Friday, February 24, 2006

Is this something? or Nothing?

Hello Internet. I have a question to ask you. While I am frequently not serious and make light of many, many things, this is for real and I need your advice.

If your child came home from school and said that another child, a girl, age 4 said to her:

"...I hate myself. I wish I was a boy."

and your child, who is only five but very perceptive, said that the child who made the above statement seemed to not be joking when she said it, would you feel concerned enough to let the child's teacher know?

I don't want to butt in or make a big thing out of nothing because I hate when people do that but if you watch any TV at all, you know that children with gender identity issues frequently suffer a great deal until they reach a point where they are able to do something about it. In fact, 60 Minutes recently did a piece discussing, sex, gender preferences etc. and how it is, in fact, discernible in young children way before they themselves understand what they are feeling. That having been said, I'm not sure if this is even the case or what but if it was MY child, I'd want to know if she was saying she hated herself. Gender issues aside, it pains me to think of a child feeling that way.

Incidentally, this is not someone that my daughter knows well. She is in another class and they see each other on the playground usually but my daughter thought it was unusual enough to tell me about it. Once again, maybe it's nothing. Or maybe it isn't. can see that I am concerned. But what should I do?

UPDATE: I talked to the teacher and she confided in me that she had some concerns of her own and she will be addressing them, which totally makes me feel better. But looking at my stats today, I'm surprised to see how many people were here that didn't have anything to say about this. Anyway, I will probably delete this later as the matter has been resolved, AFIC. I'm just leaving it up so anyone who cares can read the update.


  • aww how very sad! I would focus on the "I hate myself" part of the statement. Gender issues aside, I would tell the teacher that you wanted to mention it because you care. I totally would be concerned too!

    By Anonymous chelle, at 2/24/2006 12:54:00 PM  

  • I think that should always be the rule ... if, as a parent, YOU would want to know, then you should tell. I would want to know if my kid said that.

    This is something I've been thinking about a lot lately, like, where is the line? The other day I was driving home and it was FREEZING FREEZING cold and sleet and snowy out, and I saw one of my students walking. I really wanted to stop and give her a ride but that wouldn't be appropriate. However, if she were MY child and one of her teacers saw her walking in the butt-f'ing cold I would want them to stop.

    But everyone is so mindful these days of "whose business it is/isn't" and you never now how someone will react, whether they will be grateful or think you are a hateful bitch and talk about you behind your back!

    Okay sorry to ramble. :)

    By Blogger MrsFortune, at 2/24/2006 02:22:00 PM  

  • I don't know, concerning a 5-year-old comments, we adults may be reading into something that's nothing more than childhood babble. I know of kids who say things like "I wish I can fly" or "I wish I were taller", "older", etc. Maybe this child has an older brother, friend, whoever and admires them. Is that really a reason for concern at age 5? Or maybe there's just other issues with that child that need to be addressed.

    By Blogger creative-Type Dad (Tony), at 2/24/2006 02:29:00 PM  

  • I just watched a program about gender reassignment on Discovery Health (which I am totally addicted to, it's so great), and pretty much ALL the people they spoke to, males and females, all ages, said that they started to feel "wrong" in their gender at about age 4-5.

    So it may not be childhood babble.

    In any case, I think you totally did the right thing, and I was surprised and pleased to hear that the teacher gave you such a positive response.

    By Blogger Mrs. Harridan, at 2/24/2006 03:31:00 PM  

  • Wow, that is so sad to hear that a child said something like that about themselves. I wonder where she would have even HEARD such a thing to even repeat it. Maybe she is the type of kid that likes boy things. My daughter, she likes dresses and things, but hates Barbies and frilly things. She is into Pokemon, Sonic Heroes and the like. She has more little friends that are boys than girls. She has never actually come out and said she wished she was a boy, because I don't think she does. But she is a little tomboy. Maybe that little girl is the same way.

    I think it was very smart that you said something to the teacher. Please keep us posted.

    By Anonymous rhonda, at 2/24/2006 03:33:00 PM  

  • I don't know - stuff like that always concerns me - it might just be a little thing about fitting in - or it could be a big deal.

    Can you talk to the teacher?

    By Anonymous Kristen, at 2/24/2006 03:56:00 PM  

  • I spent a lot of my elementary school years wishing I was a boy...because they had the cooler toys and could pee standing up. I seriously thought it would be much better to be a boy. I wished I could be a boy. But it didn't mean I had gender issues. When I started my period, I was sure it was better to be a boy. Still no gender issues. Like another commenter said...I would be more worried about the hating herself part. That is something that needs to be addressed. It may just be something she said out of frustration, or maybe not. It sounds like you did the right thing. :)

    By Blogger Mama! Mama! (Mel), at 2/24/2006 04:01:00 PM  

  • Thank you, Mrs. Fortune, Tony, Mrs. H, Chelle,Kristen, Mel and Rhonda.

    It was very interesting to hear your thoughts on a potentially serious matter.

    Thanks again for taking the time to weigh in on this and thank you for telling me I did the right thing. I needed to hear that :-)

    By Blogger IzzyMom, at 2/24/2006 06:14:00 PM  

  • While this was very disturbing, I'm glad you posted it and gave the update. Someone should be doing something to help the child, and sometimes parents can't see a potential problem.

    By Anonymous Ed Bacchus, at 2/25/2006 10:41:00 AM  

  • Izzy, I agree with you - glad you mentioned it to the teacher, and glad to see the update too.

    By Blogger mothergoosemouse, at 2/25/2006 08:13:00 PM  

  • I agree with Mrs. Harridan here (as I do in many situations). Good for you for caring enough about this child to say something.

    By Blogger Arabella, at 2/26/2006 02:54:00 PM  

  • I totally missed this post. Don't know how. I am glad you talked to the teacher. My son is 5 and I wouldn't have known what to do either. A week or so ago he told me that one of his friends swore at him. I just made sure that his teacher was aware of it and had spoken with friend already, but I never talked to her. Jeremy just confirmed when I asked him questions about it.

    By Anonymous Dawn, at 4/03/2006 08:45:00 PM  

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