A Mother and Her 'Princess Boy'

Monday, October 25, 2010

My Princess Boy – A mom’s story about a young boy who loves to dress up” is a new children’s book which is being used by some schools to prevent bullying and to encourage the acceptance of others who don’t fit into the traditional mainstream.

 

We speak with author, Cheryl Kilodavis about her son Dyson, whom she says first coined the term, “Princess Boy.” Kilodavis shares her personal experience of coming to terms with her five-year old son and his interest in playing with girls’ dress-up clothes.

Guests:

Cheryl Kilodavis

Produced by:

Elizabeth Ross

Comments [10]

Maui Steph from Washington D.C.

@ Morrie and all those who are similarly simple minded: Who made these rules that boys can't like pretty things and that only girls should like dresses and the color pink?? Look back at the Ancient Egyptians where men wore makeup and skirts. It is society who makes these rules. Are males incapable of appreciating beautiful things? No they are not, but they are made to feel that it is wrong because of ludicrous ideals our society has set. Females can get away with wearing pants and football jerseys. I just bought my daughter a train set, because she likes it. Nobody thinks anything is wrong with it, so why in the world is it wrong for a male to like glitzy clothes and baby dolls and anything else deemed "girl?" It's simple minded and ridiculous. This child is blessed to have open minded parents. It's people like you who need to realize that your ideals come from nothing more than following nonsensical rules that other people have invented. Think for yourself and stop being a follower of rules that exist, just because they exist.

Oct. 26 2010 06:29 PM
Tamara from Carlsbad, CA

As parents entrusted with the care and love of a soul...we are their mentors, protectors, role models first and foremost. WE teach them how to behave, act and treat others. If we are shallow, closed minded, ignorant, negative, etc. they learn this behavior at home through us!! These are LEARNED behaviors!!! We are not born with them.

It is amazing to me to find parents out there who understand this message and love their children and allow them to be truly themselves no matter what that looks like! At the same time it makes me sad that this common sense way to be with our children does not come naturally for most.

I am so excited to learn of all the accomplishments this young boy will achieve in his life by simply not having these barriers many children grow up with.

This is by far a great example of true love and compassion as a parent!

Oct. 26 2010 12:33 PM
Audra from Lunenburg, MA

I can't wait to read this book. My oldest son, who is now 8, wanted to wear only dresses from the age of 3-5. He loved anything that sparkled or had some bling. We didn't have any girls, so there were no girl dress up clothes or costume jewelry for him to play with in our house. So when he had money for his birthday he wanted Disney dress up costumes and Cinderella heels. I never really had any problem with it, but other people did. I was never sure why it bothered my friends or even strangers. The best advice my husband and I got was from our pediatrician. He said "Your son will learn gender identity from there friends when they get to school. Any negative opinions should not come from you guys, you should provide a safe place where he feels comfortable to express himself"....so that's what we did. He wore a princess dress almost daily at home for 2 years. Then he started to grow out of it. He still is drawn to things that have a little more bling but that is one of the things I love about him!

Oct. 26 2010 09:04 AM
pjm from USA

Morrie: you are wrong.

Oct. 26 2010 05:43 AM
Kim B from Dallas

@Morrie. Does the life of scorn he faces happen because we teach our children to believe there will be?

Oct. 25 2010 07:13 PM
Rebecca Janes from Westport, MA

This story brought back memories- My son wanted to be dressed as the princess at age 3 till school age. He preferred Minnie to Mickey, and Smurfette. He chose Tiela over HeMan. To his credit his father was ready to accept him as he was...We tried to protect him from teasing, but he seemed to prefer his superman cape when we went out. His close friends were surprisingly tolerant.
He is now 30 years old. He eventually went into the arts, including drama, where he was comfortable in female or male roles. He turned out to be "straight", but continues very comfortable with his "feminine" side, and as mature and responsible (and creative) as anyone could ask. Good for Cheryl and other tolerant parents ready to accept their "whole" son, not just the part they are comfortable with..

Oct. 25 2010 06:51 PM
Kathy from Michigan

I'm the mother of a young man who cross dresses. I neither encouraged or discouraged him as he was growing up, but have discussed with him the dangers of his disclosing to a hostile world. I'm glad there's a book that sends a message of tolerance to little people, and wish that the same level of tolerance would be available to support adults who identify this way.

Oct. 25 2010 12:58 PM
Morrie Fanto

Parents should be mentors, role models, and caregivers. That means not always allowing a child to do whatever they want. I think this is a shameful example of exploiting children and a good example of poor parent decision-making. I feel bad for this boy and the life of scorn he will endure as he grows up.

Oct. 25 2010 11:38 AM
Aaron from Lubbock, TX

In response to the question, "Why is men's clothing less flashy than women's clothing?" I would like to point out that it hasn't always been that way, just look up a picture of Louis XIV of France to see some flashy men's clothing complete with red heels.

Oct. 25 2010 09:10 AM
Carolyn via Facebook

WHY YES! Pretty much every day with my 3 1/2 year old daughter. If there is no serious comfort or safety issue, I just let her be crazy. It's a harmless way to let her assert her independence

Oct. 25 2010 08:10 AM

Leave a Comment

Register for your own account so you can vote on comments, save your favorites, and more. Learn more.
Please stay on topic, be civil, and be brief.
Email addresses are never displayed, but they are required to confirm your comments. Names are displayed with all comments. We reserve the right to edit any comments posted on this site. Please read the Comment Guidelines before posting. By leaving a comment, you agree to New York Public Radio's Privacy Policy and Terms Of Use.