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How do I explain FTM to a 4 yr old?

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BlueZircon:
So I have a four (going on 5) year old cousin, and we're super close. She always comes to me for play and for comfort. I recently came out as transgender to my family and they've been trying to call me Jay (my masculine name) as much as possible. Most of my family consists of fully matured adults, ranging from 20 - 40 years old. All except for Ella (my cousin). That's where my problem comes in. How do I explain <transgender> to her without her thinking it's just some silly game? I don't want her turning around and saying she wants to be a boy as well just because I'm doing it and she thinks I'm playing pretend. All of the different explanations I have for her all seem to revert back to her simple mind thinking it's a game. Do any of you have any suggestions?


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Jessica:
Hi Jay! Welcome to Susan’s Place!  I’m Jessica. The only experience I have with young children and the topic of <transgender>, is when I off handed mentioned to my 8 yo grandson that some people get sex changes.  He was totally oblivious to it and said he’d never heard of such a thing.  I was uncomfortable to go any further.  I do understand not wanting to give the wrong message to someone so impressionable.

I see your new here, so I’ll post some links that may help you get better acquainted with the site. Then join in on a topic you find interesting and learn and share.

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arice:
My daughter's best preschool friend (when she was 3-4) was gender non-conforming. It was always harder for adults and the kids. In my experience kids are pretty good at accepting things at face value.
I would say "some people know in their hearts that they are boys, others know that they are girls" (you could also mention non-binary if it's relevant for you). "I know that I have looked like a girl all your life but inside I know I'm a boy"


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BlueZircon:

--- Quote from: arice on March 07, 2018, 10:40:29 am ---My daughter's best preschool friend (when she was 3-4) was gender non-conforming. It was always harder for adults and the kids. In my experience kids are pretty good at accepting things at face value.
I would say "some people know in their hearts that they are boys, others know that they are girls" (you could also mention non-binary if it's relevant for you). "I know that I have looked like a girl all your life but inside I know I'm a boy"


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--- End quote ---


I can see how that might work, but Ella has pretty much only just learnt how to speak and doesn't have a very good attention span. It's suspected she has ADHD or Autism and I don't know if this would be too complicated for her

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arice:

--- Quote from: BlueZircon on March 07, 2018, 10:59:12 am ---
I can see how that might work, but Ella has pretty much only just learnt how to speak and doesn't have a very good attention span. It's suspected she has ADHD or Autism and I don't know if this would be too complicated for her

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--- End quote ---
You know her better than we do. Maybe if that is too complicated you could just say what you would like her to call you and work from there as she starts to question it.

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