or Connect
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Mom › Parenting › Is it really so awful I told my DS he could grow up to be a mommy?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Is it really so awful I told my DS he could grow up to be a mommy? - Page 4

post #61 of 108
Whoa.

He's three. At that age, I'm sure my son said something about being a mommy, and I'm sure I played along- we had dolls and such.

Recently he keeps bugging me to have another child. (No, really. LOL ) Frustrated, I said, "How about you have a child and you can be the mommy?"

He looked at me like I had 2 heads. "Uh, Mo-om (you know how they make the word with 2 syllables instead of one! LOL), I can't do that! I'm a boy! I can't make a baby come out. I have a penis!"

So he's certainly figured it out!

I think you're fine. I'm sorry you had a fight with your mom, though. And it makes me so thankful that my mom has a "hands-off" style when it comes to letting me raise my son how I want!
post #62 of 108
I didn't read the responses, so forgive me if this has already been said.

I have my BA in Child Development and as far as Freud is concerned - our professors taught us about his theories and we all laughed and moved on. No person in the field of Child Development actually takes Freud seriously anymore (besides the oral-anal-phallic-latency-genital stages - that is actually a bit helpful).

Your son sees "Mommy" as a nurturing, loving, fun person and that's why he wants to be a "mommy." It's not damaging to his psyche to tell him he can be a "mommy" when he grows up. He'll figure out the logistics soon enough.
post #63 of 108
[QUOTEI mean technically it IS telling your son a "lie," ][/QUOTE]

It isn't a lie, men can mother, women can father, you don't have to give birth to be a mother, you don't need to have surgery to become the opposite sex, it's okay to talk about transgender stuff to 3 yo's (though in this case it might not be necessary, but still a valuable discussion to have, my 3 yo and I have talked about it), and people who try to tell you anything different from what I just said are just plain wrong.

Seriously, the outmoded idea that mothering and fathering is defined by what is in your pants is just that, outmoded. Transgender folks do not have to have surgery to become the opposite sex, becaue they are not defined by what is in their pants either.

As for this boy, I have issues with the grandmother, I think it's perfectly fine to go along with his imagination, and of course boxing him in is just wrong. His idea of mothering is probably just that mothers stay home with children, and that is possible of course. I know plenty of fathers (the term society uses for men with children) who are mothers (the way society defines how mothers act towards children), and of course plenty of mothers who father. I have done my own fathering to my 3 yo.
post #64 of 108
Thread Starter 
Thanks for so many insightful and eloquent responses!

I feel I agree with the sentiments expressed by many posters that my DS was age-appropriatedly exploring. Lilyka, if I had had a little more time, I would, as you suggested, have explored with him the line of thinking you raised, talking with him about him about what it means to be a mommy (and a daddy) and see where that went. I feel like I've reached a good level of resolution on this issue and I feel relatively confident on the gender roles/imagination issue.

What I'm have a lot harder time on, still, is how to deal with the question of my mother. What really bothered me that she did is she completely (I believe deliberately) ignored the emotional undertone of the conversation. She was also trying to overstep my bounds as a parent, and upset and confused DS. In the broader context, we are also dealing with other boundary issues. (For example, she keeps picking wax out of DS's ears no matter how much he tells her not to, and I tell her not to. She only does it when I'm not around.)

A lot of you recommended that I talk to her directly, set some boundaries, and try to have an open discussion with her about what's bothering her. That all seems reasonable, but honestly, it just gives me the chills to think of having an frank conversation with my mother. Honest discussions with my mother are really awful because she is so defensive, and just lashed out horribly.

And I can try to set boundaries with her, but I couldn't trust her to respect them. She's just not the kind of person who respects boundaries. And I've kind of reached some peace with her violating my boundaries, because I understand that her violating boundaries is about her, not me.

But when I think of her violating DS's boundaries, it just makes me crazy! And what I've sort of realized of the course of this thread is that I am letting her walk all over him, because I'm scared to deal with her extreme reactions and retaliations. Like when I told her to put DS in cloth and not sneak disposables, she just flipped out and called me a "dictator" and "your highness" and a lot of unprintables. In front of DS.

I don't think she is synonymous with her worst traits and I don't want to cut her out entirely, but dealing with her is really stressful. Because basically, asserting any boundary causes World War III. And I'm just realizing that in order to stand up for DS I have to be firm about boundaries (hence leading to craziness) or I have to distance us a lot from her, so that she doesn't have the opportunity to cross boundaries. That is not as easy as it sounds on an Internet forum.

