“He’s a Boy, Not a Girl!” I find myself repeating those words whenever someone refers to my son as my daughter.
Honestly, I didn’t notice it at first. People would compliment my beautiful daughters and I’d say thank you. Then, my brain would do a mental remind and realize that they just called my son a girl.
Is it his luscious curls? Maybe some might consider them too long for a boy.
But, this has been going on before his hair grew in. I was pushing him in a shopping cart when someone came over and said, “your daughter is adorable.”
Okay, I’ll admit that he happened to be sitting in one of those pink shopping cart covers. But, his outfit was far from traditional girls clothing.
It’s also happened when he wore his pink shirt.
How I Handle People Calling My Son for Girl
My son is beginning to notice strangers referring to him as a little girl now that he’s getting older. “Why does everyone keep calling me a girl?” he asked.
“I don’t know. You look like a boy to me. Does it bother you?” I asked. He didn’t say anything. The expression on his face revealed that he was just confused. He didn’t appear upset, embarrassed or hurt. But, I knew I had to do something since he mentioned it.
I’ve heard about so many instances of kids internalizing their feelings and I didn’t want my son to do the same. Rather than sweep this under the rug, I told him that the next time someone calls him a girl he has every right to correct them, if we wants to.
The other day we were all dining at a restaurant when the server came over and asked, “what are the girls having?” “He’s a boy,” I responded. She went on to apologize for the mistake.
Some people may not agree with the way I handle people calling our son a girl. But, I feel it’s necessary to make them aware of their mistake. I also realize that the way society responds to my children may somehow have an affect on them in the long run.
I’m not the kind of parent to limit my children from wearing “gender specific clothing” or stop them from playing with “gender specific toys.” It’s important to encourage them to be themselves and allow their personalities to flourish.
My son may sometimes play with his sister’s dolls, but he often plays with cars, trains and trucks too He was holding a toy train and wore jeans and shirt that had trucks on it that particular day when were at the restaurant. When I asked the lady what made her think he’s a girl, she said it was because of his hair.
People have asked if I’d ever cut his curls because of the mistake. My response… Absolutely not! Why should he have to change his appearance to make it easier for people to label or place him in a category that makes it easier for them? He shouldn’t be forced to conform to their standards.
So, if you happen to see a child and you’re not sure of his or her gender, it’s okay to ask. We don’t get offended. The only thing I find annoying is when we correct someone and they continue to make the same mistake over and over again.
For the record, my husband I teach our kids to love the skin their in. Our son happens to have beautiful curls and many happen to mistake him for a girl. I don’t consider it an insult. But if someone calls him a girl, he has every right to correct them.
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