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  #1  
September 18th, 2011, 07:14 AM
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Join Date: May 2011
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Well dh and I have had long talks about this and we are leaning towards not defining her by her sex. No dresses (special occasions okay), no all pink, give her trucks and car "boy" toys too.... & we will ask fam and friends not to praise her looks, I stead her achievements.

Do any of u feel the same?
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  #2  
September 18th, 2011, 08:02 AM
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I felt the same way with both of my girls, but it is extremely difficult to do. Other people just can't seem to do it, no matter how much you tell them otherwise. The only pink, girly things my daughters had were given to them by others, but that was plenty of stuff. It's also not especially easy to find a lot in stores that fits those parameters. The toy thing is easier, and I've always done that. We don't do clear gender roles with our kids, and they feel open to explore anything. They get enough of the gender distinctions from the rest of society (and they pick up on it at such a young age, sadly - my 3 yo looks at toy magazines and can tell from the presentation that this page is "boy toys," and not for her); they don't need it at my house too, imo.

As for the looks, that is a really tough one. Everyone tends to focus on how cute and pretty little girls are, and they comment on it all the time. I focus my compliments on other things - how creative, fun, smart, etc. my girls are. I noticed at a very young age my daughter was focusing exclusively on looks as the defining factor, which upset me, so I made a conscious effort to redirect her attention to other things. Getting other people to do the same, however, is another story. You may be interested in this article:
Lisa Bloom: How to Talk to Little Girls

Good luck!

Deborah
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  #3  
September 18th, 2011, 08:06 AM
jensma's Avatar Katie: mommy to Ty & Em
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after teaching 3 year olds for 2 years i have seena lot of little kids at that stage where they start to realize the difference between boys and girls. I personally would let her play with whatever she wants and plan to do the same with my son...if he wants to ply dress up or with a baby, then more power to him. They need to learn and explore and free play is a great way to do that. I'm not going to place any types of stigma on certain toys or activities or label them as "boy" or "girl" things. Thats about as far as i'd take it though...its hard to say with clothes. I'd want people to know my little girl was a girl and its hard to buy little girl clothes that don't SCREAM girl.
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  #4  
September 18th, 2011, 08:54 AM
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my daughter is def a girly girl and loves to dress up and feel pretty but she is also very smart and gets tons of praise for how smart she is and the wonderful things she accomplishes! so ill do the same with this baby girl!
she also loves to play with her brother ( his toys and get dirty also ) so she is all around enjoying being a kid!
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  #5  
September 18th, 2011, 08:58 AM
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Thanks to both. It's going to be our first and maybe only and DH is already seeing all the "troubles" we'll face with other people/family. They are already calling her a tomboy bc we have mentioned some these things. It upsets my husband, but I tell him once they see what we want to do, they'll follow and respect it.

Thanks for the article, I'll read it.

I was watching a movie...the one were two parents left their child to two friends. Well that baby was a girl and they didn't overly define that in clothing, that's what I want. I hope I'm able to find that clothing.

For the baby shower, I'm thinking if I should request no pink, dresses... (i'd rather buy that at my taste) but I know people will question it so not sure....
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  #6  
September 18th, 2011, 09:10 AM
Iluvmybabies*'s Avatar Proud Mama to 5 girls
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My first is a tuff girly girl she loves girl stuff but can still play with the boys
my second is a major tom-boy loves blue and boy things
my third is a major girly girl love anything and everything girl

They will define themselves and they usually do it fast, I just let my girls(children in general)choose who they want to be and let them play with what they want, I do love putting them in pretty things but I let them pick it out and choose what they want, my second picked a cars backpack for school this year
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  #7  
September 18th, 2011, 09:19 AM
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My philosophy has always been to just encourage them to be whomever they want. My son went through a phase where his favorite color was pink. I told him that was great. He loved Dora and even picked out a girly Dora plate to use at home. I bought it. He now loves Star Wars. That's ok, too.

My daughter's favorite movie right now is "Cars". But, she also loves to dress up like a princess. I never pushed the princess thing, she just likes pretty dresses. She plays with trucks, cars, princess dolls, anything she wants.

The best thing you can do is to just make sure your child feels secure in whatever decisions they make for themselves as far as what they like/dislike. I never discourage my kids from liking something because it's for "boys" or "girls". They can like what they want.
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  #8  
September 18th, 2011, 09:30 AM
Kitusne's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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I have actually hit this wall with baby clothes. I hate the concept of putting babies in color society puts strong gender definitions on. I choose to let my child(ren) choose who they would like to be, rather than having me tell them what girls or boys should do.