Anyway, thank you to all of you for your help and for helping me pinpoint the real issue.
post #65 of 108
I see there are three pages of comments, but I'm leaving my response without reading them.

When I was a girl, my father used to say to me, "You can be anything you want in the whole world, but I'm sorry for you that you can't be a father like I am, because it's my favorite thing." Which I always read as 1. affirming of me and 2. an expression of how much he loved me.

As it turns out, he was wrong! I actually am friends with someone now who grew up a girl and is now a dad! He is the best dad and the happiest person! The icing on the cake was telling my 70 year old father about it and us both being kind of pleased by the new possibilities of changing times.

But this does not address "you can be a mommy when you grow up."

When kids pretend, the sky should be the limit. If you can pretend to be an astronaut, a sailor, a ballerina, a cowboy, a nuclear physicist, a princess, a king, a dragon or a tiger, why should you worry about a silly thing like "boy tiger" or "girl tiger"?

At some point, your son is going to throw in his lot with the boys. (In all statistical likelihood.) We like boys; boys are great. Let's take our cues from the kids and let them set the schedule on that, and not rush them into that all important penis phase, or whatever your mom called it. Lots of stages, lots of phases, and plenty of time for you to be a loving mom in all of them, affirming your kid and being optimistic about his future.
post #66 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by captain optimism View Post
When kids pretend, the sky should be the limit. If you can pretend to be an astronaut, a sailor, a ballerina, a cowboy, a nuclear physicist, a princess, a king, a dragon or a tiger, why should you worry about a silly thing like "boy tiger" or "girl tiger"?

At some point, your son is going to throw in his lot with the boys. (In all statistical likelihood.) We like boys; boys are great. Let's take our cues from the kids and let them set the schedule on that, and not rush them into that all important penis phase, or whatever your mom called it. Lots of stages, lots of phases, and plenty of time for you to be a loving mom in all of them, affirming your kid and being optimistic about his future.

I love this. That is so well said! Right now, my 2, almost 3 year old, wants to be a puppy when he grows up, or at least that's what he said last week - lol. I told him he would be a fantastic puppy. I don't see any point in saying anything different - he's just playing.

OP - I understand your boundry issues. Have you considered counseling? That may help you deal with your mother.
post #67 of 108
You - Mentally stable, intelligent, educated, well-read, mother.

Freud - Mentally unstable, intelligent, rejecting, familially distant father, angry cocaine addict who wanted to screw his mommy.

I think you win.
post #68 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by Demeter9 View Post
You - Mentally stable, intelligent, educated, well-read, mother.

Freud - Mentally unstable, intelligent, rejecting, familially distant father, angry cocaine addict who wanted to screw his mommy.

I think you win.
post #69 of 108
The far bigger issue to me is the fact that your mother contradicted you in front of your child, upset your child, and then went on to complain about your parenting to other people. Totally inappropriate.
post #70 of 108
Ok, here is the problem I have with this whole discussion.

A lot of people are saying that it's not a lie to tell a boy that he can become a Mommy, because men can take on traditionally female roles. Men can "mother", and women can "father", right??

But why, pray tell, can't a "Daddy" be the exact SAME type of parent as a "Mommy"?!?!?

To me, it's very contradictory. You are saying that boys can grow up to be anything they want, including a "mommy", but that if they become a "daddy", they won't be able to do the same things as a "mommy"! I'm sure many SAHD's would strongly disagree!

I'm not going to tell my son that he can't be ANYTHING, but I also plan to let him know that Daddies and Mommies aren't so different! Heck, Daddies can even breastfeed!!
post #71 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by dancingmama View Post
My dd wants to grow up to be a fairy princess. Do I sit her down and tell her no, dear, that's simply not realilstic....? Good grief, no! No doubt, soon enough, she'll figure out that this will not be her ultimate destination, but why why why should I dash her dreams now? There is no harm in letting your ds pretend that he will grow up to be a mommy. I will bet that at some point he changes his mind.
Exactly! My gosh... let children PRETEND for the few years they still will : I haven't read all the responses, but I agree with this one and think the OP handled it very well I agree also with the pp who mentioned that your ds probably sees his father have to leave to earn money and is desiring to stay home like his mommy does.

It was totally inappropriate in this situation, IMO, for your mom to be telling him what he can or can't be based on his gender. He was very obviously not talking about becoming transgendered and he never actually mentioned giving birth either. He's THREE for crying out loud!

