What to Do When People Think Your Little Girl is a Boy | Higdons' Happy Home

My daughter is a tomboy.  This morning she went to daycare wearing a Honda Pit Crew t-shirt and a black skirt.  Last weekend she "worked" on her PowerWheels trike with her plastic Craftsman tools and brought home two trophies from a bike show for her effort.  When she's in a dress, I have to remind her that it is not a napkin to wipe chocolate off her face.  Lady-like is not really her strong point.

So it probably doesn't surprise anyone that I have lots of people tell me what a cute little boy I have.  I think every parent has been there.  For some parents it last longer than for others.  Here are some of the the ways my husband and I handle these incidents.

1.  Don't get angry!  I can't emphasize this point enough.  I have seen parents get down-right snotty when someone mixes up the gender of their child.  If your blood starts to boil or your face starts to flush--stop and take a breath.  What you may have just heard is, "Wow, your daughter has some really masculine features!".  Remind yourself that what they actually mean is, "Wow, you have a cute kid!"

2.  Give them a chance to recover.  My husband and I make it a point to never be rude when someone confuses our girl for a boy.  As I mentioned before, she's not really a girly-girl so it's easy to see how they might get confused.  Instead, we continue on with the conversation and drop a few hints to help them out without embarrassing them, such as:  "Little Miss just loves petting kittens." or "Yellow is her favorite color."  Some people pick up on the girl references and some people don't.  Either way, we try to keep the conversation polite.

3.  Add some accessories!  Hair clips, pony-tails, and pink shoes can sometimes offset the masculinity of some of the outfits my daughter likes to wear.  And who cares that she's wearing a mechanic's shirt with a tutu?  No one.  In fact, a lot of people think it's cute that she is allowed to express her own personality.  And they catch on right away that she's just a tomboy, not an actual boy.  :)

4.  Don't get angry!  Did I already say this one?  Well, it's really that important.  Think about it.  If you get all upset and throw a little hissy over it, what is your daughter going to think?  1) That she actually does look like a boy, and 2)She should get upset about it too.  If you just brush it off and go on your daughter will likely adopt a similar attitude..

5.  Have some fun with it.  Like a lot of girls, my daughter didn't get hair for a long time so she did kind of look like a boy, and she definitely played like one!  One of our favorite bibs we had for her was bright pink and said, "I am not a boy!"  We would put it on her a lot a restaurants because it was funny for us and saved a lot of people from making the, "Oh, what a cute little boy!" mistake.

People are going to get mixed up.  It happens.  Appreciate that someone took the time to notice and compliment your child and just let the rest go.


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