Sadly, gender neutral baby clothes are not easy to find, and quite honestly cost more. I really don't want everything to be yellow with ducks on it either, so not a ton of options in respect to not planting social seeds.
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  #9  
September 18th, 2011, 11:03 AM
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But who she is, her likes and dislikes, will be based on what we surround her with. I agree after 2-3 yrs she will define herself, & we will love anything she chosses to be. I'm a strong believer that "that" choice will be incluenced by the first 3 years....or one can hope.

I haven't been baby clothes shopping yet, but hope it not that hard. As long as it not always dresses/skirts and all pink, I think I'll find what I like.
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  #10  
September 18th, 2011, 11:14 AM
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In the end, I think that the most important thing is embracing your child's personality, interests and preferences. My son LOVES trucks of all kinds, he is very into dinosaurs, he loves animals, and he is also down to put on a princess dress or have a tea party. I love and encourage all of these interests. My ,daughgter is a very girly girl. That is just her. She loves princesses, dancing, pretty dresses, shoes, jewelry, having her nails painted. She is also interested in her brothers toys and isn't afraid to go out and get dirty. She chose a car for the toy she wanted the last time I allowed her to pick something out at the store. I tell her she is pretty, because she is. And I need her to know, that even though there will be people in her life that will do things to convince her otherwise, that she is beautiful inside and out. It is important to me that I do what I can to help her to be confident and comfortable in her own skin. That said, I just as regularly tell her that she is smart and sweet and creative, I make sure to tell her when I notice her accomplishing something on her own that took a lot of work. I think that, regardless of gender, it is important to raise your child feeling proud of who they are and willing to try new things.

I think it is wonderful that at this early point you have given this much thought to what you can do to give your daughter the best possible start. Whether those around you fully understand or choose to respect the path you have chosen, I think she can only benefit from having a mama so dedicated to raising her to be a strong, independent minded, confident young lady.
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  #11  
September 18th, 2011, 11:14 AM
Iluvmybabies*'s Avatar Proud Mama to 5 girls
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluemoon. View Post
But who she is, her likes and dislikes, will be based on what we surround her with. I agree after 2-3 yrs she will define herself, & we will love anything she chosses to be. I'm a strong believer that "that" choice will be incluenced by the first 3 years....or one can hope.

I haven't been baby clothes shopping yet, but hope it not that hard. As long as it not always dresses/skirts and all pink, I think I'll find what I like.
Yes you choose for her for the first few years but Im sorry what you but her in now will not shape who she is clothes are clothes I put my second daughter in all pink and she is a tom-boy now and likes blue more then any color and that was HER choice not what I put her in

I belive you have to feel out your children boy or girl they are not completely blank slats people are themselves from conception I have THREE very different girls and I did the same with them all
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  #12  
September 18th, 2011, 11:30 AM
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It's hard to not put them in gender specific colors... that tends to be what is available especially at affordable prices. I did put bows in my daughter at a younger age but she also has always played with tractors, trucks, balls,etc. Her and DS share all their toys so they both play with both "boy" and "girls" However my daughter is a GIRL through and through! She is almost 4, loves to wear skirts, dresses, play mommy, get her hair brushed, played with, etc. As for the looks we never want either of our kids boy or girl to be defined by their looks. We do compliment and say they are cute, beautiful but it's not at all waht is defined. We focus more on wow you share so well that's beautiful, or you have such a kind heart.
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  #13  
September 18th, 2011, 11:42 AM
jensma's Avatar Katie: mommy to Ty & Em
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i requested no clothes at the shower...too many people have their own style and i think you're totally within your right to say that!
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  #14  
September 18th, 2011, 11:57 AM
aogilvie's Avatar Super Mommy
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If you're not too picky, there is definitely enough gender neutral clothes out there. I wouldn't say loads, but some. I swear, 30% of clothes out there should be neutral, but sadly, its not.
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  #15  
September 18th, 2011, 12:26 PM
sarah_19_nz's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Iluvmygirls View Post
Yes you choose for her for the first few years but Im sorry what you but her in now will not shape who she is clothes are clothes I put my second daughter in all pink and she is a tom-boy now and likes blue more then any color and that was HER choice not what I put her in

I belive you have to feel out your children boy or girl they are not completely blank slats people are themselves from conception I have THREE very different girls and I did the same with them all
Well said! As are most of the above comments in my opinion.

As an ex Early childhood worker I always have and will encourage my DD as well as children at the daycare centres to play with and explore a wide range of toys, activities and experiences. Naturally most children WILL sway one way or another and that doesn't necessarily mean a boy will be boyish and a girl girlish. I see many boys who are extremely girlish and vice versa. Even when I went into Primary School (elementary school teaching) you can see definite preferences to friends, activities and clothing! These days kids are VERY accepting of all personalities and preferences of the children around them, many don't bat an eyelid if their boy friend is dressed as a fairy and having a dolly tea party, they just see it as 'normal'

I agree it is your decision to dress them early on in what you want. I personally had and will have a range of girly stuff as well as gender neutral and also more boyish looking stuff for DD and will again for this baby girl. I also provided cars, trucks and 'so called' boy toys. But DD is definitely a more 'girly girl' Playing and caring for her dolls, she is VERY compassionate and has been since very young.

