Signs Your Little Boy is Having a Gender Identity Crisis

Some psychologists say a male child will question whether he wants to be a boy or girl as young as 18 months old. So with knowing this, how do you determine whether your son prefers being more like mommy than daddy? The following signs will help you answer that question. If you find he is behaving in a way that makes the hair on the back of your neck stand up, it is time to reevaluate your parenting. Find books on the subject of gender identity and seek counseling.

Dress up

One. If your son is a toddler, when the girls are playing dress up, is he participating with them and what is he choosing to wear? If he prefers the dresses over the cowboy hats and you find that he is regularly choosing them, are you finding other items for him to play with that will distract him? If he is beyond the toddler years, why is he still playing dress up with little girls?

Rough and Tumble Play

Two. When "the going gets tough, the tough get going" so the saying goes. So when the boys are being physical such as running, jumping, and playing sports, what is your child doing? Now this is a tricky area to use to make your determination since there are many boys who rather play in ways that don't require physical activity. If he is avoiding the rough play and rather play with blocks, cars, reading a book, or building a rocket than he just may be smart and would rather not take a chance on getting hurt. You will have to include other signs with this one to be certain he has a problem.

Wigs, Lipstick and Women's Clothing

Three. Any boy who prefers to parade around in his mother's wig, decorate his lips with her lip gloss, and drape himself with her clothes and jewels when it isn't Halloween, you need to find out what is going on with him. He may secretly wish he was you, maybe his sister, or some other female relative or family friend. Talk to your child and again find a distraction that he may find more interesting than dancing around in women's clothes.

Voice

Four. When a boy begins to talk with a higher pitch so that he sounds more feminine, you will need to find out who he is around that may be influencing this sort of behavior. He may be around more women than men. If he is making hand gestures and body movements that you or others deem is "acting feminine," that is a clear indication that someone, maybe even you, is telling him in what you say and do that this behavior is acceptable.

Girlfriends

Five. Some boys have way more girlfriends than guy friends, but if he doesn't call any one of these girls his "girlfriend" there may be a variety of reasons. This is also another one of those tricky areas, but look for one of the other signs coupled with this one. If your son is nearing a dating age and he never mentions a girl he may want to date or only mentions one because you bring up the topic, you may want to observe more in the way that he behaves with his male friends. Try the process of elimination when reaching a conclusion. For instance, he isn't affiliated with a religion, he isn't unattractive, he isn't a loner, guys don't make fun of him, and most of all he doesn't seem to act feminine, could it be that he just isn't interested in girls for now or forever?

Those "Feelings"

Six. We all have had those feelings at some point in our lives whether it was the tingle sensation we felt inside our bodies after watching two people kiss or dreaming about someone we wish would be our boyfriend or girlfriend. He may have come to you and tried to talk about some new functions of his private parts or what some boy or man told him or done to him that made him feel uncomfortable, but you may be ignoring him. Stop what you are doing when he speaks and ask questions such as "Is there something that is bothering you? Has someone talked to you about private parts? Did you see something on television that made you feel funny inside? Did someone show you a naked child, woman or man in a photo? Your neighbor, babysitter, relative or someone in school could be having conversations with him that is making him feel strange, weird or distant. Don't take a simple no for an answer, probe for more information in the most polite and kindest way possible. This way he will be more likely to confide in you. However, remember the person filling his head up with negativity may have theatened him not to tell, so be sensitive when speaking with him about his feelings.

He would like to be a girl

Seven. He has told everyone he knows he wants to be a girl, because they have long hair, have better toys, look more attractive, nicer or whatever other reason he thinks why it is better to be a girl rather than a boy. You will need to question what his relationship with his father during those crucial years from 18 months to ten years has been like. You will also need to evaluate your own relationship with your son. Are you keeping him inside the home with you when he rather go outside and play with the boys? Do you find you are spending more time parenting him than working on your own relationship between you and your mate? Are you not allowing him to be a boy, because you want him to do and say what you want and not what he wants? If this describes you, it's time for you to encourage a relationship with his father or the male figures in his life whom he respects and admires. These men and older boys who you know should exemplify positive character traits. Alcoholics, drug abusers, emotionally unavailable and unstable men or boys as well as feminine acting ones don't count. Be sure you are not prohibiting him to relate with others due to your own insecurities, fears, jealousy or other unresolved issues. You may need to seek counseling yourself.

Some suggestions you can do today to help him identify with his gender include the following:

Encourage father and son relationship. In some cases a father doesn't exist, but any positive male role model can help. Encourage these men you know (who don't have gender problems) to throw and catch a ball, go to a sporting event or do something that captivates your son's interest. Ask these men to converse with your son about whether he understands and accepts his gender.

Be a good role model for your son. Allow him to see the positive qualities within you such as being confident, supportive, caring, sensitive and more. Rather than strict, mean, angry, and impatient on a frequent basis.

Don't bad mouth men. Avoid talking negatively about the father and other men to your son. Don't confide in your son about the negative aspects of your relationship with his father.

Don't make your son the man of the house. Your son is your child not your mate; therefore, don't look to him to fulfill the needs you are seeking from your significant.

When you allow your son to behave in ways that you know society will crucify him, you are setting him up for all sorts of problems later in his life. There are many confused little boys who have later grown up to become bitter men because parents, relatives and so-called family friends have seriously wounded them and no one thought twice to ask questions or answer their son's cry for help. It isn't okay for any man or boy to do or say things that have historically been considered feminine. Parents are responsible for building the foundation that will assist their sons in discovering whether they prefer to be a boy or girl. Without a loving, caring, and supportive atmosphere, he will want to be everything you don't want him to be, so seek professional help, if necessary, before it's too late.

For more articles by Nicholl McGuire
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