Is It Normal If A 4-Year-Old Boy Wants To Be A Girl?
Young children are very unpredictable. You can’t expect what’s coming. Sometimes children come up with ideas that don’t match our social norms. It can be challenging for a parent to figure out how to respond. For example, a 4-year-old boy wants to be a girl. Your little one comes to you and says that he will be happier if he is a girl. Is it normal or not, and how do you respond? Let’s discuss this.
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Is it normal for a 4-year-old boy to want to be a girl?
Yes, It is normal for a 4-year-old boy to say he wants to be a girl. Most kids at age 4 have already developed gender identity, but this can change as they grow.
At age 4, your boy can differentiate between a boy and a girl, knowing he is a boy. Wanting to be a girl is his wish that may or may not be there for a long time.
It is very rare for young kids to say something and then stick to it for life. For example, my daughter would change her career goal now and then. She is almost 4 and a half now and wants to become a doctor until she has a doctor kit in her hands. As soon as she gets a new plane, she wants to be a pilot.
Sometimes my daughter says she will be a princess when she grows up, and after a couple of weeks, she pretends to be a superhero.
So it is normal for kids of age 4 to be someone else. There can be any reason behind their wish, and it can just be imagination.
Does it mean he is transgender?
It is way too early to decide whether your boy is transgender or not. So, take it lightly and do not start pushing him to become the opposite gender, thinking you are supportive. Your little one is likely saying this for some temporary reason.
By age 4, kids develop gender identity. They know what a boy and a girl are and what gender they are. But the idea of being the opposite gender must be temporary.
They are going through the phase of “imagination” and “creativity,” so they will try to explore more roles, including the opposite gender.
So when you listen to “I want to be a girl,”; Do not jump to the conclusion that your 4-year-old has already decided and now you’re gonna be so supportive, and you’ll remind him that he wants to be a girl, even when he forgets it.
There are many kids that decide to be the opposite gender during their teenage; they live a few years as the opposite gender and then finally decide that they were wrong & they want to be their biological gender again. This happens because children come up with an idea of something, and people around them start to over-support them and push this idea repeatedly into their minds.
Why might a 4-year-old boy want to be a girl?
There can be many reasons for your 4-year-old boy to want to be a girl; One can be “imagination”. For example, he imagined being a princess and suddenly came up with the idea that he could be a girl.
There can be a few other possible reasons.
1- He wants to be like mommy:
4-year-olds spend the most time with their mommy, so there’s a high probability that mommy will be their “hero.” So when he says he wants to be a girl, it may mean he wants to be like mommy.
This is the most common and apparent reason behind a 4-year-old wanting to be the opposite gender.
2- Girl things are fun:
Admit it! “Girl things” are more fun. The glitters and colors may attract anyone. Usually, boys like action figures and superheroes in dark colors, but this is not a rule of thumb.
Your 4-year-old son may be attracted to girl things, so he wants to be a girl to get all that cool stuff.
3- Girls get more importance in his eyes:
It’s a fact that little girls get more importance than little boys do. People adore their dresses and hairstyles. So they get more attention as compared to boys.
I’m not saying that boys are not cute and not loved; girls are getting more than boys.
Your little boy might feel it and wants to be a girl.
4- He lives around the girls:
If your 4-year-old boy lives around girls, he might also want to become a girl. For example, if he is the only brother of 3 sisters. Or he lives with mommy, grandma, and his aunts at home.
5- He listens to bad words about boys:
“Boys are very messy,” “Boys are so irresponsible,” “ugghh! Why do boys do this?”
Aren’t these so common words women say?
Little kids are very sensitive to our words. They listen and observe small details because this is the age of learning.
After hearing many bad things about boys, they don’t want to stay as a boy. Instead, they want to be a girl because, apparently, girls are “better.”
By the end of this article, I recommended some storybooks to make your little one understand how wonderful and important boys are.
6- Not attached to daddy:
Boys learn a lot from their daddy and other manly figures in their life, like uncles and grandpa. But some boys are not so fortunate to have them in their lives; if they have, they don’t get to spend time with them.
If your 4-year-old doesn’t spend time with daddy or uncles, he might be more interested in becoming a girl.
7- Lives around a transgender person:
If your little boy lives around a person who looks like a boy but says he wants to be a girl, your son may pick his words too.
This is not his own wish. Instead, he learned it from someone. In this case, you can talk to your child and take the necessary steps as per your choice.
8- Gender curiosity:
Kids are naturally curious. Your boy might be curious about how a girl feels when she wears a dress or plays with dolls. He might want to be a girl to explore how girls live.
How to respond when the 4-year-old boy says he wishes he was a girl:
So, now you know the reason for the child saying this.
Now, it’s time to discuss; how to respond when your 4-year-old boy says he wants to be a girl.
1- Listen, smile, and ignore:
When your little son comes and says, “I want to be a girl.” First, listen, smile, and ignore it. Then, engage him in any activity.
There is absolutely no need to correct him. Do not say “no,” do not yell, and do not say “okay.”
If he insists you answer him, you can say, “I’ve listened, baby.” and then engage him in any activity.
2- Talk to him:
If your little boy keeps saying he wants to be a girl, it’s time to talk. First, ask him why he wants it. He is likely to state one of the reasons I mentioned above. For example, “I like you a lot, mommy, and I want to be like you.” You can then say that you don’t need to be a girl to be like mommy. Boy or girl, anyone can be kind and loving.
Similarly, for other reasons, you can give the same answers.
For example, “you can get the glittery things if you want them. Boys can also use them.”
“You can also wear a beautiful dress when you want. Not only girls look beautiful, but boys also do.”
“Your sisters are so blessed to have a brother like you. They need you as their brother.”
These are just examples. You can say whatever suits your choice and whatever your boy accepts.
3- Give him time to adjust (a phase):
Kids go through many phases. They will change their goals, wishes, and wants quite often. As I said earlier, it is very rare for 4-year-olds to say something and then stick to it forever.
Give your little one some time to pass through this phase. Do not push him to this idea of being a girl, and avoid reminding him what he said.
Avoid discussing this with other family members in front of him.
4- Give him a male figure in his life:
Your child might be missing something. For example, he might be missing time with his father. You should keep your child attached to any man in his life. It can be his cousin, uncle, grandfather, or anyone.
Get these super cool storybooks for your boy to make him understand how wonderful and important boys are.
1- BOYS ARE WONDERFUL: A Motivational Book for Boys
2- Inspiring Stories for Amazing Boys:
When to see a therapist?
It is usual for a child to wish to be the opposite gender for quite some days or weeks (sometimes a couple of months) and then forget about it.
Suppose your child continues to want to be the opposite gender for a long time (many months) and they always act like girls and label themselves as women. In that case, it’s best to see a gender therapist for more professional information.