or Connect
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Mom › Parenting › Mama's with long haired boys...how to not offend?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Mama's with long haired boys...how to not offend? - Page 2

post #21 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by TinkerBelle View Post
I don't understand why anyone would be offended by a simple mistake. Long hair is traditionally a "girl" thing in a lot of places.

The time to be offended is when people go on and on about cutting hair or keep calling the child "she" or otherwise being rude.
Exactly.

And the point of telling the story above about my older son deciding to get a hair cut as soon as he's mistaken for a girl is this - any boy with long hair, particularly kids with hair as long as my youngest's hair, is probably going to be used to having this mistake made and not overly bothered by it. If a boy is one who gets upset about it, he'll likely decide not to keep his hair long. So as long as people aren't being mean about it, it's not going to be a problem to make a simple mistake. It's when adults go on and on about it, or kids tease about it, that it becomes a problem.
post #22 of 59
Thread Starter 
Ah...thanks for all the responses. I guess I didn't understand what exactly it was that causes offense. As I have NEVER made a nasty follow-up comment, I guess I'm in the clear. But, I do hate the awkwardness...
post #23 of 59
Such gorgeous kiddos on this thread

My 8.5yo boy has long hair. Longer than his sister's, in fact. He gets mistaken for a girl on a daily basis. He and I just exchange knowing glances at each other. He thinks the gender stereotyping is hilarious. The other day when it happened I said I thought it might be good to just smile and say "i'm a boy with long hair" so people have an opportunity to challenge their own image of what makes girl v boy. It is funny that hair trumps all. My son picks very stereotypically boy clothing - he just likes his hair long. My daughter has short hair and loves pink and princesses these days. She never gets mistaken for a boy...
post #24 of 59
my son is only 4, but already getting the girl comments. i find it amusing actually. especially since he's always dressed very boyish, but then you can't always judge by their clothes. you can't tell by his name either because his name is tyren (pronounced TEERen), so no one has ever heard of that name and doesn't have a clue about his sex from it.

his hair is curly blonde and only just starting to get down to his shoulders...the curls keep it a halo around his head mostly. he looks like a dandilion, lol!

i have run into a couple little boys with the same exact hair and its funny because we always end up talking about how everyone thinks they are a girl. one of the dads said that he suspects its because everyone cuts their son's hair off before the curls get this long. but we all agreed we loved our sons' curls and had no intention of chopping them.

as a side note, his daddy has very long hair that he wears in a ponytail and i have always LOVED boys/men with long hair so i have never had any intention of cutting my son's hair short. i expect the girl comments and they don't bother me, for the most part. sometimes its a little annoying because i think the way he is dressed makes it very plain that he's a boy...frankly, i don't think there's anything feminine about him. but then, i AM his mom, LOL! it just irritates sometimes because its automatically assumed that longer curls=girl...and i feel like people need to open their minds a bit more. but oh well. it doesn't seriously offend me, just kinda annoying at first, like someone else said.

i would say...when in doubt...observe and listen. eventually the parent will say something about their child that will let you know the gender. and don't worry, i guarantee they are already used to the confusion. i expected it and actually find it amusing once i get past the initial annoyance.

and since we're sharing pics: http://smithantics.shutterfly.com/1006
that was in july, and his hair is actually longer now, but you get the point.
post #25 of 59
I have to add, the thing that's most offensive to me is when people know I have an older boy and assume that I have my youngest's hair long because I wanted a girl. Apparently letting a boy choose when to cut their own hair will make them a girl.

I have some issues with the stereotyping that my kids experience so I could be a bit bitter.
post #26 of 59
The first time that happened to us (dds thought a long-haired boy was a girl) I just explained to them that boys can have long hair, just like girls can have sort hair. Easy-peasy.
post #27 of 59
As the mother of a short-haired girl who sometimes gets mistaken for a boy, I don't see anything offensive about it. I don't even correct people who refer to her as a 'he', unless the conversation demands it.

