My son is 6 years old...He does not play with boys and some times he acts like a girl! We don't know what to do.... other kids at the after school [are] calling him a GAY!
So please let me know something about it!
Thank you so much!
From: GO, Fort Lauderdale, FL
I'm not sure what it is you want to know, so I'll take a stab:
Does playing with girls mean he's going to be gay? No. Girls and boys play differently. Your son probably prefers to play with girls because the way girls play is more interesting to him than the way boys play.
Is it possible the tendencies you are seeing now are a predictor of adult sexual preference? Possible, yes. For sure? No. Kids change.
Why are the kids saying these things? Kids this age typically don't think in terms of sexual preference, but they do notice differences, including that they like to play the way girls do. This is what his classmates are picking up on: differences, and kids this age feel threatened by something/someone who is different. They are using the word "gay" to mean different.
What should you do?
1. Be sure your son knows you love him unconditionally. Tell him, "I will always love you, no matter what you are."
2. Make sure your home is a place of safety and comfort. Don't tolerate racist, sexist or homophobic jokes or attitudes.
3. Get support for yourself. If the possibility that he is gay freaks you out, read this article in Parenting Magazine.
4. Make sure the school knows about the teasing he's getting. If they don't have a social competency curriculum in place, be the mom who advocates to get one.
5. Support the friendships he has, and don't worry that they are girls. Help him find friends who have similar interests. Talk with him about activities he enjoys and find them for him.
6. Give him opportunity to talk about what happens at school. Does the teasing bother you, or does it bother him? Recognize the difference. If it bothers him, help him figure out coping skills.
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