Jump to content

So your son likes pretty things...?

  • Please log in to reply
74 replies to this topic

#1 Fillyjonk

Posted 10 December 2012 - 07:06 PM

If your four-year old son chose a garish rose printed fabric for a coat, what would you say? What if his second choice was Barbie pink?

I am ashamed to say that we forced ours to choose something else, without really giving a reason beyond, "hmm, that is probably more of a girl's colour." He was upset but gave in to a different design, which just happened to be blue.

It seems like we are having these little situations all the time - where we give him a choice and he selects the most "girly" option. Then we talk him out of it and into something he clearly does not like as much. And then I feel all uncomfortable that I am crushing his individuality and sense of style and kick myself for giving him the choice to start with.

I would like to say that I am not slave to gender stereotypes, but clearly I am.

So now we are planning to buy him a bike for Christmas and he has his heart set on a pretty dafodil yellow one with a white and yellow basket and white tyres. The only other one we have seen for his size is an ugly but "manly" fluro green and black number. The dafodil yellow one is a much better bike and within our price range, so surely that should be enough for us, right? But no, we are worried about our son being seen on a girls'  bike.

So what would you do? Would you let him go with the pretty things and be thankful you have a sensitive son who is not into skulls and ninjas? Or would you sit him down and giving a talking to about the way the world is?

Edited by with the goo goose, 10 December 2012 - 07:07 PM.

#2 Let_it_Rain

Posted 10 December 2012 - 07:16 PM

I try and balance it. I don't give DS (3) a choice with most of his clothing when it is purchased to avoid issues, and he will normally choose based on the shirt having a dinosaur or teddy rather than colour.

When he has had a choice he has picked pink, and I am fine with him wearing his pretty pink undies out even when they will be seen, and he had pink slippers with glitter butterflies that may have even made it as far as maccas.

No one has ever been negative but I want to avoid teasing while letting him express himself.

#3 RealityBites

Posted 10 December 2012 - 07:21 PM

What's wrong with yellow?

#4 **Xena**

Posted 10 December 2012 - 07:21 PM

My boys' favourite colour for years was pink and they loved dolls. So they had dolls in pink prams!

As my husband said to my boys when they later came home from school saying pink was for girls "Does the colour pink have a vagina? No! So nobody can assign it a sex"

Went over their heads but had me in stitches

Edited by **Xena**, 10 December 2012 - 07:21 PM.

#5 naturalgoodness

Posted 10 December 2012 - 07:22 PM

DS2 tells me that his friends don't care what things he has and whether they are usually aimed at girls rather than boys - this is what I say to him when he is making a final decision.

As a consequence of his choices, when his friends come over (who are mainly girls) they really appreciate having good stuff to play with! We have Sylvanian Family sets mixed in with star wars light sabres and army men so his choices are not always female orientated.

I have found that as he is growing, he is moving more towards other things - I always let him go when he was younger and there appears to be no harm.

#6 sammyv

Posted 10 December 2012 - 07:27 PM

I would buy the yellow bike but perhaps change the tyres to black and remove that basket.  If you buy from a bike store not a department store they are more likely to do this for you.

My friends son has pillow pets, Sylvania families and other toys that are usually for girls.

#7 kadoodle

Posted 10 December 2012 - 07:28 PM

My DS1 was into pink and preferred girlier options at that age.  Now that he's 8, the penchant for flowers in channeled into growing and trying to crossbreed his plants.

He has met with some rubbishing from kids at school over preferring dancing over footy and cricket, but the teachers have been very proactive about stamping on anything that could have turned into bullying.  He also has several good female friends and has made a couple of male friends this year with quieter boys who share his interests in sci fi.

Edited by kadoodle, 10 December 2012 - 07:34 PM.

#8 Guest_3Keiki_*

Posted 10 December 2012 - 07:29 PM

There is an excellent blogger called Mrs Woog who has a couple of amazing sons - one wonderful lad called Jack and another Harry. Jack is a treasure, and Mr and Mrs Woog are about the best parents he could have been blessed with... I recommend you give her site a look do a bit of  search for her posts on Jack - not only will it have you in stitches but maybe give you an alternate way of dealing with your sons personality.


Posted 10 December 2012 - 07:31 PM

Yet a lot of people wouldn't have an issue with their daughter dressing in "boys" clothes or playing with "boy" toys and having "boy" colours.

