jo-anne asks:

My 7 year old son has always wanted to be a girl. What do I do?

Member Added on Jun 21, 2010
My son is a happy healthy 7 year old who has 2 brothers aged 11 and 9 months, he has a very good relationship with myself and his dad and is not ashamed of telling people he wants to be a girl when he grows up. Since the age of around 3 he started dressing in girls clothes and wanting pushchairs and dolls i no that is not uncommon in young boys so wasn't to worried at the time. He has recently turned 7 and announced he will have his penis sliced off when he is a man. He mainly has friends who are girls and tells them he will one day be a girl i am starting to be concerned as i dont want him harming himself yet trying not to take it to seriously as he is still young. He wants to go to school as a girl now but i comprimised with him and brought him a couple of girlie clothes for him to wear in the house and said there his new dressing up costumes (as i dont want him to think i am ashamed of him by keeping him inside because i am not) and he only wears his dressing up things at home (dragon costume, pirate, skeleton, girl clothes and jewellery e.t.c) this is all new to me and i dont no if im doing the right thing here or not but all i know is my son is not happy as a boy, when i gave him his girl clothes and accesories his little face lit up and he said to me 'this feels like my dream'.I love my boy very much and want him to be happy what do i do from here as i no soon he will not be happy enough staying in the house. Please help. x
In Topics: Self esteem and identity, Discipline and behavior challenges
> 60 days ago



Jun 21, 2010
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What the Expert Says:

When children have a consistent and clear sense that they want to be the opposite sex it is called Gender Identity Disorder.

Children with GID sometimes wish that they were the opposite sex, believe that when they grow up they will become the opposite sex and tend to prefer stereotypical clothing and games of the opposite sex. They also tend to enjoy playing only with the opposite sex. This is something that persists, rather than being a short-lived 'phase'. It also should not be confused with being homosexual because it is different and unrelated.

If you believe that this may describe your child, I strongly suggest you begin by speaking to your child's pediatrician and also to a doctor or psychologist who specializes in GID. It is VERY important to find the right specialist, do a lot of research and make sure you get support for your child and family. If your pediatrician doesn't seem to know about it, is dismissive or tells you it is a phase, immediately seek other help. Having the right support system in place to help you understand what you and your child are experiencing and might experience in the future, is very, very important.

A real GID is not necessarily something you can 'cure' or 'fix', but you will need to understand the treatment options as you do further research. Of course, before any of this, you need to be sure what you are observing is in fact a GID, which is why you need to seek out good specialists.

Good Wishes and Great Parenting,
Dr Susan Bartell
JustAsk Expert
Twitter @drsusanbartell
NEW book "The Top 50 Questions Kids Ask"

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