24 answers

My 7 Year Old Boy Likes to Play with Girl Stuff

I have a 7 year old boy that likes to play with girl stuff (such as barbie dolls) but he does it behind my back when hes playing at a friends house, which is nothing but girls. His favorite colors are pink and purple, and when he draws, hes drawing rainbows, flowers, houses, and butterflies. The only boyish thing he does do is play with cars. He doesnt like action figures or play video games or any sports. My question is do you think this is just a phase he is going through or is there is somthing seriously wrong with him?

What can I do next?

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Coming from a long line of macho men in my family I still say it just means he is sensitive and will be a good daddy. My brother always played with my barbies and he is perfectly normal. take a deep breath and let him be.

i always like to emphasize indiviuality. i would not make him feel this is wrong in any way. just like years ago,when left handed kids were taught to be right handed when now we know better. Society sets the rules that girls should like pink, barbie,dolls,etc and boys things includes super heroes, trucks,football,etc. i think its important to keep in mind that everyone should try all things that life has to offer and not be restricted by societies rules. some men like ballet, is that wrong? some women like to play football and work on cars. my advice is to let him be. thats him. thats what he likes and tomorrow he might like something else, you know how kids are. but i think he shouldn't be embarrased or hide it from you but reinforce his confidence as his own person and his indivuality in this world.

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Why do you think there is something 'wrong' with him? I have three daughters... and one of them likes to play with 'boy' toys. She loves make-up and purses but she also loves basketball and wishes that she could play football. I've also watched her turn her barbie doll into a machine gun and shoot her little sister! Are you asking if this type of play could indicate that he is gay? I wouldn't think that the toys he plays with would be any indication of that. He obviously thinks that you disapprove or he wouldn't hide it from you. What are you afraid of? What does his father think?

no, my 8yr. step-son is the same way but its because i have 3 girls and he has no friends close by to play with, but it's normal for a boy to play with girl stuff, i think it's cause girls stuff seems more interesting than boys stuff. my lil brother also was like that when he was 7 or 8 and we always thought the same, that something was wrong but he is playing in a football league now, is your son the only boy? maybe this school year meet some of his friends from school and have them over for a play date or vise versa, you never know maybe he is going to be a big lover boy and will know what a woman wants when he gets older!!!be careful, he may brake a lot of hearts, thats just what my 10 yr.lil brother does now, he says he's a pimp!! but I tell him he's retarded!!!ha!ha!ha! so don't worry bout it it's just a phase or like I said a learnig process for boys!

I wouldn't worry about it at all. My 2 year old likes to dress up in his older sister's princess stuff. He has fun and I let him. NOthing I would think is "wrong with him". And if by that you are meaning he is showing signs of homosexuality- I wouldn't necessarily link the actions at this age. But even if you find out 10 years from now he is- so what. Your job as a parent is to love and support him and help him through any challenges he might face. The LAST thing you need to do is let him ever think anything is wrong with them. And I really hate pointing out certain people on here and I know its a free place to post but I truly disagree with everything Tiffani said and do not think that is proper parenting advice. You do not want your child feeling shame or guilt on the choices he makes especially if he is not in any physical danger. I really hope you do not take her advice by heart and listen more to the other posts on this board. I realize its her opinion but it makes me worry.

Ok. I don't mean to be rude and I don't want to offend you by any means. I kind of felt outrage by your request. This is my opinion---there is NOTHING WRONG with your son playing with girl toys!!! They are just toys!!! Unless he's made to feel wrong by playing with girl toys then that would be the ONLY thing wrong. If you are worried that your son may be gay...Would that change your love for him? If not...then what exactly are you worried about? I am a christian too and I know that religion has a problem with Homosexuality. I have an 8 month old daughter and if one day she only does masculine things and whatever else there is that might stereotype her...I won't love her any less...much less think there is anything wrong with her!
Just be greatful your son is healthy and happy. He shouldn't have to feel he has to hide anything. If he has to hide playing barbie dolls from you now...Do you think one day he will be able to talk to you about anything on his mind or will he hide that from you too?

