6 year old daughter will not wear girl clothing - FamilyEducation
6 year old daughter will not wear girl clothing
09/11/2007 at 08:47 AM

My six year old daughter will not wear any type of girl clothing. We argue every morning before school about what she is going to wear. Should I back off or go buy only girl clothing and make her wear it? I need help!! This really bothers me for some reason. THANK YOU.

Why are you arguing with a 6 year old?  That is your first mistake. You are the parent, she is the child, you make the decisions and that is it. 

On the other hand, how girly are the clothes you prefer?  Have you gone to he school and looked at what is the norm for children her age?  If you prefer frills and bows and lace and the other little girls are wearing t-shirts and jeans, you may be making her feel wierd. 

If this isn't the situation, then what you have is a power struggle where she is going to see if she is the boss, or if you are.  Do not argue with a child, be the boss that you are SUPPOSED to be, but be a sensible one.  When you are the boss, both you and your child win.


I am not asking for pink, sparkly, frilly stuff. I am just asking for no BOY clothes. And no I don't buy them other family members do. Do I argue with my elders? Bluejeans and t-shirts(without monster trucks, spiderman, superman, pirates, etc.) would be nice. 


As a mother of a "tom-boy",I know what you are dealing with. Yes, you are the boss, but you also dont want a miserable child.We compromised.Pink girl top with black cargo boy pants. Pink laces with black gym shoes.We picked out the outfits together. Somewhere along the line she decided to dress more like the girls in her class, and the ''tom- boy'' days are over. good luck!


If there are things in her wardrobe that YOU do not feel are appropriate, then remove them - regardless of who bought them, pack them up and put them in your closet or storage, or donate to goodwill or something.

My children are older, so I have most recently been dealing with bra straps or midriffs showing, so it can get worse. The easiest way I have found to handle clothing is to never let it get into the house.
However, I have to tell you, there are going to be much bigger issues as she gets older. You need to decide what is going to be more important to you --- choose your battles carefully, but once you decide, then make that choice clear and stick with it.
Good luck.

I empathize with you bec. right now this is my "struggle" with my 7 year old daughter. I am also looking for help about this so I am reading a book by Tedd Tripp "Shepherding a Child's Heart" and his premise is that we need to reach the child's heart and not just be satisfied with the outward behavior.


My 8 year old son's best friend is a girl. She has been his best friend since age 2. She is an athletic girl who wears baseball and hockey shirts every day. Her Mom is frustrated but has decided not to fight this. She used to wear boy pants, but now she is starting to curve a bit and boy pants are no longer comfortable, so she wears girl pants, but still no pink.

I'm sure age will change her, but if it doesn't, it doesn't. She is a nice, nurturing, sweet girl and there are so many girls of that age who want designer clothes, purses and cell phones-yes, at age 8!  This girl can't be bothered with that stuff.


I agree with sandyintn.  Draw the line on the things that are absolute no-nos, such as spaghetti straps and bare tummies.  Decide if this is one of those absolute no-nos.  Personally, my daughter considered herself a tom-boy and refused to wear dresses and pink.  I decided that this wasn't a problem as long as what she did wear was appropriate.  Now that she is 11, she chooses to wear skirts sometimes because she sees other girls wearing them.  In my opinion, let your daughter wear what she wants.  She will most likely change her mind in the not-too-distant future.


I am so glad that we have compulsory school uniforms in Australia! There are never any arguments about what is or isn't appropriate to wear to  school. Maybe you could try an alternative "school uniform". Take your daughter shopping and buy some "school clothing" that you can agree upon. Allow your daughter to choose her own clothing to wear to school from her "school clothing" only. Hopefully this will lead to fewer arguments. Try not to worry too much about girls/boys clothes at this age, as some children are still exploring gender roles. Maybe "boys" clothes are just more comfortable or practical if she is an active child. Why don't you ask her?


You should buy her some girl clothes and tell her to wear them. Tell your elders not to be buying so many boy clothes and just start buying her more girl clothes. But, if this doesn't work then let her wear boy clothes. She might change and she might not. She has the right to express herself and as the mother you should support that.


For the past few weeks, my 4year old daughter (only child at this point) has been telling me and her father that she wants to be a boy.

Specifically, she wants to wear Spiderman clothing and has shown a great interest in toy cars and other boy toys. We were visiting her cousins back East and she played with her boy cousins, much to the disappointment of her girl cousins.

Maybe I am overreacting but could she already be having ideas about whether she should be a girl or boy? Do I have a future lesbian on my hands? I have told her that she was born a girl but I have bought her some toy cars and some Spiderman stuff (no clothes, though. Gotta draw the line).

