I have this little girl who has a special place in her heart for backhoes, Lightning McQueen, horses, and hot wheels. Every now and again she’ll dress up like a princess, but for the most part she likes “boy” things. 

She is not opposed to “girl” things, but given the choice would much rather play hockey than do ballet. 
I know this can be a hot topic, the gender role stereotypes, but I just find myself wondering how I should be steering this little tomboy of ours. I think if the roles were reversed and I had a little boy who liked wearing frilly dresses and having tea parties, I might try to convince him that those things were for girls, but there seems to be a lot more social acceptance for a tomboy than a girly-boy, so I haven’t really worried about it. I let her explore the things she’s interested in and haven’t said, “that’s for boys” because I think it’s totally fine if she likes those things. 
I guess what I’m looking for is a little assurance from other fellow moms of tomboys that they will eventually grow up into socially acceptable women. I know there are varying degrees of femininity among women, but I just don’t want her to be scorned for liking “boy” things. Any advice? 
  • Leslie

    This is great advice, you have to let your kids be who they are. She may grow out of it, she may not, won’t matter one bit!! Kids who think outside the box…priceless!! I have the exact same picture of my daughter, probably at about the same age, trust me, we worry about what other people think, they don’t. Give yourself a break and just enjoy all the fun she is having!!!

  • Kristin

    I agree with everyone here. Let her follow her interests and love her through her ups and downs and she will become (or continue being) an amazing human being. As for worrying about the potential scorn she might face, that is out of your control. Sadly, at some point in her life someone IS going to treat her poorly (given our douche-baggy human nautre), and when it happens you want her to be confident in who she is, and know that no matter what, her mom and dad have got her back.

  • Nancy

    go with what feels right to her Amanda- if she is happy and authentic everything will work out just fine! She is ADORABLE!!!!

  • http://www.hurul-anyi.blogspot.com cousin shelley

    When i was younger, i was a tomboy. I dressed in my brothers clothes, played with lego and GI Joes, climbed trees, played street hockey, collected worms from the creek and rode my bike with the other little boys in the neighbourhood. Not once, as a child, did I ever dress up like a princess. If I ever have daughters, i would raise them like tomboys. I wouldn’t want them to think like princesses waiting for mr. prince charming to come save them because they’re not tough enough to fight. Noooo sirrreeee… I would wish my daughter to be like “screw you, prince charming, i’m cutting off my own hair, make it into a rope and climbing outta this castle tower myself…because i CAN” πŸ˜€

  • Chantel

    I was one of those kids – always running with the boys, playing with GI Joes and Hockey. I turned out alright. Society puts so much pressure on being gender acceptable (for lack of a better word) that we forget what being a human is like. It is natural for us to explore all things, what we enjoy as individuals should not be limited by what sex we are born as.

  • Marla

    wasn’t it you that got me to wear a dress after, like, 15 years of not wearing anything girly!? i was a SUPER tom-boy growing up, and i think i turned out just fine πŸ™‚ now, i even, on occasion, put on a cute skirt or dress by choice! lol! πŸ™‚

  • Karyn

    I too was a tomboy. My mom would send me to school in dresses (I was the only girl with three brothers, she really wanted me to be a little girlie) and I would pack my brothers jeans in my bag, hide behind the tree around the corner from our house and change into my brothers jeans and t-shirts. I’d rather climb trees that play dolls, play hockey than dance, wear jeans than dresses. I didn’t mind wearing a dress on Sundays. I didn’t want to BE a boy. I just wanted to be me, and those were the things that I liked. I always had lots of guy friends, because they were the ones that did the things I really loved. Climbing a mountain or dirt biking is STILL more fun than shopping. πŸ™‚ I love that my parents didn’t really push me to be anything other than who I was, and as I’m thinking about it, I always believed that I could be anything that I wanted to be. (I guess they did a good job of not putting gender specific labels on anything.) I’m sure if it was insanely out of control, they would have tried to curb it somewhat, but I think it’s totally healthy. NOW, I can be a girlie girl and I do like to dress up. But you’ll find me any given day getting down and dirty with my kids, and doing any number of “tomboyish” activities. Besides, who gets to dictate that the active, high energy, athletic, action, dirt gather activities are more for boys that girls anyways?!

  • Julie

    you’ll find it’s always the parents that have the hangups about what kids play with πŸ™‚ you shouldn’t be steering anything imo…unless she wants to play with a knife or something. i know of someone who adamantly refused his son sidewalk chalk because it was too girly….yes, really! they are toys and toys are for playing with. they don’t “make” anyone become anything (dolls make boys gay) because if that was true i’d be a vet right now, not chasing the neighbourhood cats out of my garden with the hose πŸ™‚

  • Em

    I was a tom boy on the farm I got stuck into all the male stereotypes railed against dresses and barbies and loved my dad to the ends of the earth and back , I sat like him and copied all his mannerisms , I helped birth te lambs and calves when they were breech (my little hands got inside) my brother hated all aspects of it and so i filled that role of son for a bit , now we are grown dad has died and i am for the most part a feminine girl who got married and had her dad give her away , my brother? he now wants to be a farmer and his little girl adores him ….

  • Tamara

    Ben is a pretty manly little guy but he really enjoyed dressing up in the princess dresses at daycare (ALL of the little boys did, actually). I love that karenna is such an individual! I say celebrate it. πŸ™‚

  • mrswilson

    I was totally a tomboy when I was a kid. And all my friends were boys. We played street hockey, built tree forts, and played kick-the-can. My girls are interested in video games, hot wheels, and LEGO. I wouldn’t worry about it one tiny bit. Let her like what he likes.
    And my brother, the one you know, played barbies with me growing up and he’s now quite a manly man. Either way, boys playing with “girl” toys and girls with “boy” toys, I really don’t think it matters or has any bearing on who they will grow up to be.

  • Jen

    Timely post! I’ve been wondering the same sorts of things about Josie. Pirates, soccer, bouncy balls – those are her things. No advice or words of wisdom but just letting you know I am right there with you!

  • Abbey

    I see more of a problem steering them away from the things they enjoy then letting them enjoy them! I don’t have a “tom-boy” (at least not yet, my youngest is a definite possibility, ha ha) but I do have a little boy that’s favorite color happens to be pink. He had a pink birthday cake, and pink decorations. He loves playing with dolls, dressing them up, feeding them, etc. And I’m glad, because I pray that one day he will be an amazing Dad. His big brother is the same way (in his love of dolls). My boys also love playing in the dirt, collection discusting insects, “working” with their Dad, playing with cars and trains, and wrestling. A bit of both worlds is not a bad thing.
    Just because our kids aren’t conforming to the worlds view of what a little boy/girl should be doing. Doesn’t mean they’re not going to grow into the amazing adults that God intends them to be.

  • thesparkette

    I think being a tomboy is natural for many girls. And I know plenty of my friends who have indulged their “girly-boys” with such things as pink dishes at supper and their very own high heels. Society will try to tell them their entire lives what they should and shouldn’t do, enjoy, or wear. I don’t think they need that from me, too.

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