What a Toddler knows is that he or she loves activities, whether that is role play, building, drawing or going to the play park. All can be done equally well with toys that are blue, pink, yellow, or green, but whoever said that certain colours are for a specific genders?
Men wear pink and women wear blue don’t they?
Toddlers would only ever know the difference if it instilled on them by parents. Us as parents teach our children, is it wrong to teach them at such a young age the difference between gender specific roles? I think so, let children be children and let them play. Imaginative play is an integral part of childhood development and if that is with a so called opposite gender specific toy then so be it.
Is there really anything wrong with a little boy pushing a pram with a doll, or dressing up, painting his nails but at the same time playing in mud and pushing toy cars and trains around? Likewise for a little girl, can she not play with trucks, actions figures or climb trees?
Gender preferences for toys only show up after children learn about their gender. Babies show no preference so at what age would a toddler know the difference? My son is 3 years old but he likes playing dress up and playing with his kitchen. He has also had a pram with a doll which he loves to push around, but on the other hand he plays football and loves his train set.
Only a few days ago he was bought a pink horse where he can brush its hair.
Zach also has his nails painted now and again, not because we choose to but he sees him mammy doing it so to him it’s the norm, he asks for some on so we let him. Nothing wrong with that, in my eyes anyway.
Stereotypes are powerful. Your partner (as in mostly men) assumes that playing with dolls will make your son less masculine as well as fears of their child becoming or being seen as a ‘homosexual.’ Which I totally don’t agree with but extensive research has shown that it’s healthy for boys to play with so-called “girl toys.” Playing with dolls may help boys become more empathetic and affectionate as they grow older, and it doesn’t affect their development in any negative way. If you refuse to permit your child to play with these toys, it will only make your son feel hurt and confused. as well as fears of their child becoming or being seen as a ‘homosexual.’
Let’s face it, toddlers are just toddlers; they love to play with other children and often can spend lengthy amounts of time playing with simple toys using their imagination as a guide. While a parent may feel that pointing a child in a certain direction at a young age will heighten their interest, potential, or talent, chances are, if it isn’t something they are passionate about as they get older, it will fall by the wayside regardless.
If a girl or boy is playing with a so called gender specific toy at school or with friends if may help other also play with that toy. When I was younger I only ever had my two cousins to play with who were both girls. Of course the play room in their house was all Barbie dolls, did I play with them? Of course I did and loved it as far as I can remember, I think it helps a child’s development, But that was then, I think big companies, TV, shows, movies and adverts push the gender specific toys towards that gender, making us parents think that only that gender can play with that toy. Even some adverts that are clearly gender neutral toys are advertised to a certain gender.
Can you imaging if an advert came on the TV where a boy was playing the new latest doll – No! Because according the ‘branding’ it’s for females. It just wouldn’t happen.
In my eyes there is no such thing as ‘Gender Specific Toys’ all toys can be played with by both male and females and we should be encouraging them to do it, its all about learning and teaching our children that there is nothing wrong with it, in fact don’t teach them just let them play.
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Im Lew – A blogger and father of two boys, three if you include the dog, living in Sunderland. Not sure I have the hang of this blog niche thing but hey ho, I’m doing it anyway – expect all sorts of randomness.