I don't have a son, yet, but if he wanted to play with dolls, I'd let him, like I let my girls play with trucks. If he wanted a girl coloured bike, I'd get him the girl coloured bike, like I'd let my daughters ride a boy coloured bike. If he wanted to wear girls clothes, I'd let him, like I'd let my girls wear boyish clothes.

#10 Ridcully

Posted 10 December 2012 - 07:32 PM

I think that currently you are making him feel bad about himself for wanting 'girly' things not society. You'd be surprised how accepting kids really are.

Let him wear pink. And if kids (more likely adults) look at him strange or say something derogatory then defend him - he needs to know his parents will accept him no matter what.

Xena - that saying is awesome!

#11 Lokum

Posted 10 December 2012 - 07:33 PM

We've done it too. DS chose white sandals with pink butterflies, and we steered him back to red & navy sandals. And I felt guilty.

They were his $70-sandals-for-the-whole-summer shoes.
If he'd chosen white and pink for his $15-just-for-childcare runners, I might have given in...

He's only 2, but already his grandparents said, 'What are you doing to him???' when they saw him wearing his cousin's pink hair clip. If they can't handle it, what are randoms at the shops and childcare going to say if they see him in white/pink sandals? And how will he be affected by hearing that crap?

It's a tough one.

ETA - clothing is different to toys. DS can play with any toys he likes. But clothing is likely to get comments from adults - and I wonder how those comments (esp when I'm not there) will affect him? That's what I'd be 'protecting' him from. Not saying it's right.

Edited by Lokum, 10 December 2012 - 07:36 PM.

#12 Ridcully

Posted 10 December 2012 - 07:34 PM

QUOTE (kadoodle @ 10/12/2012, 08:28 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
My DS1 was into pink and preferred girlier options at that age.  Now that he's 8, the penchant for flowers in channeled into growing and trying to crossbreed his plants.

How awesome!

#13 BetteBoop

Posted 10 December 2012 - 07:37 PM

I don't think it has anything to do with his personality. He simply likes pretty things. He may not be any more or less sensitive than a boy who likes green skulls.

I would try not to crush his personal taste in an effort to squeeze him into a box labelled 'little boy'. There is nothing inherently feminine about flowers.

It's good your aware of socialisation of gender and trying to step outside of the narrow constraints put on kids according to their sex. Most people are blind to gender roles and firmly believe it's natural for boys to love blue and girls to love pink.

And so they continue.

#14 A Tiny Hedgehog

Posted 10 December 2012 - 07:43 PM

Because of course we know buying him a yellow bike and a rose-print jacket will spontaneously cause him to grow pigtails and a vagina.

Have you stopped to consider this hand-wringing is part of why pink and yellow are "girly" colours?

#15 baddmammajamma

Posted 10 December 2012 - 07:43 PM

I shared this on EB two years ago when it was first written, but it is so fabulous that it should be shared again (it pretty much sums up my feelings about boys who love to wear "pretty things"):


#16 Onyx

Posted 10 December 2012 - 07:43 PM

I think what you're doing is wrong. Let him choose what he wants, he doesn't need to know stereotypes, he's a little boy. Let him enjoy his childhood, regardless of what colour he chooses.

#17 CherrySunday

Posted 10 December 2012 - 07:43 PM

QUOTE (Lokum @ 10/12/2012, 08:33 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
He's only 2, but already his grandparents said, 'What are you doing to him???' when they saw him wearing his cousin's pink hair clip. If they can't handle it, what are randoms at the shops and childcare going to say if they see him in white/pink sandals? And how will he be affected by hearing that crap?

It's a tough one.

ETA - clothing is different to toys. DS can play with any toys he likes. But clothing is likely to get comments from adults - and I wonder how those comments (esp when I'm not there) will affect him? That's what I'd be 'protecting' him from. Not saying it's right.

that's just it - it's one thing to say "let him be who he wants", but the reality is that it's more likely to gather negative attention, and that's more unhealthy than gender-sterotype bikes.
There's got to be a balance, because it's going to be hard to figure out 'who you are' while 90% of the word tells you it's wrong.
Lokum said it very well, and I agree wholeheartedly.

