I'm worried about my son's sometime "girlie" behavior
My 5yr old son likes to sometimes, not always act girlie. I think part of the problem is that he only has girl cousins and one boy cousin thats just turned two. I have three sisters and one brother, My husband is an only child, he too is very affectionate as well. I think that its just a phase. My son I caught him trying to wear my shoes one time (on two recent occasion I found my shoes in other places from where I had originally placed them) he at times like acting(walking) feminine. He loves to comb my nieces dolls,spin like a ballerina, and watch barbie. At first I had no clue what to do, now I started to take a different approch. I speak to him in private, like at bedtime after a story, or while we get ready to watch a movie or even when i bathe him. I inform him that he could tell my anything under the sun and that he wont get in trouble, that whatever we speak wont leave the room and that I wont tell dad(Dad is the "strict parent"). I avoid eye direct eye contact and try to keep a neutral face (because he trys to read my expressions) I do this b/c I feel all kids should have a parent they should feel safe to talk to regardless of the topic. So I ask him why he likes to play girl stuff, with girl stuff, and/or sometimes act like a girl. He always answers "Idk". When I ask him what is he, he says a boy, I've ask what does he feel he is he says boy. He says boys like girls, boy get married to girls, and he speaks to me of when he has a wife and kids when he gets older.
Many kids go through stages when they test out how feels to be like the opposite sex. In rare situations this is a sign of "Gender Identity Disorder" which is when a child believes that he is the opposite gender. In the majority of cases it isn't that, but is--as you said--just a phase. The answers that your son gave to your very important questions give us some good clues. The fact that he believes he is a boy and that he believes he will grow up to become a man and marry a woman leads us to believe that he does not have GID.
Sometimes what we think of as 'girlie' is simply emotional, sensitive behavior, which we should encourage in our sons as well as our daughters. If your husband tends to be sensitive, then he is already role modeling this, which is great.
I don't think you should worry about your son. Keep in mind that no matter what type of a person he turns out to be, the most important thing he needs to know is that you and his dad love him for exactly who he is--not what he does. And it sounds like you're doing that already!
Good Wishes and Great Parenting,
Dr Susan Bartell
JustAsk Expert www.drsusanbartell.com
NEW book "The Top 50 Questions Kids Ask"
#1 Don't freak! #2 Do not make it a power control issue. While you may be able to win right now in a power control situation, you could loose him in 20 years from now.
The obvious response is to get him involved with groups that have boys in them. I would add a bit of a different direction. Rather then worry about his genderlikeness in play at five years old, think about what is important to you about who he becomes as a young adult. What I mean by that is that most parents hope for their children to grow up to be self sufficient, do a good days work in a profession that they enjoy, healthy in mind, body, heart, spirit and socially. A good American citizen that carries on a reasonable conversation and comes home when they have to any more. Is not self destructive in behavior choices, and will help out another fellow human being in distress. Okay, so figure out what is important to you to teach him before he is grown. Look for ways to encourage his developement as a human being. If he has an attraction for cooking-watch the chef shows together and have him help do age appropriate cooking jobs. If he enjoys playing with legos take him to see bridges and then build one together at home out of legos, or popsickle sticks, or graham crackers and marshmellows. The other thing, never tell your child that you will not tell dad. Remember dad loves his son too. Different approach. You'll drive a wedge between the two men in your lives. Remember those two men need each other and most moms want her men to find away to each others heart for life. By saying you won"t tell dad something your undermining the potential of that relationship. God bless you, you go girl!
Your son sounds to be a very sweet boy! Remember that children learn from modeling. They learn behaviors from those who they interact with most of the time. Most likely, being with female cousins and sisters a lot, makes him engage in behaviors they do. He knows the difference between genders and sounds that the also already learned some of their social roles, so there is no reason to worry that he is confused about that.
Love your son for who he is and continue to express your acceptance no matter what. It will be up to him to chose his sexual identity when the time comes.
I personally think it is just a phase. I remember when I was younger I had this good friend and she had another sister and a even younger brother. he would put on his moms heels, his sisters dresses as well as make up on at the age of four. He is now six and grew out of this habit. It was before he interacted with allot of other boys. So as I said it is probably just a phase/ he's coping what he sees around him. Just let him grow out of it on his own. If he is genuinely confused and thinks he is a girl or is gay, it is not a bad thing. It may give him some difficulties later on but it is not a bad thing for a person to be so. I wouldn't go telling him that it is bad to do the things he is doing but I would ask him why he does those things but I would stress that it is not necessarily a bad thing. You want to keep a close relationship with him. Hope this helped some.
Don't worry about a thing, your son is still young so I'm sure he likes to mimic what he sees. He is experimenting as he's still little so he will grow out of it. It's just a phase he is going through.
My son does the same thing sometimes. When I tell him "No." Not yelling or small, just medium, he stops. Not sure if that will work on you. But the reason for me is that he likes to be like his older sister.