What I don't like is when people get worked up because I didn't label her 'girl' well enough - like, why isn't she wearing a pink frilly dress so her gender is clear? My child's hair is short because it's convenient; her clothes are comfy and in pleasant colors; that's what these things are for, not for labeling her for the sake of perfect strangers.
post #28 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by Litcrit View Post
As the mother of a short-haired girl who sometimes gets mistaken for a boy, I don't see anything offensive about it. I don't even correct people who refer to her as a 'he', unless the conversation demands it.

What I don't like is when people get worked up because I didn't label her 'girl' well enough - like, why isn't she wearing a pink frilly dress so her gender is clear? My child's hair is short because it's convenient; her clothes are comfy and in pleasant colors; that's what these things are for, not for labeling her for the sake of perfect strangers.
I find it silly that so many folks have to see it as an "awkwardness"-thing!

People have sometimes mistaken my girls for boys, and I've sometimes made the mistake of referring to a "he" as a "she." All you do is say Oops I'm sorry!

I just think gender is not often all that obvious until puberty. There's this preteen girl at the playground with facial features that used to seem very masculine to me.

I would have thought she was a boy, even with her long hair, except that I heard other kids calling her by a girl-name. Then as time went on I noticed some very womanly curves emerging. And I don't think she looks like a boy at all now.

And even if she still did -- what's the big deal?

I assume that if at some point a child decides it's very important that others make no mistake about their gender, they themselves will make the move to dress and wear their hair in ways that make it abundantly clear.

But really, why should gender make any difference in how we relate to others?
post #29 of 59
Ds gets mistaken for a girl all the time. He has long, fine/curly blond hair and soft features. I don't find it offensive or awkward when people make mistakes. I just correct them and move on. It can be hard to tell when they're little.
post #30 of 59
My boy has super long hair. He's almost 4 and I've cut his hair maybe 2x. People always say what a beautiful girl I have- in the begining I was always like he's a boy!!!! But now I just smile and say thank you. It doesn't bother me and for my little guy, he just looks at the people who think he's a girl- like they are stupid for not knowing, he knows he's a boy I know he's a boy.
post #31 of 59
Ugh. So here's my awkward situation: We were in a store, and I needed to try on clothes. I needed DS to come with me, becaue he's seven. So we walk up, and I say 'we need to use the family dressing room.' The attendant looks at my son (who is JUST learning to read) and asks 'can you tell me which side you normally go to?' (asking him to read the woman/man signs)

I was so confused. He looked at me, and I was like 'he usually goes with me, into the family dressing room.' To which this brilliant woman replied 'oh, well, I couldn't tell if he was a boy or a girl, so I had to ask.'

Not only did she put him on the spot for his gender, but also his reading skills! I told the manager.

Because - I said 'HE usually goes with me.' At that point, you'd think she'd drop it. But nope. Jeeze.

He's over it now. And I LOVE his curls!
post #32 of 59
All of my boys have been mistaken for girls before their hair ever got long. It's actually still not all that long, and def a boyish cut, but people still often think one or another is a girl. It doesn't bother me, or them. I know people who get really annoyed when their son/daughter is mistaken for the opposite sex, and they go out of their way to genderize their dressing, etc. So, I doubt those are the people who let their sons' hair get long.
post #33 of 59
My boss used to bring her youngest son into work with her. When he was 2, be had that beautiful long curly baby hair. A customer came in and saw him and remarked, "Oh, you must be L's little girl!" He put his hands on his hips and replied indignantly, "I not a girl, I a KID!"
post #34 of 59
Halloween experience.
My son was dressed in a "masculine" costume that covered him head to toe. Only his eyes were visible. Everyone referred to him as a boy until, at some point, a few locks of hair stuck out - the next house we stopped at, it was "hello girls". I thought it was quite interesting.
post #35 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzharmony View Post
Halloween experience.
My son was dressed in a "masculine" costume that covered him head to toe. Only his eyes were visible. Everyone referred to him as a boy until, at some point, a few locks of hair stuck out - the next house we stopped at, it was "hello girls". I thought it was quite interesting.
Same here. My younger son was dressed as Batman. Once his hair started escaping the mask, people kept referring to him as "she" in the Batman costume.

ETA: my point is how weird it is that people seem to have no issue with a little girl dressed as Batman, but think it's strange to have a long haired boy.
post #36 of 59
You all have such beautiful boys! I absolutely adore boys with long hair, I think it's me rebelling from growing up as an army brat I will be very upset if my boys don't want their hair long.