DS is going to end up with lots of pink toys, but DD also has lots of 'neutral' toys that he'll inherit from her as they grow up. We're hoping to be laid-back with girl/boy labelling, but there's a line somewhere, and we can only hope to be sensible about it when the time comes.

OP, I think you could probably go with the flowery bike, and maybe 'mod' it a bit, change the seat colour, put some covers on the handle to make it a bit less 'girly' and a bit more neutral perhaps?

#18 ~ky~

Posted 10 December 2012 - 07:44 PM

My DS took a baby doll to school in a pink pram complete with a pink nappy bag, cloth nappies, a bottle and feeding set. He got some ribbing from older kids but kids his age all, both boys and girls, thought he was cool. His teacher said he was welcome to bring the doll every day as he was better behaved with a "baby" to look after than other days.

He also learned to walk pushing a teddy bear in a pink Barbie stroller around the streets of Bankstown ... it was mega cute!

#19 kadoodle

Posted 10 December 2012 - 07:46 PM

I don't remember getting any comments about DS1 wearing pink when he was younger.  He went trick or treating as a witch last year and a fairy the year before and was happy to correct people who assumed he was a girl.

#20 B.feral3

Posted 10 December 2012 - 07:48 PM

Double post below??

Edited by Bek+3, 10 December 2012 - 07:49 PM.

#21 raven74

Posted 10 December 2012 - 07:48 PM

Little boys don't see stereotypes they just see a colour and pattern that they love.  Why make that shameful?

#22 **Xena**

Posted 10 December 2012 - 07:48 PM

I never got any bad comments when my boys went out wearing tutus or princess dresses.

I'm friends with a lot of guys that STILL dress up as girls for fun and they've seen me dress up as a guy before biggrin.gif

Edited by **Xena**, 10 December 2012 - 07:50 PM.

#23 B.feral3

Posted 10 December 2012 - 07:49 PM

It was my 4 year olds birthday 2 days ago. He got the pink Lego box which is what he showed interest in a few weeks prior. Now he can make pigs for the farm!!

#24 Feral_Pooks

Posted 10 December 2012 - 07:49 PM

I would encourage him to go with what is in his heart. The world will teach him, soon enough, what boxes he is meant to fit in and what happens when you don't. And when that happens, he'll need his parents on his side.

#25 Fluster

Posted 10 December 2012 - 07:49 PM

Honestly, I'd let him pick all the pretty stuff he wants for home and steer him towards more mainstream boys items for anything that will enter an environment that might turn him into a laughing stock, at least until he's old enough to choose for himself what 'risks' he's prepared to take. I completely grasp the unfairness and rigidity of stereotypes but my son is not a social statement. He's a child, and he's vulnerable to criticism.

My son likes most mainstream boys stuff, but he has a penchant for jewellery and gems.  He has women's rings and pendants in his collection.

1 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 1 guests, 0 anonymous users


Kourtney Kardashian goes nude for art

We've all done some pretty radical things after a big break-up, but Kourtney Kardashian has gone one better.

Video shows babies 'singing' to music in the womb

A new study has shown that babies may actually be able to hear from as early as 16 weeks – 10 weeks earlier than was commonly thought.

Prevent pelvic pain with pre-pregnancy exercise: study

Women who want to stave off aches and pains in pregnancy should exercise regularly before they conceive, experts say.

Dad's hilarious blog about life with twins

A stand-up comedian in the UK has plenty of new material since becoming a dad to twin boys.

Dinosaur products for babies and toddlers

Dinosaurs are one of those classic childhood crazes. We've put together a host of products for dinosaur-mad parents, babies and toddlers.

Restaurant manager sticks up for noisy baby

A mum was left upset by a note from neighbouring diners saying her screaming baby had ruined their dinner.

His name is Cayden: Mum and social media hit back after racist Facebook attack

When a man posted a selfie with a co-worker's son to Facebook, it became a magnet for racist comments.

Join the Real Mums Test Drive Team

Five new mums will join the Essential Baby Test Drive Team and discover great new baby toys from Fisher-Price & write a review to be published on Essential Baby.

The Chinese tradition for new mums that can now cost $37,000 a month

Opulent rest time is becoming the gold standard in postpartum recovery, inspired by a Chinese confinement custom known as "sitting the month".

How the media can shape our decisions when it comes to labour

We all like to think that we make our choices in fair, reasoned and well-thought out ways. Not many of us would admit that we allowed the media to influence us in our life choices.