Other times, she tells me she wants to be a baby again and will actually get very upset. She doesn't want to be a "big girl." It is upsetting to see her so unhappy and I am concerned that she feels this way at such a young age.

Anyone have any advice for me?

Thanks in advance.


Chill.  She may just be playing you, because she can tell it pushes your buttons.  She may just be prattling away, letting words fall out of her mouth any old way--I do that some times.  If she is confused about her sexuality, the best thing you can do to help her is be calm and let her go.  What does she get upset/unhappy about?  Is it just when you tell her she can't be a baby or a boy?  Don't tell her, then.  Whether she believes you or not, she can't.  And I bought all of my girls trucks and building sets and let them wear whatever costumes they wanted.  Don't fuss!


I've been struggling with this same problem for awhile now with my 6 year old daughter. She tells me she is a boy and gets very upset if i make her wear girl clothes. When we go shopping for clothes she wants to go to the boys section. She always wants to look "handsome" when she gets ready for school. She also plays with boys toys, monster trucks, spiderman, superman. She will only play with barbies if she gets the boy barbies. She is very rough and tough and prefers playing with the boys. I would love to talk to someone else with this same problem. I want to nurture the person she is but im scared that if she doesnt grow out of this, things will be really rough for her. Please email me at Kwill10592@hotmail.com

I agree with some posts about not having spiderman and monster trucks in the house so it's not a choice. However, I HATED girl clothes when I was little... HATED HATED HATED them. I remember crying my eyes out walking to school combing my hair into the boy style I preferred after my mother used hair spray to make it stay for picture day... boy was she surprised when the pix came in.... There should be a compromise... Why should she be miserable? She is a person with feeling and prefrences. Monster trucks may be extreme, but she will make better choices if they are not there to chose from. BTW - today I am all female. I am attractive and I wear make-up, blouses and perfume. You won't see me in pumps or skirts at work, but I do pair my business slacks with pearls and bows.

I think she is 6 and you should compromise there a 5 days in a school week so let her wear what she wants for 2 days and 2 days what you want and maybe on the last day you pick either shorts and she picks the shirt. It’s not about being the boss it’s her being conferrable! All children are different some girls only like GI Joe no Barbie’s its a phase she will grow out of it but maybe be flexable.Its not going to hunt anybody!

Well i have a tom girl,soon to be 7 and she plays with boys toys,she likes wearing her clothes like the boys do.I am not a parent who likes what she does but i try telling her that other kids would tease her as it has already happend!But i do think its a part of thier own growing up with thier own personality.My daughter is very stubborn but life is about learning,sometimes its tough no matter what we as parents want for them,id prefer my daughter wore girly clothes which she does but likes boys things too.I really dont see anything wrong with it as it's a part of who they are.Sometimes trying to change who they are can be a big mistake,it could get worse later on in thier lifetime.

There are many reasons she may wish to wear boy clothes. She may actually feel that she is a boy, in which case sensitivity and understanding will be needed to help her survive childhood. She may want to project a stronger (male) image, she may see a female in a role that she doesn't like. She may see a male in a role that she wants for herself. Sensitivity and understanding will help you examine her environment, including her own family! Finding out the reason may help you deal with the issue. In the mean time, save the ugly spiderman stuff for the pencil case, pajamas and undies. thats how I deal with my son's desire for that hideous rubbish.. The rest of the time, she can wear boys clothes but there is no reason she can't be in chinos and a white shirt. Also, you can buy boys colours with girls neck-lines. eg a camo tee shirt with a scoop neck. pale blue and white stripes are also charming on any kid. so is pale grey. v-neck jumpers, canvas sneakers, all will work.

pick out neutral colors for her to wear. When i was younger i was much of a tom boy and hated to wear skirts and tights; i was all about sweat pants and sweat shirts and comfortable sneakers... i eventually grew out of that.. it's a phase!

just make her

If that's what she feels comfortable wearing then let her, don't try and force your daughter to wear clothes which make her feel uncomfortable. I'd suggest that you keep a look out for clothes that are more androgynous in nature. Also, I don't see why her choice in clothing should be that much of a concern -- I'd be much more concerned about her arguing with you.

just let her gain about 700 pounds and make her wear toddler clothes

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I agree that 6-year olds should go braless. If there is a question, perhaps a medical evaluation to see if there is a medical problem, perhaps obesity. Some 8 and 9-year olds do have the need for a bra. Failure to provide adequate support leads to very pendulous breasts which can compromise a young woman's sense of self. Good nutrition and lots of physical activity are a good idea for everyone.

