Can a Grandma Make a "Tomboy" Happy?

When you want to buy her dresses, and she says No!

By The Editors

The New York Times website recently hosted a discussion among parents on the question of what to do about a grandmother who keeps buying a 7-year-old girl pink, frilly dresses when the girl has no interest in such clothes. In fact, the girl in question hates dresses and prefers to wear boys' clothes. The parents debated how to respond, especially when a grandmother starts asking why she never sees her granddaughter wear the clothes she purchased.

It got us thinking: What advice would you, give to a fellow grandparent who was frustrated that a granddaughter refused to wear the things she'd bought? We posed just that question to our Facebook fans, and as always, they had a lot to share:

Tell grandma that she is wasting her money by buying this type of stuff and start sending Tonka trucks, jeans, and sweatshirts! – Kimberly

… and a pink Red Ryder BB gun!Betty

Compromise. They make cute clothes in other colors that are a little girlish, but would also satisfy the tomboy in the child. My granddaughter loves blue, and she gets a lot of clothes in blue – some frilly, some not! – Pamela

Mom might want to take some playtime pictures to send to grandma. – Ann

Being a grandma I know we always mean well. In grandma's eyes this girl is a princess, and she wants her to look the role. – Marilyn

Grandma can send what she wants but can't get upset when it's not worn. – Susan

If you want to see them in your gift, give what they want.Joni

I am tired of the gender specific clothing and toys. I don't buy into this nonsense. I buy my granddaughter whatever she likes. – Catherine

Maybe just to please grandma she could wear the dresses when Grams comes over, out of respect for a loving proud grandmother. I would wear the frills for my grandmother if it made her feel good. It's not much to give a little happiness back to grandma, is it? – Terri

Grandma doesn't know the girl well at all, or she doesn't care enough to want her granddaughter to be happy and feel comfortable in her own skin. – Michelle

Not all little girls want pink and frilly! – Blendena

When I see something I want to send, I call my daughter, let her know what it is, then ask if OK or not to send. – Brenda

My granddaughter went through this, too. I made and bought her beautiful dresses, which she willingly wore until she was about 4, then she didn't like them anymore because her brothers made fun of her. She refused to put them on so I bought her cute girly pant outfits instead. She is now 14 and has started to wear dresses again. They all grow up.Jeanie

If grandma chooses not to listen to the mom, let the frilly pink clothes keep coming. Just make sure to thank grandma and let her know that Goodwill or Salvation Army sincerely appreciated the donation! Also, a girl who doesn't like pink dresses is a girl who doesn't like pink dresses. She needn't be defined by the word tomboy. – Boomer


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