Pre School Gender Issues or Just Kids being Kids?


Over the past few weeks my daughter has been talking about this girl in her class, we will call her “Mia” who is suddenly telling the other children to call her “Tyler”. Initially when she said this to me, I laughed it off. I mean my daughter tells me to call her Ana, Elsa, Olaf, Princess, etc… so I really didn’t pay much attention.

But, what I thought was a simple child just playing around, seems to be something different. We were looking at her class picture the other day and talking about the children and I pointed to Mia and said something about her shirt. My daughter looked at me very serious and said, “Mommy, don’t call her Mia. She’s a boy now and her name is Tyler.”

I have seen this child as we go in and out of school each day and she is dressed and looks like the little girl Mia that I know. But still my daughter insists her name is Tyler now.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I don’t care if the little girl wants to be called Tyler. I just want to understand if I am dealing with children playing around or if this is the time for a life lesson for my daughter. So, today I asked the teachers about it. They were as confused as I was. Apparently she hasn’t told the teachers she wanted to be called Tyler, only the other children.

I am not sure how or if I even should approach this with my daughter. I mean, I don’t know if she is playing around or if she really is having gender issues this early in life. Should I broach the subject with my daughter or should I just ignore it for now?

I am very happy to say that my child is colorblind. I don’t mean literally, but simply that when she sees other people of different color or nationality, she doesn’t look at them or treat them any differently than people who look like her. I believe if we teach our children acceptance, it will make them better little humans. I want to make sure if Mia is having gender issues that my daughter will understand, accept and not judge her.

What are your thoughts?


2 responses »

  1. Preschool is a time where kids are starting to pay more attention to and learn about some of those gender issues — so it could just be part of that, part of exploring who they are as a person and what is “right” for them — what does it mean to that child to be Mia, versus being Tyler (or some other name)?
    I’d say meet your daughter where she’s at on this one. She doesn’t seem to have issue with Mia being Tyler, and is respecting her friends wishes for this new name — seems like she’s living out that hope you have of being able to accept others, at a level that she can understand right now.

    • You know, I didn’t really realize it, but you are right. She is being totally accepting and I am the one worrying about the lesson to teach her. Looks like she is teaching me one!

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