When we look at the topic of transgender children, it is not surprising that debate can get pretty heated and pretty fast. We are after all talking about children. It is a very basic instinct to protect our young and this is a good thing as children are generally not capable of looking out for themselves. The little ones need to be fed, provided for and their minds need to be nurtured to allow them to develop into healthy well-adjusted adults. Part of nurturing the mind at an early age is stoking the imagination and indulging the child in make-believe. There is nothing wrong with letting your child be a kitten for a day.
When a child tells their parents that they are transgender, it is often new territory for the parent and the obstacles that begin to present themselves are many and often. It is not easy to be the parent of a transgender child. People will question your decisions and many will take a stance that you are harming the child by indulging them in their transgender fantasy. They will often bring up the kitten for a day scenario. They will talk about how they created limits, as it was obvious that their child was not a kitten. They may point out that they did not feed their kid cat food or let them use the kitty litter. I am often glad to hear that they employ these limits. The object of the kitten for a day game is to engage make-believe, which includes imaginary kitten food, imaginary kitty litter (if they even think of that) and imaginary mice to chase.
If we look at a transgender child, their belief that they are a gender that differs from their body is not the same thing. It is a persistent belief (identity) and it is not about creating make believe surroundings or situations. The child simply wants to express the gender they identify with. The kitten for a day scenario is just an exercise in imagination. More often than not it may just last a few hours and then they may decide to be a puppy for the rest of the day. It is not persistent and it is not a belief at all, it is make-believe. The child knows that they are not a kitten and if asked will usually admit that it is pretend. A transgender child will be adamant that they are not pretending and for them it is reality and not make believe.
If you are worried about your child being transgender, that is perfectly normal and the decision to allow them to be who they are is very scary. The good news is that it is reversible up until they begin taking hormones of the gender they identify as. That is not a bridge you have to cross until they enter their teens. If it is not right for them; if it were just a phase then they will realize that and it will work out the way it is meant to work out. By being supportive and allowing your child to explore their gender, you are guaranteeing one thing; a happy child. Oh course, even as a transgender child, they still may want to be a kitten for the day.
Note: The kitten in the pictures is my cat Blaeze when she was little.