22 answers

My Girl Wants to Be a BOY - Advice Needed!

*I'm adding this late - I didn't realize I hadn't put her age! She's 7 and her brothers are 9 and 13.

My daughter has been a "tomboy" for awhile now. She has 2 big brothers who she wrestles with and wants to play with and be like. She likes to wear "cool" clothes instead of frilly girl stuff and doesn't care for "princess" or other feminine characters as decorations on her clothing or personal items. Just recently, she had asked me about something a girl said at school about boys having surgery to become a girl and girls having surgery to become a boy. Then, she has stated several times that she wants to be a boy. I know she doesn't understand the actual process or significance of sex-changes and I really don't believe she understands the impact of these wants. I do know that people who end up having sex changes "knew at a young age" that they were "a boy trapped in a girl's body" and so on. This scares me to death. I want her to be "my little girl" and my daughter and I can't imagine anything else. I have a cousin who is in the process of "becoming a male from female" and has already been through a lot in the process, reducing her breasts and I don't know what else...I'm not that close to her. But the whole thing is weird to me and I really don't understand those feelings. So, I'm struggling to accept that my daughter could some day be my son...and honestly, I don't want to accept it. Anyway, I'm looking for any other parents who have had this experience. Did it "pass" with time, these feelings your child had? Do I need to get her some sort of psychological advice? What do I say to her? In speaking with her, I have understood that she feels there are things boys can do that girls cannot do, and I've tried to explain to her that there is nothing she would want to do that she cannot do (like sports, is her example) as a girl instead of a boy. I'm planning on exposing her to some very successful femal atheletes, to begin with. What am I missing here? Thanks in advance for your consideration and advice!

:)M. Linette

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Well, overall, I've read everyone's responses and given it some time. My daughter and I have talked several times, whenever she's brought it up and I truly believe that she said she wanted to be a boy to test my response. I guess I passed because she recently said, "I know, I can still be a girl and just not like "girlie" things, and that's ok." And when the family was having a "What do you want to be when you grow up" discussion last week, she said, "I know what I want to be when I grow up," and I asked "What's that?" Her response was a very confident, "A mommy." How much more "girlie" can one get?! LOL! So, I just let her know that I always knew that I wanted to be a mommy too, since I was a little girl like her. It definitely eased my heart a little, and in watching her, I see such a feminine girl who despite wanting to be tough and tomboyish, is still a girl at heart. So, my worries are less. But I know that she will go through many phases in life and I'll support her in whatever way I know how. Of course I'll always love her and enjoy her. Heck, there was a time, now that I think back on it, that I wanted to be a "black girl." HA! Of course, that being said, I'm not, and will never be. And I outgrew that too. I guess it's all about self-discovery. Thanks everyone!

Featured Answers

Dear M.,
I wouldn't worry much. I was the only female child (I have 3 brothers) and although my mom insisted on dressing me with pink-girly stuff I never really felt comfortable in them. I would always complain and use more boyish things. I know my mom was very frustrated with this, but I simply didn't feel well - I felt calling more attention than I should or wanted - and this happened really early! So, as time went by I just grew up to be a girl! I never respected girly girls as they should be respected, though... I am happily married and have a baby and have no question about my sexual tendencies... :-)
I would really relax and let go.
I hope this helps.

My sister was a HUGE tomboy. She was nicknamed mudpie, would much rather be with the boys than the girls any day of the week growing up, absolutely REFUSED to wear dresses of any sort or girl colors for that matter. Now that we are "all grown up" she is the biggest girly girl. Don't know if this helps, but there's hope!

More Answers

The first question you have to ask yourself is "Will you still love your child no matter what?" If so, then talk to her about it.

And while you are at it, talk to your cousin about "his" process. Be honest with "him" and you might be surprised to learn that it's not as simple as waking up one day and deciding to be a boy.

It's possible that your daughter is just going through a phase, I was the youngest of all boys, and I hated girly things. I wanted to be a boy. However, I'm happily married to a wonderful man with three (and a half) wonderful children and can't imagine anything but being a woman.

But, I've also had several transgendered friends. It's not an overnight thing for any of them. It's not something you just up and decide one day... it's a long process to come to it.

There is a very good group you can get some more information from: http://www.genderawareness.com/ (The Alliance for Gender Awareness).

The main thing is to listen, and talk- not react. This could be a passing phase... but if anything, it's not the end of the world- it could be far worse. At least you still have a healthy child who loves you.

I hope this helps.

2 moms found this helpful

You got some wonderful advice so far from these ladies :). Dont freak out, dont show her your panic. Love her for who she is and dont try to make her something shes not. Expose her to many things and let her unfold in her own way, loving her all the way. I was a huge tomboy and wanted to be a boy when I was younger. Now I am a mom of 3, very happy, no longer want to be a boy :). But even if she maintains that wish, she is still just as worthy of love.

