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.
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.