JGatsby asks:

Our son insists on being a girl to crazy extremes. Please Help!

For the last couple of months we found ourselves as parents in a terrifying situation. Our son who is five acts like a girl and even insists on wearing "girlie" clothes. Last week he even started high pitching his voice to sound like a girl. This continued even when his voice became somewhat hoarse.
Two weeks ago, we as parents got the fright of our live when a friend of his was over at the house. I heard our son asking his friend how to "cut it off." Upon entering his room, I saw him standing there without his pants and underwear on, while his friend was crouching next to him with scissors in hand.
I started screaming and pulled them away from him.
After that, we took him to a psychologist, but my son refused to talk unless he got his scissors back.
Please note that one year ago, our son was completely normal. He never had any issues in school, and our home situation is very stable.
I'm completely lost. What should I do???
In Topics: Parenting / Our Family, Discipline and behavior challenges, Fatherhood
> 60 days ago



Nov 18, 2010
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What the Expert Says:

As young as 3 years of age children know the difference between being a boy or a girl.  Your son's wishes to be a girl could only be a stage that will pass.  However, if he exhibits gender identity issue over time, you should discuss the gender identity problem with their child's regular health care providers.

Suggested reading:

Gender identity disorder


Best regards.
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Additional Answers (1)

Dr.Susan , Child Professional writes:
Hi there,
I can understand that this is really worrying you because it feels like it is not something that parents typically see--and I'm sure that the scissors must have been very scary!

There are times when it is a phase for a child to act like the opposite sex--they are curious, 'trying out' a different persona. However, when this persists beyond the time that it is typical for a child to be secure in their gender (which is about three or so), it can be a signal that your child is struggling with a gender identity issue. It has nothing to do with having an unstable homelife, nor does it mean that he is being parented or schooled incorrectly.

It is very important to behave calmly around your child. If he truly has a gender issue will make him feel guilty or want to keep it a secret. This will not help you or him get to the bottom of the issue. Some questions you can casually ask him are "when you grow up do you think you will become a woman or a man?" and "would you prefer to be a mommy or a daddy?". His answers may help you understand how he sees himself. I would suggest that you seek specialists--a psychologist and a developmental pediatrician that SPECIALIZE in gender identity. Don't be deterred by your son not wanting to go. Your goal is to assess your son and then decide on what if any treatment is necessary. You need to be careful not to go to professionals who don't fully understand or know how to work you in the best way possible, so research to find these people is critical.
Good wishes and great parenting
Dr. Susan Bartell
JustAsk Expert
> 60 days ago

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