1 mom found this helpful

First - thank you and your husband for his military service- I was a ARMY wife for 5 years and I know how hard it is without your hubby around- and the longest mine was gone was 7 months. Its not easy so thank you from someone who appreciates very much.
Now my 2 cents on your daughter. I was a tomboy growing up- I mortified my mother more than once in church by dancing around because my dress was "itchy". I liked GI Joes and He-Man and I loved to hang out with my older boy cousin- he was my hero. I had a balance though I did play with Barbies and some "girl" things because of my older sister.
More so than me though was my best friend. In Elementary school she was often mistaken for a boy. She insisted her hair be kept short (she even had the 80's rattail for awhile) When she went swimming (they had their own pool) she would wear swim trunks instead of a bathing suit- she never played with anything girly- she had the he-man castle, loved to wrestle with her cousins and dad, and always said she wanted to be a boy- She even prefered when people shortened her name to Nick instead of Nicole. I am firmly convinced if we had been growing up now instead of when we did that she would be "gender confused" or some other PC term. And people would try to change her parts to match. Her mom just always let he be herself and loved her for who she was.... My point though is this- she is now a happily married (to a man:) woman- who loves dressing nicely even prefers pink and has a little boy. And I grew up to be married with baby #3 on the way now. I think that girls who are tomboys grow out of it- you hit puberty and although for some it is even more awkward after awhile it becomes ok to be a girl.
I still find that the tomboy in me comes out- even though I have lace curtains in my house, I'll catch a bug or go fishing with no hesitation- which is great for being a boy mommy.
I would watch- make sure she doesn't start disliking herself because she's a girl- but let her be herself- most likely in several years she'll figure out that its ok.

1 mom found this helpful

I grew up in a house with 2 older brothers a younger brother and my sister came along when i was ten. I was raised as a tomboy. I never liked dresses, stockings, anything girlie. I wanted to be like my brothers because they were free and didn't have to be clean and sit still because they had on a dress. My mother let me be me. I grew out of it when i got to my senior year of high school. I never wore a dress unless I had to, but when homecoming and prom came along I was dressed in the prettiest dress of them all. I did grow out of it. I do dislike too much girlie stuff (joined the military) but I turned out fine I were dresses get my hair done, and carry myself like a lady should. My mother let me be me and discover who I was. Being that your daughter is raised with boys she will be more tomboyish than most girls. Just be understanding and don't force her hand. If she really wants to be a boy later on in life you can't stop it and you just may loose the communication and loving relationship you may have with her. In a couple of years she may change her mind. If she don;t she will want your love and acceptance more than anything in this world. My cousin went through male to female and he wanted his family to love him for who she is nothing more and nothing less. Be loving, patience, and give her options.

1 mom found this helpful

Relax...my neice was the same way and yeah she can kick her brothers butts LOL. Give her time and when she is ready to be your little girl she will be. If you get her in counseling and push that issue you may confuse her more.

1 mom found this helpful

I was a tomboy growing up. I was athletic, never wore frilly things. I didn't want to get my period...I was FURIOUS when I got it before my older sister!! I even insisted (as a teenager) that I would never have a baby (fear of all the pain and issues that went with it...and I wanted independance.) Now, I am happily married with one daughter. I waited until I had a career and experienced independence. Interestingly, I am now a SAHM!! Which leads me to a quote:

"What you resist...persists!"

Example, refer to the example above about being independant and a career woman.
Another example, we didn't know the gender of my daughter until she was born. I insisted everything be gender neutral...yellow, green, Winnie the Pooh. Once she was born, I REFUSED to buy any 'girlie' clothes. The only pink she wore were outfits given from others. I even bought blue stuff to make sure I wasn't pushing the girlie personality and used hand-me-down clothes my nephew wore. Guess what? My daughter is 4 and LOVES pink, princesses and fairies. EVERYTHING is pink and she also loves dogs...She wants one desperately. I have said I will never get a dog. I'm not a dog hater, I just feel that cats are easier. Guess what? We are talking about getting a dog!

My life it filled with situations I vehemently resisted.

So, my point is...don't insist your daughter do 'female' things. Accept her for who she is today. You'll love her and be there for her--whatever happens.
Good Luck.

Oprah covered this same thing on her show about a month ago...go to oprah.com. At the top click on 'inside oprah.com'. Then click on 'The Oprah Winfrey Show'. On the right click 'Oprah Show Archive'. Shows from 2007...go to October. Oct 12th was about Transgender Families---check this out and also under that same link you will see 'related links' at the bottom, check out the one on 'Growing up Intersex'.

Hopefully checking these 2 out you may be able to get some insight.

Of course, your daughter may just be a tomboy and will grow out of it! I was a tomboy for a looooong time. :)

I think you should not worry so much.. I grew up in a neighborhood with all boys, I played tackle football, climbed trees, and played in the dirt with the boys. My whole life, I wasnt into gossip, I had a few friends that were girls but I mostly had guy friends.. Im 33, and I still have more guy friends then girl friends. I now have three children, and like one mom said, some guys prefer the girls that dont feel the need to act stupid. I have a son that has 2 sisters, he loves his older sister very much, he is 4 she is 6, he will play with barbies with her, and with baby dolls, just to be able to spend time with her. Some people have said your son is playing with barbies.. Im not concerned, my son doesnt care about being too girlie, he wants to play with his sister, when he is playing by himself, he plays with his trucks, crashes his motorcycles, and throws the football around.. when hes with his sister he just plays with whatever she wants to play with, so that she will play with him. Not a deal. Relax.. she will be fine. Since you just added she is 7, I really wouldnt worry.. shes still very young

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