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Ask Claire: When Boys Like "Girly" Things

My 3-year-old son loves the color pink, Dora, and princess things. Is this normal for little boys?

Your son is exploring the world and deciding what he likes without worrying about what he's supposed to like -- this is wonderful and thoroughly normal. My 3-year-old son loves Dora, too, and he is just as happy playing princesses or dress-up with his 7-year-old sister as he is playing with trucks. Personally, I think it's great when parents can allow and encourage their children to do what they enjoy without being overly influenced by gender stereotypes. All kids are different, just like all grown-ups are; there's no rule anywhere that boys can't like pink and Cinderella. If your son is healthy and happy, you are doing exactly what you need to do as a parent.

Pediatrician Claire McCarthy, M.D., is medical director of the Martha Eliot Health Center in Boston. Send her your health questions!

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