June 12, 2012,
A.N. asks from Fort Wayne, IN on December 19, 2007
My Daughter Is a Tomboy
Does anyone out there have a daughter that dresses and acts like a boy? Since about the age of 3 or 4 my daughter has only wanted to shop in the boys dept. She only plays with toys that boys like too. She is a beautiful girl and will begin middle school next year. I want to help her with this transition but feel that she is isolating herself from so many friends. I want her to be happy being who she is I just don't want her to be picked on and ridiculed for being different.
So What Happened?™
Thank you all for your responses. I know it is best just to let her be and know that everything will work out.
L.S. answers from Chicago on December 20, 2007
Not to worry. I remember my older sister dressing and acting like a boy until she was 10. Her name is Chris and she had the short bowl hair style popular of the 70's and everyone thought she was a boy. She was thrilled when she was playing ball and other kids thought she was a boy! I do not remember my Mom making a big deal of it. My sister even announced that she wanted to be a boy when she was older.
Then, junior high hit and she had a crush, then another crush.... then she just morphed!
Now, she is happily married and we LAUGH about her being the ultimate Tomboy when she was a kid. She says that the boys just got to do all the cool stuff.
Do not worry.
H.D. answers from Fort Wayne on December 28, 2007
It sounds to me like you want your daughter to be someone she's not, which, can often be more uncomfortable. If your daughter is content with herself why aren't you? Kids are who they are. As parents we want to make it easier for them but we cannot change who they are. She may be isolating herself because she's feeling pressure to be someone she's not. Take a step back and let her find her own way. If being a tomboy is the worst thing about her you are pretty lucky. And, being a teacher, the sad truth is that all kids are ridiculed. Teach her how to use it to make herself strong. She just might surprise you.
A.P. answers from Kansas City on January 25, 2010
I'm 52 and I'm still a tomboy. I do more guy things than any of the guys that I know; construction, mechanics, football, play keys in a band, garden, train my dog and cats. I'm a remodeling addict and I don't need a guy to help me with anything. My Mom wanted me to play with dolls but I didn't want anything to do with them. I only wanted Hot Wheels, toy guns and football gear. I was hoping the same for my Daughter but she's more of a girly girl. I'm still working on her though! She's 24. Annie
H.C. answers from Indianapolis on December 20, 2007
She will find her feminine side in her own time, and show it in her own way. I wore boys/mens jeans until I had my son 3 years ago (before I got hips) I hated dresses and skirts and all my my playmates were the neighborhood boys. Things did change in Middle School. She'll find that there are things boys just don't talk about and girls do. My niece who is almost 9 is the biggest tom boy, but last month she decided she wanted her ears pierced, and her 11 year old, girly girl, big sister is too afraid of how much it will hurt. You just never know!! Just let her be comfortable, she'll find herself, with maybe just a little influence from friends.
S.C. answers from Fort Wayne on December 20, 2007
I think your fears are a little unfounded at this point. I don't really think kids that young really care what they're wearing. I could be wrong though. I was a tomboy when I was growing up. I didn't grow out of it till I was about 10. I still would rather wear pants then a skirt and rarely do my hair or wear makeup. I don't see anything wrong with that. I don't have gender confusion or anything else. I am a happily married woman. I also tend to have more guy friends than girl friends. To help her, you could find the most gender neutral clothes. Try to get her to shop in the girls department, but don't buy all the pink and purple stuff. They make lots of cute girl clothes in brown, blue, and yellow.
T.S. answers from Chicago on December 20, 2007
Hi, my name is T. and I was (is) a Tomboy my whole life. In fact, I'm in jeans and a mens sweatshirt while I type this at work. Growing up, I played sports with the boys including TACKLE football. I wanted to wear boy clothes and with a name like "T." I was often mistaken for a boy. My mom let me be. As I got older, I still dressed in what I was comfortable in (jeans) and the thought of wearing a dress/skirt was a nightmare for me. Even now I only own about 3 dresses...one being my wedding dress.
In junior high, I "went out with" (dated) boys. In high school, I dated guys - a lot. After high school, I dated men - a lot. Don't take that the wrong way, I was in no way a slut. In fact, a lot of my dating experiences were with guys that were my "buds". I could talk sports with them, watch sports, appreciate cars, motorcycles, etc. I was rarely nervous around guys because I hung out with them so much. They weren't aliens to me. The natural sexual progression sometimes led to a more than friends situation.
I had a lot of female friends and I still do. I can be "girly" with the best of them. I know how to dress up when I need to, I just don't enjoy it every single day.
My advice to you would be to let your daughter be who she is and accept and love her for it. Wishing she was more girly isn't going to make her that way (trust me). My younger sister was/is a Tomboy, too. She's 15 now and about 3 years ago started to want to dress from the girls section, have her ears pierced, etc. When/if she's ready, she'll change.
T. (with an "i") ;)
J.K. answers from Chicago on December 20, 2007
My 4 1/2 year old was a tomboy until 6 months ago. She went from all pants and dinosaurs to all dresses, shiny shoes, hair bows and ...dinosaurs. I don't think that other kids really notice for a few more years yet. Just let her experiment with lots of stuff and develop her self confidence. I bet when she's a teen ager you won't be able to pry her out of the bathroom. Good luck!
D.G. answers from Chicago on December 20, 2007
Buying her clothes in the boys department & only playing with boy toys is not a big deal. She will either decide to be more "girly" or not. Sometimes middle school is the catalyst for change. I would just let her be, and see what happens. The more you press the issue with her, the more she will resist.
C.H. answers from Fort Wayne on December 20, 2007
Hey I got one of those at home now. She starts middle school next year and she is just now turning from being a BRAD to a BREE. Hate to tell you but she will change when she is ready and nothing you can do can change that. When she was in Kindergarden the school even suggested I take her to counciling for gender idenity issues. She was trying to get ppl to call her ZACK. Zack was our neighbor's son who at that time had just come home from the Navy. I did this and it cost me around a thousand dollars for them to tell me she was NORMAL. Imagine that. I had fun rubbing that in the schools nose let me tell you. Mine wore tennies for the christmas play at school this year. Oh and red shirt and black PANTS not a skirt, like the rest of the girls. What I try to do is NOT point out what other girls are wearing. Have you raised her that it is okay to have her own opinion, be herself, independent? Working full time I bet you have, I did. You just about have to anymore when Mom works. Well she is doing exactly what you have raised her to do. Not jumping off the bridge if someone tells her to. She is not following the click of girls at her school and your worried about that? Some of these girls now and days have ways about them that I would not want my adult child doing. Is it honestly so bad she wears boys clothes. She has friends, they might be boys but hey I know some females out there that can really be ruthless. She may not change till she falls in love and wants to be that soft ,gentle , cinderella in the fairy tales type of girl. Men can make us do stupid things like wear dresses, lol. Just accept her like she is and know there will always be some kid out there that will find something wrong with her. Thats just how it is and she will deal with it when that happens. Thats when she will come to you and ask what to do. Just thank the good Lord it is just her clothes that makes her different right now. She'll be fine. She is just on her own agenda right now. I have seen many wealth athletes that have their own style of dress for being a woman. I'd be proud if my daughter would be one of those women. Wouldn't you? Good Luck.