dawnie23 asks:

My son is convinced he is a girl.

Hi, my son goes by the name of barina the girl he is 5 year old. At first I thought this was a phase but now I am not too sure. It's been going on for 3 years now him thinking he is a girl. He is so confused and started being naughty. I think it's because he is so frustrated that he is a boy and not a girl. It's so hard to recognize whether it's just a phase or not because he is only five years old. His behavior at school is controlled but at home he is violent and don't know whether it's adhd or trans gender issues. I have been fighting to get him tested since he was 2 years old and still fighting now. Finally and hope fully camms will be in involved when I take my son's child support worker with me. He watches me put make up on he tells me what to wear and he always wears my clothes. He will only play with girls and he wants to marry a boy. He sleeps in my clothes and puts a t-shirt on his head for hair. The kids outside make fun of him and I tell him to only play in the back garden dressed as a girl. I have now though just let him play in the front because I don't see why my son should hide. He wants to go to dancing class. Do you think it's just a phase or not? There's no time when my son doesn't wanna be a girl. He wears boys trousers and he says it's his tights. He says if he ever gets boys stuff for Christmas he will bin them. He puts his boys toys from last year in the bin.
In Topics: Outside the classroom, My child's growth and development, Self esteem and identity
> 60 days ago



Wayne Yankus
Sep 26, 2012
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What the Expert Says:

I agree this doesn't appear to be a phase although he is still only five years old.  Start by speaking with your pediatrician about his behavior.  Promote time with father, grandfather, uncles etc--not to ridicule but to model behavior and promote "maleness"  I would not recommend letting him wear your clothes as it can be a confusing message to him.

At some point, he may decide he is transgender. That, however, is a process and not a decision a five year old makes by himself.  Right now he is isolating himself from friends because of his behavior.  Let him play with girls if you are comfortable with that. Boys can play with girls but in most societies they dress like their sex.

He needs to know that you all love him for who he is.  Get him tested by a child psychiatrist if one is available as that advice may be a good guide for raising him. Let him know that right now he needs to be a boy but that as he grows, he will have options not available now. Let him know that the future is bright for his decisions when he is old enough to make them.

Best wishes,

Wayne Yankus, MD, FAAP
expert panelist: pediatrics
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