post # 11
I still hate taking showers.
and changing my socks.
Post # 12
That’s part of the joy of being 4 years old, you aren’t thinking about life in terms of anything in particular. My daughter wants to be a dog, and I say rock on, be the best dog you can be. Go play with bugs and be four and don’t worry about it. I just want her to be happy and confident so whatever she wants to be, that is fine. Childhood is too short, she has her whole life to worry about what others are going to try to define her as. Or maybe if she’s lucky she won’t worry about it at all.
Also she is autistic and no stranger to being “different” but that doesn’t have to be a bad thing either. Kids who have qualities that set them apart should be encouraged to embrace their individuality. It builds character and a strong sense of self, not to mention self esteem.
Post # 13
- Wedding: August 2013 - Brookfield Zoo
Ahhhh I didn’t really get out of my tomboy phase until I graduated high school, and I have since butterflied into probably the girliest girl of all the girls. I know for a fact that there were people who thought I was a lesbian in high school, but I was and am not. I just thought that boys were more fun than girls and I had an older brother whom I looked up to.
Post # 14
I was/am a tomboy. I never grew into being “girly”. I’m also totally happy being female and totally straight. My parents didn’t seem bothered at all that I wasn’t girly, bought “boy” toys I liked, my dad tought me plenty of boy things, and my mom just rolled her eyes and lovingly said “you are so your father’s daughter”. She would have loved a lacy girly girl. I knew this as far back as I can remember, but it never came off as she wished I was that girly girl, she took the attitude it just wasn’t to be. My mom still bought girl toys but never pressured me to play with them.
I’d encourage continuing to point out she’s a girl not a boy or a cat or a horse :), but also show you’re fine with her playing with/however she wants.
An interesting note, I have a small disability too. And my ex has a little sister that was an amputee and she went to Forestry school and could chop down a tree one handed better than most of her male classmates could two handed… and got married to a great man.
Post # 15
I was a tomboy until my junior year in college, which seems to be a little older than others have posted about. I had an older brother growing up, and I always wanted to hang out with him, so I did the same things he did. I played baseball on the boy’s team until I graduated high school. I played basketball (on the girl’s team) because my guys friends all played basketball. I dressed like them, which wasn’t pretty (think sweatpants and hoodies). When I went to prom in a dress, people literally didn’t recognize me. Once I got to college and had female roomates, I started doing more “girly” things and dressing more like a girl. I always had boyfriends though, even in high school. I wouldn’t worry about it. My uncle’s son went through a stage where he only wanted to play with barbies, and now he’d be so embarrassed if someone brought that up and he’s only 12.
Post # 16
I was very similar. Do you just have the two girls? I grew up with one older sister and for some reason, when I was her age, I was convinced the “perfect” family was a mommy, a daddy, a sister, and a brother. I am not sure why I thought that lol. Maybe just media influence or something. I am sure she will grow out of it though, as I did not long after.