V., don't panic just yet. I remember my little brother loved to play barbies with me. We colored, we even dressed up. I am his only sister and we have 2 older brothers. He did this because I was the only one he could identify with because the other two boys were much older. He is now married, and has been interested in girls since I can remember. I would advice to just talk to him and try to find out his interests without pushing the boy stuff on him. At seven, he is still a little boy and not all little boys grow up to be men until years later.

Ok, I used to play with boy toys. I had tonka trucks and my brother had ken dolls. If you only have boys then the girl toys are new and different. My best friend has two boys and no girls and when they visit they love to have tea parties, and play with some dress up clothes. As a point she likes to play with their trucks. In fact my hubby buys her army men and they play. Its good and will make her well rounded and if she has a son she can play w/ him.

Relax - I am sure if you son had some friends that were boys he'd be playing with them instead. Or perhaps he just likes the interaction that playing with barbies offers. Get him a GI Joe- It is very common for my daughter and son to play barbies together course he incoporates his gi goe. He plays because he just wants someone to play with and theres days when friends just aren't around. I wouldn't say your son is sneaky by playing barbies, if he is playing with girls though guess what he is gonna end up playing barbies, house or something girl like because are not normally going to play what boys want to play. Maybe find him a new interest like art, music, something that is expressive. Kids are curious and why there is a stigma with what you can play with or wear is kind of sad. He is your son love him for who he is and be blessed that he is happy and healthy. Basically don't sweat the small stuff. Last of all help him find some new friends, friends beyond the neighborhood is always good.
Hope this helps! C.

My opinion, I wouldn't worry too much right now. He's too young to know right now. Maybe find some boys for him to play with. With school starting, I'm sure you could find some boys his age. Good Luck!

M. B

Hey V.!

Welcome to the neighborhood! I'm new to Conroe as well. I have a background as a Pediatric Nurse, so I think I can shed some light on this.

You have ALL boys, right? So when he goes to a house where there are "girl" things, he is totally fascinated! This is completely normal. ALL boys do this. So do girls. The little girls that live next door to us LOVE to come play with the dinosaurs and trucks at our house. Kids at this age are just starting to identify with the opposite sex and that is where the fascination comes in to play. Girls are different and he is simply exploring that.

If he feels the need to "do it behind your back" it is most likely because he feels that he should be ashamed of it for some reason. That message can come from lots of different things. He should know that it is OK and it doesn't mean that there is something WRONG with him.

As for colors...my 3 year old LOVES pink and purple too! He also likes to sing and dance to Dora the Explorer. He says that he wants to be like "mommy" when he grows up. He had a bear that he wagged around for the longest that he referred to as HIS baby. He was mimicing me! He spends the majority of his time with me, so it stands to reason that he identifies with my role as a stay at home mom.

My 5 year old went through this stage too. They ALL do. They also grow to love "boy" things: trucks, cars, mud holes, etc. He may never like action figures or video games. Count your blessings because INACTIVITY in children is the leading cause of Type 2 Diabetes and obesity. As long as he grows up to be a good productive member of society, does it really matter?

I think this makes your son well rounded! I mentioned this to my hubby when he phoned just now and he told me that when he was about 9 he played with the neighborhood girls and had "tea parties". It was because he figured out that the girls LIKED him to do that. Besides, SOMEONE needs to play the daddy! He also mentioned that as he began to get older and discovered girls that he was a favorite. No suprise to me! I assure you, my hubby is all man now :-)

Relax. Encourage him to be himself. Let him pick an activity that HE wants to enjoy and all will work itself out.

Maybe we can get the boys together sometime! Email me ____@____.com of luck!