Mum told to express in pet relief area at airport

A woman who flew from Boston to Washington says staff with United Airlines at Washington's Dulles Airport suggested she pump her breast milk in the pet-relief area.

Heartbreak as mum dies and her baby chokes to death

An Australian woman living in the US collapsed and died while feeding her baby, who then choked to death on his food. 

The hidden mental health illness of anxiety

Anxiety took over Robyn Read's life to such an extent she could not even buy the groceries and felt suicidal.

Two children fall from second storey window

Two young boys have been rushed to hospital after falling out a second-storey window of a home in Eastwood.

Mum gives birth to India's heaviest baby

An Indian woman has given birth to a baby boy weighing a whopping 5.97kg, setting a new record for the country's heaviest baby.

Grandma surprised with brand new granddaughter

Finding out you’re going to be a grandmother can be a very emotional moment. Finding out that you’re a grandmother and the baby is already here is just out of this world.

Saltwater Sandals for babies and toddlers

Many mamas are wearing Saltwater Sandals - why not buy them for your babies and toddlers too?

How to spring clean your body and mind

Whether you're pregnant, already a mum, or are just trying to be a bit more healthy, there are ways to use the rejuvenating season to give yourself a boost.


What's hot on EB

Stella McCartney honours mum with lacy bra

Fashion designer Stella McCartney has honoured her late mum, Linda McCartney, by designing a special bra for post-mastectomy patients.

Don't panic: A granddad midwife's guide for dads-to-be

Mark Harris has helped deliver 500 babies. And he's now telling fathers what to expect.

How to be a calm parent when you're feeling anything but

Being a calm parent takes a lot of work, sometimes more than is obvious to those around us.

The joy and isolation of being a stay-at-home dad

It's cool, kind of like a second childhood. I love him to bits and think, on average, I'm an okay dad. But I also want to talk about the other stuff.

How baby Teddy's short life is helping save thousands of lives

He may have only lived for 100 minutes, but that didn't stop baby Teddy from saving the lives of others.

A heartbreaking trail of missed chances in death of baby forgotten in car

A haunting reminder to stay mindful about babies in cars, especially as we approach summer.

What to do if your baby has tongue-tie

Tongue-tie can cause feeding problems. However once it is diagnosed, the condition can be easily treated.

How to move house without losing your mind

Some people move frequently, while others like to stay put. But everyone finds it stressful.

'She had nowhere to go': how new mum's life began to unravel

The birth of her first child should have been happiest of times for Campsie mother Phuong Cao, but friends say it marked the beginning of when her life began to unravel. 

Women giving birth to a son keep some of his Y chromosomes

It was an experiment doomed to failure - they were looking for male cells in female bodies. And their search was stunningly successful.

Photos: How babies fit in the womb

A gorgeous photo series shows babies in the first hours after their birth - as they were positioned in the womb.

Baby tries to persuade stubborn bulldog to walk, fails

We don't know what he's saying, but this baby has a very clear message for his bulldog pal: let's walk - NOW.

The best toddler gift ever? Nine gender-neutral play kitchen picks

Without a doubt, one of the best gifts for a toddler turning two or three is a play kitchen.

9 easy steps to improve your baby photography

With a few simple tips you can take your images from random happy snaps to lovely clean images that create beautiful lasting memories.



Can't decide?

Check out the Essential Baby Names section for some inspiration

Essential Baby and Essential Kids is the place to find parenting information and parenting support relating to conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids, maternity, family budgeting, family travel, nutrition and wellbeing, family entertainment, kids entertainment, tips for the family home, child-friendly recipes and parenting. Try our pregnancy due date calculator to determine your due date, or our ovulation calculator to predict ovulation and your fertile period. Our pregnancy week by week guide shows your baby's stages of development. Access our very active mum's discussion groups in the Essential Baby forums or the Essential Kids forums to talk to mums about conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids and parenting lifestyle. Essential Baby also offers a baby names database of more than 22,000 baby names, popular baby names, boys' names, girls' names and baby names advice in our baby names forum. Essential Kids features a range of free printable worksheets for kids from preschool years through to primary school years. For the latest baby clothes, maternity clothes, maternity accessories, toddler products, kids toys and kids clothing, breastfeeding and other parenting resources, check out Essential Baby and Essential Kids.