Post by Bev
As I have mentioned before I babysit my 3 year old grandson. On several
occasions , while he and my grandaughter are playing they play
dress-up. One day my step daughter arrived to pick him up and he had
little pony tails and baretts all over his head. She asked what is
that? Mari explained my grandaughter wanted these things in her hair
and he asked to have them too so she put them in. My step daughter says
oh don't let his father see this. We laughed and said it is innocent
play. The next day he arrived with a crew cut!
Then the real problems began when my granddaugher got a vanity set with
play lipstick and rouge, and earings and even a little purple tu-tu,
ballerina slippers and Tiara . He wants to wear these things and I
really myself feel it is harmless, but then I have never had a boy to
raise and never have been confronted with this before.
I really don't think there's much of a difference at this age in raising
boys or girls. I also see no harm in a little boy playing dress up, just as
I see no harm in a little girl playing with trucks and GI Joes.
Post by Bev
I know his
mother does not want him to play this way , it is not my place to allow
something she is against and I do not know how to explain this to a
three year old. Mind you it is not fair to allow my grandaughter this
and say no to him? I have tried putting the stuff away but if my
grandaughter asks for it , I feel it is something she should not be
As far as I'm concerned, playing is playing, but yes, I see your point of
not wanting to go against what Mom says, in the place of Grandma. There's
really not much you can do to explain this to a 3 year old. Your
granddaughter shouldn't be denied what is hers to play with, but how can you
say yes to her but not to your grandson? Do you have "boy" toys around?
Would it be possible to take both kids shopping, or just your grandson one
day, and have him pick out a special toy that he really wants that he can
keep at your house to play with? Maybe taking both kids out to pick out a
toy that they can both play with together that stays at Grandmas could be an
idea... I don't know what... Just something like a small train set,
basketball and net set, maybe even some cars or trucks of some sort. Find
something that both can play together.
Post by Bev
Then there are the times he finds her dresses and puts them on
Meh. I actually remember when I was about 8 years old, I dressed my little
brothers both up in my dresses. That would have made my brothers about 5
and 2, and I put their hair in piggies and bows and they looked so
beautiful. My mom's eyes popped right out of her head and she nearly busted
a gut laughing and even ran to get the camera. I do remember them agreeing
to it, and they even had a good laugh about it. Neither has turned gay
today because I made them all pretty when they were younger. Even today, my
son will sit with me in the bathroom while I do my hair or something. He
wanted his nails painted one day, so I bring out the nail polish and I
painted his nails the colors he wanted - purple and red and just one finger
blue. When he was about 2 or so, I put him in a set of underwear that I
didn't care much for that my grandma bought - because it was a good price -
that would never fit her in a million years... So off I go with B to the
back room, put on a floral bra and matching panties over his clothes and
send him out to see Baba, Grandma and Uncle. My cousin took a picture of
it, and we all had a good laugh about it. Last year for B's birthday, my
cousin took that picture and made a birthday card for B with that picture on
it. Again, we all had a pretty good laugh.
For my SON'S first Christmas, I bought him a little doll. It was a little
boy doll, and the only person who had a problem with it was my uncle, one of
my brothers and my dad didn't care much for it, but you know what? Bran is
now so good with his baby sister that it amazes me. He's very gentle and
caring and loving, and yet my mom's friend has a son and younger daughter
just a bit older than B and Amie, and the boy is so very, very mean to his
baby sister. I always told Bran that the doll was like a baby... You have
to be very gentle with it, like you would be with a baby.
Post by Bev
Please mothers and fathers of boys enlighten me! What should I
or can I do to do the right thing? I myself have no feelings that a
three year old boy has any thoughts of sexual orientation or that
innocent play at this age will turn him into a homosexual. I know as a
fact that this little guy has been taught to not like the color pink,
he refuses to eat or drink out of anything pink or play with anything
pink including pink clothing.
Nothing 'turns' someone into a homosexual. It has nothing at all to do with
the way a child is or was raised. You cannot just decide you'd like to be
gay or not, it's something that isn't controlled, AFAIC, and the only thing,
I believe, that will come out of making a little boy despise pink, dolls,
whatever it may be, is that they will probably continue this learned
behaviour through their childhood and carry it with them as adults. I
believe that it could cause a child to believe it is alright to hate, even
if it is the color pink or a Barbie.
I believe 'Kate suggested above something about trying to let them play
whatever they want early in the day and have time to distract him with
something else for when Mom gets home. You're NOT hurting him by allowing
him to express himself through play. Other than actions and play, there's
really not many other ways a child knows how to express themselves at that
age. They cannot and do not pick up a pen and write their feelings down.
They do not write beautiful poems and make wonderful books about their
feelings and emotions. Play is a way that a child can express themselves
freely and openly while learning and having fun.
Post by Bev
I am upset that people would be so silly to do such a thing to a young
child. I know his Nanny Gayle would have a lot to say to her daughter,
I would be upset to have them pull him away from me if I spoke my mind
about how I feel.
I agree. Silly really isn't the word I would have used, but it works just
fine! ;) Allowing both children to play - be it your grandson playing with
the vanity set or your granddaughter playing with the Tonka trucks, there
really is no harm at all in that. You might harm a child more by denying
what they want when there really is no reason to say no. It's not like you
are hurting him or doing something wrong in any way. I really do like
'Kate's suggestion about starting the day off early and letting them play
dress-up, or whatever it may be... Maybe you could end the day before Mom
comes to get him by sitting both children down at the table to draw and
color... Maybe that could be an idea - some sort of art or craft set for
both grandchildren... Let them paint and color and draw and glue sparkles on
paper at the table half an hour or so before Mom's expected... Then he'll
either be in the process of making a ginormous mess on your kitchen table
with glue and glitter and crayons, or Mom will walk in to see him helping
you clean up the mess he just finished making... Then he'll have something
to give to you or Mom for the fridge!
I really have no other suggestions right now... I've done everything with my
son that would have your grandson's dad doing backflips, and I don't see
anything wrong with it at all! They're kids! They love to play, and
fantasy is just one of the many ways children develop. Good luck and
hopefully you can figure something out!
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