9 answers

4 Year Old Boy Playing Dress up with Girls' Costumes

A friend of mine is wondering if it is unusual that her 4 year old son to likes to play dress up and dress up in princess dresses, etc. He has a younger almost 3 year old sister who is all into princesses....it wasnt really interested in it all until his sister started to enjoy it (and get attention over it). If they are playing Cinderella for instance he would rather be Cinderella than Prince Charming....Any thoughts?

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It's Ok, I have 7 kids, 4 boys and 3 girls, My boys always played dress up with their sister's, the girls were even to get the boys to dress up in girl clothes well up unitl the age of 9. So as the saying goes......No worries. They eventually outgrow it.

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I think it is perfectly normal. It always bugs me that girls can get away with playing wit boy stuff but bys can't show interest in girl stuff. It is normal for that age. They are trying to figure who they are and what they like. My son is four, he likes pink, loves Cinderella, and even tried to wear one of his sisters dresses. His love for pink is fading. I blame some of this on the fact that he is always around alot of girls. Sometimes he does it for attention. As far as Cinderella goes, it is just a crush. My brother is in his 30's and he still loves Belle. I have a cousin in his 20's, his favorite color is pink. I gave him a box of pink stuff for his wedding present and he loved it more than she did. Along time ago boys did play with dolls, they did wear pink, they even once wore dresses. And most of them were just fine. Boys love to play dress up too. If she doesn't want him dressing up as a princess then maybe she should buy him some firefighter, policeman, construction worker stuff, or soldier. My son likes to dress up as a knight, he also loves his Darth Vader helmut and mask, even though he has never really seen Star Wars. This way he can still dress up, I'm sure he would love it.

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Coming from someone whose 4 yr old son slept in his sisters pajamas last night and can often be seen running around in a tutu, I would say this is normal. My son is very much a boy, but likes to bond with his sister this way. I would tell your friend to relax and not make a deal out of it at all. It will soon stop, especially when he starts school and has many other influences she will really need to worry about!


1 mom found this helpful

Kids love to play dress up and it is natural for them to pretent on rolls of their parents (male or female) I would not worry unless he is seventeen and cross dressing regularly. Dress up is part of the growing up process.
A while back someone had the same concerns. Kids need to experience different things. Girls need to play with trucks just like boys need to play with dolls.
My daughter is a mechanic in the ARMY and engaged to wonderful guy. My sons slept together when they were young and my mother insisted they would become gay. Well one is married and the other is dating a beautiful girl.
I had boys pretend to nurse.
Don't worry,
C. B
P.S. My daughter hates pink.

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This is my respose to a similar post....

You are being too sensitive. He is your son and you love him. Kids will tease other kids about anything. Their name, their hair, feckles, toys, whatever. If he prefers playing with dolls, so what?! Who decided what a "girl" and "boy" toy is anyways! Would you be as perturbed if you had a daughter who liked trucks or action figures more than dolls? Those are a "boy" toy. Is you DH worried that your son might be exibiting "symptoms" of homosexuality by playing with dolls? Becasue not all gay men are afemanent. And if he is gay, does that change your love for him?
Holly, Cathy, and Katie hit it on the nose.
He is a kid. He is 4. Let him play with what makes him happy. And if that is princesses, so be it.
PS How do you know that he doesn't like to pretend to be pince charming, would it still bother you then?

1 mom found this helpful

It sounds totally normal to me...he's showing a healthy interest in something new. Most likely he will outgrow it when he starts school and his friends tell him it's too girly (unless their parents are also open-minded and don't have a problem with their sons playing with "girl" stuff). There's too much emphasis on "girl" toys and "boy" toys. I think as long as they're using their imaginations, girls should play with trucks and robots (as well as barbies and costumes) and boys should be allowed to play with the same. My son requested a barbie doll for his 3rd birthday (and got it). He's now 10 and will absolutely not admit that doll actually belongs to him - he insists it's his sisters' doll. And my youngest daughter has blue "boy" inline skates with flames on the side. She'll skate around the house in them wearing her Belle costume with it. It's all totally normal. Tell your friend not to worry.

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having siblings that enjoy this definitely will make a difference, especially if he feels they get more attention, or different kind of attention that he wants.

My husband's younger brother did this growing up and he is just fine. He's not even effeminate (sp?) or gay or bisexual and doesn't dress in women's clothing now. :)

1 mom found this helpful

I think it is perfectly normal, and he will outgrow it. My son is constantly wearing a princess dress, he knows all the princesses names, etc. He too is surrounded by girls. We never say a word to him or discourage him in any way, because I know when he gets to be school age, he will not want to wear them anymore. Tell her to try to relax and let him be:)

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I would like to say that if your friend is really concerned about it, she can get him his own dress up clothes and give him just as much attention while wearing them as her DD gets wearing hers. Perhaps that will encourage him to wear his own (super hero costumes, prince outfits, cowboy things...) "boy" dress up clothes. Everyone has their own comfort level with things like this, so if it is really bothering her (or her husband), she will need to encourage him to wear other things - not the dresses.
My 2yo LOVES his sister's princess shoes. I've never had a problem with him wearing them, but my husband doesn't like it anymore, so we got him his own prince shoes (still looking for cowboy boots), but he is perfectly happy dressing up like a prince when big sister is a princess. Your friend may just need to find something that he wants to pretend to be. Maybe take him to the store and have him pick out some dress up things.
If she isn't too worried or uncomfortable with what he is doing (and hubby isn't either), then I would just say wait and he will grow out of it eventually.

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