My DD had trouble accepting the his/her gender change.....
So we have friends who have a son (we will call him Jon) about 1 year younger than my 7 year old. The parents and us are in a group of couple friends that have gotten together from the time all of our kids were born. So my 9 yr old and 7 yr old have have been playing with Jon for years and years. He has always been a little excentic and would wear dress up clothes and play girly things when we got together. But, that was the extent of it until the last time we got together. During that get together the mom told us that he wants to "be a girl" and loves to wear dresses. So, they decided to put him in a private school that "understands" his issues. Instead of a public school where he may not be accepted.
So, fast foward to now. We have not seen the friends and Jon in over a month. And today we were at a music festival with our group of couple friends when they showed up. Jon was dressed fully in girl clothes-Pink frilly dress, flowered tights and a bow in his hair. My kids looked a little shocked by it, and made suprised faces, but did not say anything. Then they quickly moved past it and said "Hi Jon" and Jon imediately said "My name is not Jon anymore! It is Jenny" And his mom confirmed it and said he was now a girl. My girls looked surprised again, but did not say anything.
I needed to go get my drinks for my girls so it was good timing to be able to talk to them alone. While we got drinks we talked about it and I told them that "You do not have to understand why people make the choices they do, but that we need to accept them and not judge them." I asked them to come ask me if they had any questions and to be respectful of Jon and his family's new choices. They both agreed. I was worried about my 7 yr old who has high functioning autism and struggles with inappropraite social interaction and sees everything very literal-black and white! So, I stayed close to her to monitor the situation.
Well, I am talking with a friend by where the kids are playing and I hear a dialog starting with my DD and Jon/Jenny. So I quickly went over to mediate. As I walk over I hear my DD say, "I am not calling you Jenny! You are not a girl! You can not just decide that! You are a boy! That is just not right!" And poor Jon started balling. As soon as I got over to her, I told my DD that we need to repect Jon and not argue with him like that. She said, "But, Mom you can not just do that! He is a boy. I can not call him Jenny cus he is not a girl. It is just weird!" And of course Jon starts crying more. At this point Jon's mom came over just as I told DD we needed to go talk about it, just the 2 of us. Then Iwas starting to appologize to Jon and say, DD just needs some time to get used to things. His mom flips out on me. Saying "my kid is mean and being a bully. And that kids like mine is why she HAS to put jenny in a private school to be accepted. I was rattleded did not know what to say. I just said, "My DD is not trying to mean, she is just confused and trying to figure it out." I then quickly wisked my DD away. As I did she was still ranting over it. And she spent the rest of the time giving me evil looks and moving her kids away from mine.
I feel aweful about the whole thing. My DD was not being "nice" and I was trying to take care of it. But I have to say as an adult I found the whole concept hard to understand. So you have to expect it would be harder for a child, especially a child like my DD who has autism and struggles with nonliteral thinking. So, I feel like if you are going to support your child in this type of "life change" at 6 yrs old, then unfortionately you need to be prepared and prepare your child for some of the social issues with it.
What do you guys think? My personal opionion as a parent is that I do not think I would choose to let my 6 yr old son "become a girl" at this age. But, I do not judge them at all because I also know that you never know what you really would do unless you are in that situation. But.....I do think about his mom's expectations are too high for other children accepting the change.
I am very curious as to what you guys think.