pink is not a girls colour, pink is actually a bright masculine colour and up until 1939 blue was for girls and pink for boys, i think girls clothes these days are over the top they are much to frilly and showy, even in the 40s things were not that bad, and also all colours are for everyone, no such thing as gender colours or it would say so in the bible or quran etc, but i do think girls should cover more and wear less bright colours for the very fact that they have more to hide.

im not suprised your daughter doesnt want to wear girl clothing, what is girl clothing anyway? girls can wear trousers and most do these days, the dress is in decline the same as it was when boys wore dresses ( yes boys use to wear dresses) the dress declined for them until they stopped wearing them altogether, thats probably will happen with women, more and more wear trousers, although i do think trousers should be a little looser, i think caftans are good for both sexes because they are not frilly and straight down and practical and not worn to appear attractive to the opposite sex, i never could understand why girls used to be dressed in frills rom top to bottom femininity comes from within and nobodys pure feminine or masculine thank god thats changing, and as it changes girls are seen more and respected more for their minds and other gifts rather than being used to dress up for for show.

She'll probably grow out of it. Probably. The only tip I can give you right now is to NOT force her into being a girly girl. Strangely, my dad actually tried to force me into being A TOMBOY. This is beacuse he wanted me to be born a boy but I'm a girl. It made me both hate him and anything resembling boy-ish things. I'm probably the girliest you can find right now. So don't try to push your daughter, becuase you might be pushing her away from girly stuff even more, and more importantly, you.

We have the same situation - a 6 year old who loves superheros (particularly spiderman), pretending to be a boy, and dressing like a boy. She recognizes she is a girl though and will wear dresses for the benefit of others, such as wearing a dress to an event with her conservative grandparents. She seems slighly sad and awkward when wearing the dress though and will take it off immediately after the family event has concluded. She then goes back to jeans and a tshirt (never pink!). We let her wear whatever she wants, as long as it is not offensive, and do not consider jeans and a tshirt to be offensive just because it's "for boys." My personal opinion is that we should love our children how they are and be careful not to try to force them to be someone they are not. They need to feel safe at home, loved as they are, and not always working to conform to someone else's stereotype. This is how some girls are. Let's accept and love them.

Hey, I know this might be a super late reply comment, but I think your child might be Transgender. Transgender, meaning your child is trapped like HE was born as a Female in a girl's body, but HIS mind is mentally a Male. Your child wants to be a baby again, so that he can be born as a boy and not a girl. A lot of kids feel this way, and it is not a phase. They never pick it up from somewhere and just turn, and if they are arguing with you about their gender , you should know your child might be trans. Don't get me wrong but a lot of trans kids get rejected by their parents, and most of them commit suicide because of their gender and their parents rejection. so I would suggest you to support your child, and do whatever is right and kind for them. They love you. :)

For more information on children who might be transgender or gender nonconforming (someone whose behaviors and interests -- in things such as clothing and toys -- don't match societal expectations for their biological sex), search this site (FamilyEducation) for an article called "6 Tips for Understanding and Raising a Transgender Child." Hope that helps!

Since I am only alloted a maximum of 1000 characters for my response, I have no choice but to break it up into two separate comments... COMMENT PART 1: I understand to each his own, and that we all have our own parenting styles, but I just don't understand why some of you would rather "make" your daughter be, dress and act like someone she clearly is not. You should be letting your child find who she is and whatever the outcome, stand by her and support her. You call it a power struggle, or a battle of wills, but you may find you create more resentment and negativity with your attitude toward this situation. Yes, she is only 6 years old, but obviously by now, she has a mind of her own and can and does know what she likes to wear.

COMMENT PART 2 I too have a daughter who very recently turned 6 years old and for the past 2 years now, has decided she no longer likes to wear dresses, she will not wear anything pink and if a boy wouldn't wear it, neither will she. These days it's all about Superman, Hulk and the other Avenger's. At first I tried my best to keep this change in her at bay, but she is a strong willed child who knows what she wants and what she likes and I for one will not stop her from exploring and finding out who she is and what her likes and dislikes are. As much as I would rather she be my girlie girl, I will do whatever it takes to encourage her independence and self esteem whether it be in pink or blue!

My 7yr old sometimes wears football tops plus has a blue jacket that she loves, however, she WILL NOT zip it up, when its really horrible weather, I have to zip it for her then explain why its getting zipped right up.