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proexpert37, Educator/Life Coach
Category: Parenting
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Experience:  Teacher 20+ years, Parent, Expert Mentor
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My 11 year old daughter is a tom boy. She has been for the

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My 11 year old daughter is a tom boy. She has been for the last 3 years, specifically. She dresses in boys clothes (won't wear girls jeans and t shirts), likes to go to barbers and gets boy's haircuts. I've always let her do her own thing because I want her to grow up confident and strong in who she is. I have no issue whether she is gay or straight and have taught her that to me, there is no difference between the two - (whenever the subject has come up) - The concern I have is twofold:

- She looks like a boy and when she goes to a public restroom, women kick her out. She will not speak up and correct people when they mistake her for a boy. How do I handle? She gets upset but then blows it off...she now would rather "hold it in" than go into a women's bathroom. If I ask her about it, she says she's fine and "doesn't have to go"

- When is the right time for me to confront her about homosexuality and asking her if she has those feelings? I never want her to feel uncomfortable, both privately or publicly - I want hr to be confident gay or straight and don't want her to have second thoughts about anything - suggestions?

Any help would be great.
Hello and Thank You for consulting Just Answer and for your honesty. Your daughter is an individual and is expressing who she feels most comfortable as. Whether it be boyish or not, she is happy and that is what matters most.

If you confront her about her sexuality, she may become really defensive and manifest rather rebellious behavior. She is a pre teen and will go through many stages. Unless you have any reason to believe that she is gay, just leave the issue alone for now.

However if her boyish nature really bothers you, then you may want to seek professional counseling together so that you can understand your beautiful daughter more.

Please let me know if you need more assistance.

It was truly my pleasure assisting you today.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I guess I want her to express her feelings than feel that she needs to repress them - I have a 15 year old and 8 year old who have n qualms talking about who they like and I want her to feel just as comfortable - if it's because she is not as open as the other two, that's fine - but if she feels uncomfortable because she feels it's not normal, then I have a problem
All of our children are different. You can sit down with your daughter and casually ask her why does she prefer boys clothes over girls and boys haircuts. Then ask her how she feels if she is mistaken for a boy. If she brushes you off with an "I don't know" which she probably will, then professional counseling may be in order. Sometimes teens can open up to a neutral third party because they will not be judged. Your daughter probably senses that you are disappointed in her boyish appearance and does not want to hear negative comments from you if you feel so strongly against her boyish nature.

Please stay encouraged!
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Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I'm not disappointed in her boyish nature. I feel badly that she is embarrassed enough to not go to the bathroom because she is being mistaken for a boy and won't speak up and just say, I'm a girl. That's all -
So you are okay with her boyish nature but you just want her to open up more to you about...?
I would suggest that you not question her about her sexuality as she is still young. You need to have a conversation with her first by explaining that you love her and will support her always and that she can talk to you about anything...boys, girls, etc. and leave it at that. Tell her that you know it hurts you and her when she is mistaken for a boy and that maybe she should use the family restrooms. Really empathize with your daughter. I know it must be a very painful experience for a young girl. Keep an eye out to make sure that she does not become depressed. You may want to discuss this with her pediatrician as well. :)
proexpert37 and other Parenting Specialists are ready to help you
THANK YOU!!! Let me know if I can be of further assistance after you have discussed the issues with your daughter. I am always here to help. Just request proexpert37 in the beginning of your question and I will be more than happy to assist you. Have a great day!!!
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Thank you!
Anytime 😊!