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Question
Posted by: Dutchess | 2012-08-16

Boy wearing girls clothes

My boy is 4 years old and suddenly started to wear his sisters panties en try on my clothes should I be worried about anything or is it normal for children this age to experiment with this?

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

Maria and Purple are right. Not every kid does this sort of thing, but its not at all uncommon, especially, perhaps when a kid is thinking vaguels about gender roles and styles, which are all around him but rarely explained. Paying a lot of attention or making fuss about it is only more likely to make it seem interesting to him and to prolong it. Only if it becomes his preferred style for some time, might it be worthy of concern.

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4
Our users say:
Posted by: Mia | 2012-08-20

The boy is 4, for goodness sake. Just leave him alone. I know a little girl who wanted to dress as her farther until she went to school, when she saw the other girls in dresses, she asked her dad to buy her dresses from thereon. My firstborn spend many hours in front of the mirror with me when he was small, I even make up him a few times. Today he doesn''t come near a mirror or make up and he is 10 years old and love chatting up girls.

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Posted by: cybershrink | 2012-08-18

Maria and Purple are right. Not every kid does this sort of thing, but its not at all uncommon, especially, perhaps when a kid is thinking vaguels about gender roles and styles, which are all around him but rarely explained. Paying a lot of attention or making fuss about it is only more likely to make it seem interesting to him and to prolong it. Only if it becomes his preferred style for some time, might it be worthy of concern.

Reply to cybershrink
Posted by: Purple | 2012-08-17

All children dress up in clothes of their moms or sisters or dads.

Have you got a dress up chest or box that you can put doctors outfits, wigs, dads shirts, moms camisoles (I found those worked well as my son would always want to wear my silky nighties and then mess up the hems as they were too big), hats, scarves, superman outfits etc.

There is nothing sexual or sinister about it - children do that.

I''d however say that his siters panties are private, like his underpants and that he shouldn''t wear those.

Let him go with you to party shops and toy shops as you choose outfits for the dress up box. Funny glasses and hats and plastic stethescopes are cheap and you could get a good few to add to a tie, camisole and old T-shirt as a start. Curtain tie backs and continental pillow cases work well as shepherd outfits. It doesn''t need to be an expensive excercise and can be built up over time.

I have fond memories of dressing up as a child, and just smiled as my toddler son trotted after me in pink plastic high heels at the shops. I can''t tell you how many elderly ladies stopped me and said their sons had done the same and how nice it was that men were feeling less threatened by this that I felt OK allowing it in public. (I bought my son the plastic heels - he chose the pink) as I got tired of him breaking my heels as he clomped around in them.

Currently he is dressing up as James Bond and Harry Potter a lot, and the heels and camisoles are just fond memories for me.

Reply to Purple
Posted by: Maria | 2012-08-16

Let him be. The more you make a fuss about, the more he will want to do it as it''s clearly something that gets a response. Just point out to him that clothes are personal belongings. He must ask before taking something, and understand that it is your right and his sister''s to say no.

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