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Boys can play dress-up too!

There are some parents that get very scared and upset when they see their son playing in dress-up cloths. Are you one of those parents? Take a breath and calm down, its okay. Children learn so much from playing dress-up. When they put on those cloths they become someone else. Children do not have the same preconceived notions of what certain pieces of clothing mean that adults do.

Boys can play dress-up too
Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Take a step back, watch, and listen to what your son is doing and how he is playing. You might just be surprised.

He might just be re-enacting something he saw his Daddy do. Or he might be playing like he’s a mail man, garbage man, or character on a video game or movie. Boys who don’t have a strong male influence might be acting like their mommy because that is what they know.

Children use dramatic play or dress-up play to experiment with playing different roles. They act like different people in their lives, including the females in their lives. Even if they are wearing a dress it may be something totally different to them. That dress might be their super hero costume, firefighter uniform, or chef uniform.

As children dress-up and role play they are working on social skills. They are learning how to interact with their peers and work together to create a common story line. They learn how to negotiate and come to an agreement.

Dress-up play is also a great way to help children practice dressing skills. They are practicing how to put on and take of cloths and how to work a zipper, snaps, and Velcro.

Keep in mind children care what you think about what they are doing. If you show that you are not happy with your son playing with dress-up cloths he might feel shame for wanting to play. He may decide not to play dress-up because he doesn’t want to upset you. That would be such a disadvantage for him. “What Will Children Learn Through Dress-Up Play?” also talks about the benefits of dress-up play. Help your son learn and explored the world around him. Encourage him to dress-up, use his imagination and develops these skills.