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How do you encourage boy play for a child who only has an older sister?

My son is 3 years old and has a 5 year old sister. He loves dinosaurs but at the same time he gets absolutly devistated when he cant have his nails painted.( Dad wont let me or I would :) He is also starting to only want to use the pink utensils at the dinner table. We went to Toys R Us yesterday and he wanted dolls! I wouldnt have a problem with this but his dad is worried because he is scared of him not clicking with the boys once he is school. What should I do?

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Asked by familynsni at 12:26 PM on Feb. 24, 2011 in Preschoolers (3-4)

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Answers (10)
  • Why not have big sister play with him with the dad-approved boy toys as well, or go for non-gender toys for both kids - legos puzzles, games, all of these can be enjoyed by any child.

    Answer by scout_mom at 12:28 PM on Feb. 24, 2011

  • Here we go!! Playing with girl toys will not make your son gay!!! I think that is what the dad is afraid of. But,painting the nails,u wanted to,what is wrong with u?

    Answer by dancer at 12:30 PM on Feb. 24, 2011

  • I would see about maybe finding a cousin or other relative whose a boy to have a play date with. Its important your son have some diversity in who he plays with. It would be good for him at this age anyway because it helps with socialization skills.

    I would also ask dad to spend more time one on one with him. He can play with dad approved toys and things like that and get a sense of male bonding. Most little boys want to be like their dad.

    Answer by gemgem at 12:31 PM on Feb. 24, 2011

  • My children are also 2 years apart with my daughter being the oldest. I was a little worried when he was 2 and he used to tell everyone that his favorite colors were pink and purple, lol. He also wanted his nails painted, but I only painted his toenails and that made him happy. Somehow when he was 3 he became OBSESSED with Spiderman and suddenly all of his sisters toys were 'for girls'. I don't even know how it happened, it just did. Now he's 5 and he's still obsessed with Spiderman, but he would probably still want me to paint his toenails =)

    Let him watch the 'boy' cartoons and check out 'boy' books at the library and try to see what interests him.

    Answer by slw123 at 12:33 PM on Feb. 24, 2011

  • I have a daughter(4) and twin boys who are 18 months younger than she is. She has dolls, they have trucks, but they all play with EVERYTHING. I just painted her toe nails the other day and they just watched. If DH is against having this nails painted, and he gets upset when you don't paint his, just do your DD's nails when he isn't around, like after he goes to bed, but before she does. I wouldn't paint my boys nails personally, but that's between you and DH.
    Around here, we do a lot of gender neutral play....all the toys are out, we don't only let our daughter play with dolls and her kitchen and likewise, the boys with trucks and dirt.

    Answer by Anonymous at 12:34 PM on Feb. 24, 2011

  • You should let your son be himself and Dad needs to stop worrying and do the same....this is only hurting him...I am saying this from experience...

    Answer by Anna92464 at 12:36 PM on Feb. 24, 2011

  • Dancer, I did not say anything about us having any fear of him being gay. He is only 3 and we have very close friends AND family who are gay. My main concern is that he would be picked on by other boys because he may not look at things by gender appropriateness but by whether or not he likes them. I just want him to be open to all things and I also dont want him to be picked on. So please, do not judge my question by your in between the lines reading. Thank you

    Comment by familynsni (original poster) at 12:44 PM on Feb. 24, 2011

  • I have 4 kids, all two years apart, and my oldest 2 are girls. My MIL started to notice him playing more with the dolls and dresses, and asked if we were giving him trucks and spiderman and such to play with! lol We were, of course. Then one day, it's all about trucks and army men and trains! lol It's just his age, and the stage of development, I guess. I'm sure he will be fine! Mine is DEFINITELY as boyish as they come now- all rough and tumble, rowdy, rambunctious, cute and cuddly boy :)

    Answer by lovingmy4babies at 1:03 PM on Feb. 24, 2011

  • Toys don't have genders! We give them genders and thus too much power. We have no problem with girls dressing like boys and playing with cars and dinosaurs and such. But a boy who plays with dolls or anything "girly" people go crazy.

    My son has a doll that he plays with. And a doll house. At this age, all play is just play. He looks up to his big sister. That's a good thing. Dad wouldn't care if it was the other way around.

    And lets face the facts, once he starts preschool he'll start acting like a boy. Until then, I say don't sweat the small things.

    Answer by SouthernMama08 at 8:55 PM on Feb. 24, 2011

  • My DS doesn't have an older sister, but for most of his life it was just him and I. He loved having his nails painted, still tells everyone he wants to grow up to be a mommy fireman, plays with dolls, takes tap dance, has over 500 matchbox cars and an entire geotrax city in our basement, enjoys watching spongebob and spiderman, loves dirt, bugs, riding his bike, and for his 5th birthday party only invited 1 boy and 8 girls. And when only 6 girls showed up had the best party of his life. But his best friend is a boy. My son wants to be a mommy because his dad has never been around, he doesn't equate parenting and protection with the male figure, only with me. I think you need to let your son be who he wants to be, and stop worrying. My son has been in preschool for 2 years and has never been picked on or had issues befriending the girls or boys, he plays with everyone.

    Answer by ba13ygrl1987 at 10:21 PM on Feb. 24, 2011

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