Mum writes book about her 'princess' son

A mother in the US has written a book about her now five-year-old son who likes to dress up as a princess.

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What would you do if it became clear your son preferred dresses, sparkly jewellery and princesses over more traditional boy things such as toy trucks and tool sets?

US mother-of-two Cheryl Kilodavis was faced with this situation and initially she blocked her youngest son, Dyson's, desire to wear dresses and play with girls' toys.

When her eight-year-old son, Dkobe, asked why she couldn't just let Dyson be happy — Cheryl realised the only person with an issue about her young son's cross-dressing was her.

Cheryl not only stepped back and let her son dress how he likes, she also wrote a non-fiction book which she says was "designed to start and continue a dialogue about unconditional friendship and teaches children — and adults — how to accept and support children for who they are and how they wish to look".

My Princess Boy, published just before Christmas, talks about the often negative and cruel reactions Dyson faces when he wears sparkly dresses, tutus, skirts and jewellery in public.

In an interview with the Today show in the US, Cheryl said the book started out as a journal, exploring her own experience of realising that it was an adult issue — not a child's issue.

"I don't want you to crush my son's spirit," Cheryl said. "He's too young and he's really strong with loving what he loves and so I just didn't want that to happen. None of us do as mums."

Dyson's father, Dean, is also supportive of his son's choice in clothing. "It's not contagious, he's just like any other kid," Dean said. "He plays checkers, he plays in the trees. He just likes to do it in a dress — big deal."

Watch the Today Show interview

When asked why he likes to dress like a princess, five-year-old Dyson replied: "I'm a princess boy and I love wearing dresses and I love the colours of pink and red."

The reason he likes to wear pretty dresses and sparkly things? "Because it makes me feel happy," he said.

This is the ultimate message behind My Princess Boy — if a five-year-old is happiest when wearing certain clothes, why should anyone else have a problem simply because it may go against arbitrary ideas of what little boys "should" wear?

Your say: Do you think Cheryl Kilodavis is doing the right thing letting her son dress as wishes? What would you do if your child wanted to wear clothes that didn't match their gender?

12:0AM, Jan 4th 2011

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