E.--Mom of 2
www.CEOfamilies.com

I understand your fears probably come from worries about your child growing up to be gay. That might be the worst scenario you are imagining, with your son's interests the way they are. I have a 7 yr old son too, and he has had a few less-than-"boyish" moments. I've thought about that fear as well - that he might be teased, or wouldn't fit in, especially in this homo-phobic land of TX. I should also say that I'm a Christian, and would have a hard time dealing with it if either of my children grew up to be gay. However, there are a lot worse things our kids could grow up as. And I, for one, am grateful for two healthy kids, no matter what their adulthoods bring. I'm grateful for sharing this time in their lives, and will NEVER stop loving them. That's it. It's our job as a mom. We must accept and love our children as they are, and as they become. I pray that you can also reach that realization, focus on your son's talents and strengths, and the beauty that is him. With you supporting and loving him, he'll be able to get through any troubles or teasing. God bless.

M.

My son is 6 and has been exactly the same way I think since he was born. He won't play with any of his boy toys. He has many dolls and girl toys now because that is what he likes. My husband has a problem with it, but I tell him that it is HIS problem!
I do however, tell my son that he can have girl toys, just do not ACT like a girl. That is a no no.
If he grows up to be gay, that's fine, it's still him, but I hate how they have to be flamboyant! Ewww!
Ok, so I just had to read all the comments to your question, and I hope they've made you feel so much better as they did for me. Thanks soooo much for posting your question. I've sent it to my husband.

Because he does it behind your back at a friends' house tells you that he knows you would not approve. It could be a phase, and if it is, he will get over it. The best thing to remember is not to shame him, publicly or privately, that can hurt him.
Good Luck.

V.,
I know that there are loads of people who's sons did the same thing. My son went through that stage at an earlier age. He's now 8, but still likes to put on my silky nightgown. But after he quit playing with his doll, and stopped twirling like a princess, he has started playing with more trucks and cars, and rescue vehicles galore. I can only say that I hope it is a stage. I could only suggest one thing that I had tried and that was to ignore the behavior and try not to bring it up because it may be something that is getting him attention. *I say this in a question type way because I really don't know what else to say*.
Good luck, I know it can be frustrating, hang in there.
JC

My son turned 7 at the end of April. He doesn't discern between "boy toys" and "girl toys" either. He loves dollhouses. He ALWAYS draws houses and lately his favorite color has been pink as well. He does have high-functioning autism but I don't believe that has anything to do with it other than he doesn't care what other people think about it. I think if he's doing it "behind your back" he feels there is something wrong with it. I certainly don't think there is anything wrong with it. I believe kids should be allowed to be who they are and not feel shame. I would encourage more "boyish" activities but not make him feel as though there is something wrong with him if he prefers the typically girly stuff.

First, we just moved south of Houston...I have 4 kids..if you ever want to chat please by all means looke me up. My id on Yahoo is aprildawn72 or find me on myspace.com/aprildawn72.

My almost 6 yr old son and your son would be best of buddies. Mine loves barbies, loves pink, but is still a boy. When it started we decided to nurture it. Let it happen not make a big fuss (even though we joke alot about it to ourselves). This past christmas is his first not to get something girlie. We decided we wouldn't indulge it and see what happened...and he never even mentioned that he didn't get something no-boyish. He still plays with what he has, but if we go out and get a prize, I might point out something boyish and talk about how cool it is...sometimes he bites and sometimes not.

I am not worried at all, if anything he is going to be a great husband one day because he is so girl oriented...and if you are worried about that part...MY 11yr is all boy, has no interest in girls what so ever and never has. My 6 yr old has a new "girlfriend" (imaginary right now, but school just started so give him time LOL) every week. When he plays mommy and daddy he plays the daddy role. I tried to put his sister's barrett in his hair and he quickly reminded me that was for girls. So he knows the difference, jsut finds those toys more interesting. I think looking at them for what they are just toys helps.

My step-mom is a 1st gradeteacher and had a child that his parents wouldn't even let him color at school with a pink crayon...they thought it at ever turn, the child was diagnosed as gender-confused. I wonder if their refusal had anything to do with it. He actually wanted to wear a dress to school. Mine has never asked or shown any interest.