How many of you who think the grandmother was right would tell your sons who pretend to nurse dolls or stuffed animals - "no, honey, you can't breastfeed you're a boy."? It's pretty much the same thing... And all children do eventually figure biological gender roles out - whether they are transgender or not.

love and peace.
post #72 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by hypatia View Post
A lot of you recommended that I talk to her directly, set some boundaries, and try to have an open discussion with her about what's bothering her. That all seems reasonable, but honestly, it just gives me the chills to think of having an frank conversation with my mother. Honest discussions with my mother are really awful because she is so defensive, and just lashed out horribly.

And I can try to set boundaries with her, but I couldn't trust her to respect them. She's just not the kind of person who respects boundaries. And I've kind of reached some peace with her violating my boundaries, because I understand that her violating boundaries is about her, not me.
Big hugs to you. I know that you'll do what's best for you and your ds.
post #73 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by ThreeBeans View Post
I really fail to see the big deal about telling a 3 year old, "Sure you can be a mommy if you want to be". It's no different than telling a 3 year old, "Sure you can be a fairy princess if you wanna be"

:
post #74 of 108
xldjfldfjdlskfnslrihjrsdknmskrfj
post #75 of 108
OP,

Your mom is very much in the wrong. You were great with your son, very caring and supportive. We all know that there are many years between three and adulthood and that nothing a baby your son's age should be taken as an indication of what type of adult he'll be.

~Nay
post #76 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by jeannie81 View Post
i agree with your mom. i don't understand how you think your son can give birth. ???
I seriously doubt the OP is that stupid.
post #77 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by jeannie81 View Post
i agree with your mom. i don't understand how you think your son can give birth. ??? why don't you tell him he can be a daddy? im assuming that when he says he is going to be a mommy he has no intention of having his penis made into a vagina and becoming a transexual and then adopting. if that is what his intentions are, then yes, you are right to tell him that he can do that, but he can never be a mommy in the traditional sense which is what i think he probably means.
For starters, you don't have to give birth to be a mommy.

Using your logic, nobody should ever tell their children what they can or can't be when they grow up. I mean, how do I know that my daughter will be able to have children (or have the financial resources to adopt) for sure when she grows up? Since I don't know that for sure, by your reasoning, it would be wrong for me to tell her that she could be a mommy someday.

It sounds to me like her DS has some set issues/beliefs about mommies and daddies right now - namely that he thinks that daddies have to leave the house and mommies get to stay home. He has expressed insecurity about having to leave the house, and therefore has decided that he wants to be a mommy, so that he can stay home. The OP did the right thing by reassuring him. Telling him, no, you can't be a mommy, but you can be a daddy would only further upset him in this situation. And while yes, it is possible for the OP to sit down and explain that not all daddies have to be away from home, at 3 years old, he is projecting his own worldview onto things, and it is not always easy to just explain something so big to a small child.
post #78 of 108
Also, I think it is far more important to encourage children to be who they are/who they want to be, than it is to encourage them who *we* want them to be.
post #79 of 108
I can understand the OPs conundrum on mom--I have a pretty traditional mom myself, and there are times she has said things like, "you're not raising this child VEGETARIAN are you?" (to which I replied, "yes, mom, I'm going to try since I see it as the best option, but if you want to feed the child some meat substance, be sure to do it when you have him/her the next day to deal with the sickness, cramping and poo that will result. I don't want to be associated with it") She's got her own beliefs and world views, and it's okay with me that she has some kind of "special" relationship with the kiddo. If she wants to share her beliefs about gender typing with him/her, then it won't be the first or last time. Maybe my kid will be able to teach her something about being a sheep in life, since that is the last thing I'll allow in a kid. But the good news is, she's coming along, and really does have so much love and mean well. The OPs mom was likely overreacting to the OPs reaction by running around saying to everyone these things and seeking validation for her own reaction. (if that makes any sense)
post #80 of 108
I agree that your ds needs the emotional, not literal, meaning of his desire addressed. The fact that your mother calls it "the penis phase" tells me she is not terribly familiar or accurate when it comes to developmental theory. yes, phallic and genital preiccupation is a nromal developmental phase, but "penis phase" is not the correct term! LOL If she is goint to try adn pull scientific rank on you, she should at least get teh terms straight

I agree with the previous poster who noted that your ds likely associates daddies with people who disappear or go away and aren't part of the every day family anymore - that is big, scary stuff for a 3 year old. Mommies are home (in his world) and make the world feel like a good place. Why wouldn't he want that?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Parenting
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Mom › Parenting › Is it really so awful I told my DS he could grow up to be a mommy?