I also think that unless a child is dressed in very gender obvious clothes, it's hard to tell which gender they are. They're little kids, who cares? I've seen boys in skirts with long hair and girls in camo with short hair, they're all equally beautiful!
post #37 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alyantavid View Post
Same here. My younger son was dressed as Batman. Once his hair started escaping the mask, people kept referring to him as "she" in the Batman costume.

ETA: my point is how weird it is that people seem to have no issue with a little girl dressed as Batman, but think it's strange to have a long haired boy.

My son was Batman, too, and the mask/hat wouldn't fit over his hair, so he didn't wear it. His costume was so clearly a BatMAN costume, but people called him Batgirl all night. He didn't seem to care, though.
post #38 of 59
My son had longish hair until he was 4 and a half. He was often mistaken for a girl by both adults and children. Neither of us were ever offended by it. What was offensive was the few times I got comments from people saying something along the lines of "isn't it time he get a haircut?!" I wouldn't worry about teaching your kids anything about it.
post #39 of 59
Ds is 4 and has often been mistaken for a girl. Although his hair really isn't that long, just goes over his ears, down to his collar and he has bangs. But it's either that or the curls in the back. He also has long dark lashes which might add to it.

I don't get offended, but just correct the person. Ds has only gotten upset when it has been other kids who have called him a girl. I think he's less worried about that since I've told him to just tell them he's a boy.
post #40 of 59
My boys have always had semi-long hair, and from the age where their hair got too much in their eyes, also with bangs. They've been mistaken for girls SO MANY TIMES I can't keep track of it :-). I do not really MIND this mistake happening, to me and dh, they are obviously two boys, but I can see how people who are not used to boys with longer hair just mistake them for girls. I do surprise sometimes when people actually get it right :-).
My kids are also mixed so look a bit different than most locals, and the oldest has a finely built face for sure. I DO correct people about it, or (afterwards) joke with my child that the person was mistaken.
But what DOES offend is when people INSIST on calling them 'girl' or saying things like 'sister' or 'daughter', and definitely when they say sth like 'inappropriate hair for boys', mention the need for a haircut, etc. THAT, as other pp mentioned, is where offense does start.

I recently had a grandfather/neighbour suggesting (almost insisting) on cutting MY ds's hair himself, he had a good razor at home (well how do you call that machine) and it would be done quick and easy if it depended on him. Also saying something that came down to 'normalising' my son by giving him a head shave as his grandkids always have (implying boys should have short hair). Just because I somehow mentioned I'd like to trim ds's hair a little (LITTLE!) but also that we like it this way and I just wait for a good moment to do that because he's VERY sensitive to things like hair cutting. His reaction was like 'bring him to my home and I'd do it for him' and 'just do it by force', 'the boy needs a haircut/shave'. Huh???
I know we won't socialise with that person again, like this time when we 'ran in' with him and his grandchild on the playground, no way!
He could have upset my son (spd-suspected) VERY much, and he did upset ME.

I also had someone remark 'I must have preferred daughters over sons' by realising they were boys, not girls.

KIDS HEAR that kind of stuff they are surely not deaf and insensitive to such comments! Sigh.

I have felt on few occasions that it WAS needed to reassure my (young) children that they were looking totally fine and gorgeous and that there's nothing wrong about boys with longer hair nor girls with shorter hair, but that it appears some people just have more gender-limiting ideas and get confused when sth is not according to what they're used to (in a way my kids understand). And I do randomly point out other boys with long hair to them as antidote to comments. So when someone seems to want to give us a feeling again of 'don't be so silly, just cut the hair', 'you womanise your son by keeping his hair long' or similar, I give an appropriate antidote to my sons if needed. We may mostly joke about the silliness of the person commenting, (note, only among ourselves, later and only when the person's comment was out of line or person was insisting)) about not knowing (my) boys are just beautiful with long hair (too) :-).

Also, if we would never had such (negative) comments, I would never have felt the need to 'explain' this to my children, but unfortunately, as shows the above, I needed to do this.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Parenting
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Mom › Parenting › Mama's with long haired boys...how to not offend?