21 answers

Five Year Old Son Playing Barbie and Dress Up.

I have two sons, younger one will be five next week, older one is 9. They love to play boy stuff together like rough housing, swords, chase, etc. However, my younger one loves to play Barbies with the neighbor girl who is 3, is very curious about my breasts, loves to draw princesses and has dressed up in my clothing occassionally. He said last year his favorite color was pink, but now it is green. My older son was all into superheroes, my younger one is not at all and has only mild enjoyment for Spiderman. He was enjoying wearing a Batman cape and chasing my older son, then I caught him wearing the cape backwards like a dress. He also has a collection of model horses (we have a horse and he loves to ride) but he seems to enjoy pretending the horses are female. He also wears blankets like dresses. He loves to fish with my husband and play baseball, was excited to get a suit and tie for a wedding and wore his "tuxedo" for picture day at Pre-K. He has a good boy friend and a good girl friend at school. I am conflicted as he truly seems to enjoy girl stuff as well as boy stuff, but sometimes I worry he gravitates towards girl stuff more. Has anyone out there experienced this with their son? Does this suggest gender nonconformity?

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Featured Answers

It sounds to M. like coming on this website was the best thing you could do. I was afraid what answers I'd see, but they all are pretty much on the mark.

That said, if you hadn't heard it from all these people, who knows what you'd have thought because it seems like "out in the 'real' world" everyone has a different opinion than on here. My son loved pink from the day he was born. His dad used to tell him if he kept liking pink he'd get beat up at school. Son very wisely changed his favorite color---to magenta. hahahaha!

1 mom found this helpful

He's too young to be worrying about it now! Let him go and let him play with what he likes. Sounds like a creative, imaginative little guy to me! Enjoy his zest for life!

More Answers

What? Is your real question,"Is my son gay"? Short answer, who knows.
Also, why does it bother you?
Anyway- I played with trucks, climbed trees and loved playing with my dad's tools when I was little. Now, at 34, I am the one who fixes things in the house, I watch action films and like to rough house with my two boys. Does that mean that I have "gender nonconformity"? Does that mean I'm gay? Uh, no. My five year old boys favorite thing to play is princess. He also can be a dinosaur or superman.
Honestly, I'm not sure what to do with this question. Shouldn't you be more concerned with whether or not your kid is kind, intelligent and caring? He will grow up to be who he is supposed to be (sexually) regardless of what you want.

5 moms found this helpful

I agree with the other posters, but I would question why you're sure that playing with horses and dolls is exclusively "girl stuff." Vets, cowboys, rodeo riders - all can be men. And certainly daddies are men, and they play with little girls, who dolls are supposed to represent. Sounds to me like your son is well on his way to being a well-rounded person, and that's the most important thing. Frankly, I think if a whole lot of us experienced a little less "gender conformity" we'd all be a heck of a lot happier. Let him be who he is.

2 moms found this helpful

Does it matter? He's your son, please just let him be who he is without imposing your own "gender rules" upon him. You are his mama and it's your job to make him feel safe in his body and with his preferences no matter what they are. He sounds happy and healthy and those are the most important things to be.

2 moms found this helpful

as a therapist, i suggest asking yourself why it appears to be bothering you. sounds like you have a happy, healthy boy who is good at making friends. good for you! a lot of boys go through that stage, especially if they have friends who are girls (my brother did bc he had me and two girl cousins to play with). i would not make a big deal of it with your son, bc whatever reason the "girl stuff" interests him, you don't want him to feel bad and "wierd".

2 moms found this helpful

He's just playing/exploring. Playing with Barbies and dress up is fun! I used to watch a boy that as soon as he came over - he was in the Cinderella princess heels. :D He loved the sound they made as he would run around the floor. Eventually, he stopped wearing them and playing with Barbies - around the time he headed to Kindergarten.

My oldest daughter (12) still loves boy toys, boy games, and wearing boys' clothes. Nothing wrong with that either.

If I were you, I'd relax about it and let your son be himself.

1 mom found this helpful

Don't judge him or agonize within. Leave him alone- they are toys. Not boy toys or girl toys, just toys. I have a four yearold who plays with dolls. He "mothers" them and cares for them daily. I asked the doctor, and the above was his response, and that its parents that impose gender conformity upon kids, and they will define themselves in time.

1 mom found this helpful

I had a childhood boy friends who played Barbies with us girls until 6 grade. We had elaborate fashion shows and weddings. They did the lighting, music and stage work. We even painted our nails! We also baked cookies and did lots of girly things. None of them are gay. Most of them are now wonderful husbands and great fathers. He may like girl stuff because he has great women in his life!

1 mom found this helpful

It sounds to M. like coming on this website was the best thing you could do. I was afraid what answers I'd see, but they all are pretty much on the mark.

That said, if you hadn't heard it from all these people, who knows what you'd have thought because it seems like "out in the 'real' world" everyone has a different opinion than on here. My son loved pink from the day he was born. His dad used to tell him if he kept liking pink he'd get beat up at school. Son very wisely changed his favorite color---to magenta. hahahaha!

1 mom found this helpful

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