I have read up on 'how to speak to a girl' and I think again thats personal choice. I personally throw in the occasional "wow you look so pretty" and I don't think there is ANYTHING wrong with it. It comes naturally for me to me want to say things like that to a girl and I certainly don't go overboard.

O.K enough rambling from me!
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  #16  
September 18th, 2011, 12:27 PM
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Thanks for all the advice, I'm just thrilled to be having this conversation! At first I wanted a boy, but I'm really warming up to my little Victoria Claire.
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  #17  
September 18th, 2011, 12:34 PM
hoping4more
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Iluvmygirls View Post
My first is a tuff girly girl she loves girl stuff but can still play with the boys
my second is a major tom-boy loves blue and boy things
my third is a major girly girl love anything and everything girl

They will define themselves and they usually do it fast, I just let my girls(children in general)choose who they want to be and let them play with what they want, I do love putting them in pretty things but I let them pick it out and choose what they want, my second picked a cars backpack for school this year
I couldn't agree more with you summer. You will find they will define themselves. If she should happen to be more on the feminine side wouldn't you think it wrong to force her to be a tomboy? My sister was a full blown tomboy wore jeans played dirty. I loved to spin in my dress, no one forced me to think that way, it's just me, and I also played rough anyway.

My daughter loves dresses, loves accessories, and loves mud puddles, trackers, and trucks. She runs around with her brothers and plays bad guys and such.. but then you can find her sitting quietly rocking her dolly. She has never been under influence to be nurturing, it just is who she is.

Good luck, I hope people don't think you need to dress her girly however there will always be those out there that just feel a girl should never wear jeans. (mine daughter wears jeans constantly, yes she also has a fair amount of dresses) Oh a side note, as I grew up I had all my sisters hand me downs, and so my mother never bought me the dresses I really wanted when I was around 7 and up. I can say now I feel weird dressing up because I never had the opportunity when I was younger, it is something that really bothers me, because I really want to dress up I just feel so uncomfortable because people make such a big deal cause I wasn't dressed like that for the majority of my life. Just something to think about.
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  #18  
September 18th, 2011, 01:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sarah_19_nz View Post
I personally throw in the occasional "wow you look so pretty" and I don't think there is ANYTHING wrong with it. It comes naturally for me to me want to say things like that to a girl and I certainly don't go overboard.
I have struggled with this some, and have debated it with others. I want my girls to grow up with a strong self-esteem and sense of self, and it seems like occasionally telling them they are pretty/beautiful is part of that. But I wonder why we feel so compelled to tell it to little girls, but not little boys? I tend to be suspicious when I see differences in the way boys and girls are treated like this, and it makes me feel like we are teaching girls that looks matter more for them than they do for boys (and who are we kidding - they DO, but it's very wrong, imo). I worry that doing it too much will actually have detrimental effects on their self-esteem, rather than positive ones, so that they feel they are only worth their looks, and will go to great lengths to be considered beautiful and to prove to themselves and others that they are. I've seen it plenty of times. I saw it beginning with my own daughter so I made a conscious effort to put a stop to it.

So I suppose maybe I think, while there certainly is such as thing as praising their looks too much, it may also be possible to do it too little (I grew up feeling very ugly, as a matter of fact) and the important thing is to focus a lot of attention on their other qualities and skills so they have a well-rounded sense of self. And I think it's our job as parents to focus on those things, because people on the street are probably not going to say "Look at that girl, how smart she is!" My girls get CONSTANT comments on their looks and very little else, so I try to round it out with other things myself. When my 3 yo asks if I think she's beautiful, I'll tell her that she's beautiful on the outside and on the inside. If she asks if her clothes are pretty, I'll tell her that they are, and then add something like, "And you were able to pick out clothes that match really well! Nice job!" Society being what it is, girls will want reassurance on their looks and there's nothing we can do about it; refusing to acknowledge it at all is just not possible.
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  #19  
September 18th, 2011, 05:09 PM
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"tomboy" is part of our problem, just bc she isn't wearing pink and playing with barbie inside the house doesn't make her a tomboy. That word in itself is what we have a problem. Our parents and friends say it and to me it's foolish and down right discriminative. Women deal with discrimination and unfortunately it starts early by defining what a baby girl/child should do/wear. We simply want her not to be defined by that, I think we all agree on that.
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  #20  
September 18th, 2011, 05:57 PM
jen44's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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There are tons of cute girl clothes that aren't dresses and aren't pink, but my 2 year old gravitates towards pink. It's also the first color she learned to say! Ha! We get her boy and girl toys and she loves them all.
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