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Question
Posted by: Jordan | 2011/08/02

Don''t know what to do

Hi doc. I''m in a bit of a crisis. I have a 7 year old boy. He happens to love barbie dolls and Ken dolls. But at the same time also loves cars and garages. He has been asking me for so long to get him a Barbie Mermaid (a very long time) and so I decided to get it. Although he hides it as he is scared of being teased. Now my sister found out and told my sister in law and they are giving me hell. He is a very gentle soul and a beautiful boy and I don''t want to break his spirit. He just loves the hair and dressing them, no funny business involved. I feel awful now as it seems they are accusing me of turning him into a moffie (their words). Am I a bad mother. Also no father figure around except for my older son who is 19 and very strict with him and doesn''t play with. Am I awful for doing this?

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

Its your sister and sister-in-law who are behaving childishly and spitefully. Some boys have more culturally "feminine" interests as children, and grow into entirely usual heterosexual men. And some hairdressers are rampantly hetero stallions. Of course you're not a bad mother, and you're not awful at all.
But take the time to calmly chat about this with him - how he feels about what he plainly recognizes, that some people wouldn't understand his interests, and how he copes with that

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3
Our users say:
Posted by: Soul | 2011/08/02

Jordan you are not a bad mother you are loving and caring. Ignore what your friends and family have to say. My nephew used to play with dolls and loved to wash and dry their hair combing it.

Personally I think when one doesn''t allow it that when one will pick up problems. His a little boy his innocent let him be a child, you know him best.

My son is also 7, throughout the winter I have been knitting my son has now taken an interest in knitting and would also like to try this. Do I not allow this cause it''s something for girls, no if his interested in it I will teach him I''ll show him how.

If others have a problem with it then that''s just their problem.

You have your son''s best interests at heart and won''t allow any harm to come to him. Don''t allow your friends and family to make you feel like your not a good mother. You are doing great.

Reply to Soul
Posted by: Lee | 2011/08/02

Dear Jordan
My son who is now 14 years old used to be allowed to play with dolls with his sister and friends as well as with cars, he is interested in girls and has very good friendships with girls and boys. People often comment to me what a gentleman he is and how he treats women with respect, even his male peers comment on this to their mothers that my son is one of the very few boys who doesn''t speak lowly of the girls at their school. All my friends with daughters hope that one day their daughters wil date my son.
If, however, it turns out that he is gay I will accept this too as who he is and he knows it. I wanted him to be happy as a child and want him to be happy and know that he is accepted as an adult especially by those closest to him.
Ignore (not easy) others and affirm your child. You are the closest to him. Talk openly and in a non-judgemental way with him about how he feels - it doesnt have to be a deep conversation but just so he knows that you are the one he can come to when he has questions about sexuality. You are a perfectly good mother. Keep trusting your instincts.
I''d really rather have a gay child than one who commits crimes or suicide because he feels he is not accepted.

Reply to Lee
Posted by: cybershrink | 2011/08/02

Its your sister and sister-in-law who are behaving childishly and spitefully. Some boys have more culturally "feminine" interests as children, and grow into entirely usual heterosexual men. And some hairdressers are rampantly hetero stallions. Of course you're not a bad mother, and you're not awful at all.
But take the time to calmly chat about this with him - how he feels about what he plainly recognizes, that some people wouldn't understand his interests, and how he copes with that

Reply to cybershrink

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