However, when we went to pick out underwear to start our potty training adventure...guess what he picked? He never tinkled on Barbie and he never wore a diaper again so whatever works LOL...my husband on the otherhand about had a heart attack!

Hope this eases your mind some...look me up if you care to chat.

Hang in there
A.

i always like to emphasize indiviuality. i would not make him feel this is wrong in any way. just like years ago,when left handed kids were taught to be right handed when now we know better. Society sets the rules that girls should like pink, barbie,dolls,etc and boys things includes super heroes, trucks,football,etc. i think its important to keep in mind that everyone should try all things that life has to offer and not be restricted by societies rules. some men like ballet, is that wrong? some women like to play football and work on cars. my advice is to let him be. thats him. thats what he likes and tomorrow he might like something else, you know how kids are. but i think he shouldn't be embarrased or hide it from you but reinforce his confidence as his own person and his indivuality in this world.

Nah! it's a phase! when i was a little girl i hated barbies, dress up etc. i wanted to play soccer, baseball and run with the boys in my neighborhood. i never wore skirts, always in my jeans and cowboy boots. and no, i am not a lesbian now.
i just got more girly in hs (was a cheerleader, in drama etc.)
I really think it's just a phase.

and seriously, if some time down the road your son does turn out to be gay, it's not the end of the world. (comming from a mom who has a gay uncle, and lots of gay and lesbian friends)

Personally, I think it might be a phase he is going thru. A couple of yrs ago my son like the soft pastel colors also.
But whatever it is, you can sign him up for sports if you want, and try it that way. But also you have to remember that every child is different and unique.
Hope that helps...

I don't think there's anything wrong with him- whether it's a phase or not. Kids like different things and that should be ok as long as it's not hurting anybody. I would let him know that he could be who he is without worrying about anyone thinking less of him for it. Plus, he's only 7. Maybe he's very nurturing or something and none of the boy toys let him do that.

Sounds like you my need to consult a child psychologist for guidance. I don't think there is anything wrong with your child. He is developing his personality and showing you who he is and what he likes to do. He should not feel like he has to hide from you. That just means he feels what he is doing is wrong or rather that you or the family does not approve. I think this is where you may seek the guidance of a professional. Good luck.

There is nothing wrong with your son. He may just be engaging in role playing or he may be genuinely interested in things you deem "feminine."
Since you say he does this "behind your back," obviously he feels like his behavior is not ok to you in some way. I would strongly encourage you to "look the other way" when it comes to his likes and dislikes and NEVER discourage him or berate him in any way. As long as he is a growing, healthy boy, let him be him.
And lastly, if you are worried he is showing signs of being gay, let me say that you truly cannot tell at such a young age. And even if he turns out to be later in life, you are his mother and need to support your son NO MATTER WHAT. That is your job and your calling as his mother.

Good luck to you,
B. Sanborn

Coming from a long line of macho men in my family I still say it just means he is sensitive and will be a good daddy. My brother always played with my barbies and he is perfectly normal. take a deep breath and let him be.

My son now 12 played with girl things with his sister all the time when he was little. He was in to wrestling action figures and they incorporated them together with the barbies. If you ask me the action figures are just a male version of the barbie. My son also didn't to go outside because he didn't like to sweat. His favorite color used to be pink too. It is now red. He doesn't have a problem wearing pink though and neither do any of the other boys at school. Now at 12 all he talks about are girls that is the only thing on his mind and he plays football lots of sweating involved there. We are really trying to direct him to focus on education. Now all the girls say he is a commitment phobe.
I would have loved him no matter what his sexual orientation was though. I never at any point thought anything was wrong with him.

Maybe your son is lacking attention from your husband. He may be acting out to get some sort of drastic attention. Trying having your husband spend more time with him and the other boys doing outside activites, museums etc.

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