Don't play with that!!

Sarah - posted on 02/09/2011 ( 38 moms have responded )

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So, the other day my best friend was telling me about a shopping trip that she & another one of our friends went on a few days ago. They were browsing around the mall when my best friend's 10 month old son grabbed for a purse and tried to play with it. The other friend gasped and screamed "Eli! Don't play with that! That's a PURSE!" My best friend was a little irritated that 1) she yelled & scared the crap out of her son & 2) that she made a big deal out of a BOY playing with a purse. And this isn't the first time our friend has made comments about boys playing with "girl" stuff & turning out gay, etc.

I personally think it's a little ridiculous. I think it's hilarious when my 16 month old son tries to wear my shoes & carry around my makeup and hair dryer. Obviously he doesn't know the difference between "boy" & "girl" stuff.

What do you think? Was our friend pretty out of line? Do you care if your son plays with "girl" stuff or if your daughter plays with "boy" stuff? Is there a certain age where you WOULD question it?

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Jenni - posted on 02/11/2011

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If your son is gay I doubt not allowing him to play with "girl's things" is going to make him straight.
In no way does a preference to girl's toys, purses, dresses, make up means your son is going to be gay. And obviously curiousity of these items in both genders is completely normal! They have no clue and could not possible understand gender exclusive items at that age because it is a social norm which is taught.
If my son wanted to carry a purse around on outings because he sees me doing it. It's ok by me. I wouldn't be embarrassed by it. If other people stared or cared that's their problem.
Honestly, I wouldn't care either way if I suspected my son was gay as he got older. As long as he's happy and can be himself.

Veronica - posted on 02/10/2011

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If that was the case - Amish and Mennonite communities would have all gay men on their hands - as all babies - male or female - wear dresses up to a certain age. So - the clothes part is overrated, and rediculous - and a 10 month old on top of it - as stated earlier - babies will grab anything! especially because they want to mouth it - taste, texture, etc. My baby puts it all in his mouth, grabs anything he can get his hands on - people need to take a chill pill for sure.

Amy - posted on 02/10/2011

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If I saw that scene, I'd honestly just think the mom didn't want son playing with something that wasn't a toy and wasn't going to buy. ?? At 10 months old, they grab anything they can. Shiny, neat looking....whatever. they grab. I just wish people'd stop making such a huge taboo deal about boy stuff is boy stuff, girl stuff is girl stuff. Who cares? My son loves chapstick. I let him use his sister's root beer and cherry coke ones all the time. My mom thought it was WRONG and got him one that looked like a spark plug. whatever, it's still chapstick. Question it as in how? Point blank as the kid if they prefer same gender? There are far better things to be worrying about in life.

Sara - posted on 02/10/2011

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I think that a child that age has no idea about gender, and that's it's far more damaging to them to chastise them for something they couldn't possibly understand than it is to just let them play with it. Ignorant behavior from the mother if you ask me.

Krista - posted on 02/10/2011

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I think the friend is a nut. For starters, it's not UP to her what her friend's son plays with. If the mother is fine with her kid playing with a purse, then that should be the end of the discussion.

And secondly, I really think you have to be pretty idiotic to truly believe that a 10-month old will turn out gay because he played with a purse. For starters, she's conflating being gay with being a cross-dresser, and the two are definitely NOT the same thing. As well, if it was THAT easy to change someone's sexual orientation, then they could just hand all gay men a chainsaw and a Budweiser and they'd magically turn straight.

So yes, your friend was out of line and really needs to go take a human sexuality course or something. And no, I don't give a sweet damn if my boy plays with girl stuff. Just last night, he was playing with the doll that I had when I was a little girl. Doesn't bother me at all. And at no age would I "question" it. His preferences are his preferences, and I never want to make him feel that he has to lie or hide who he really is and what he really likes.

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Bridget - posted on 02/12/2011

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that is ridiculous that anyone would think that letting a little boy play with a purse would turn him gay! my little boy plays with purses and wears dress up shoes all the time and he is two he loves dressing up with his two older sisters and i dont see the problem with it. yes...i do think your friend was out of line first off she has NO right to uell at another persons child and second she is not that child's parent and should not be telling them what they should or shouldn't be playing with.

Jenni - posted on 02/11/2011

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Well, I wasn't being brash! You do encounter the 'occasional' ludicris comment on DM. :)

April - posted on 02/11/2011

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lol...you COULD make a thread about it! See what people say. Although the ladies here on DM are pretty open minded and awesome...maybe not much of a debate then! :) I bet you'd get all kinds of crazy comments on the welcome page though!

April - posted on 02/11/2011

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Thank you, Krista! I was going to elaborate, but you beat me to it, lol! I should have been more clear. At first, I was going to say that being gay would be the least of the child's problems (but being gay isn't a problem...so that didn't work! so i just left it the way it was) .

Krista - posted on 02/11/2011

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@Jennifer: "What??? So being gay means the child has psychological/emotional or..... a learning disability?"

No, no. April was saying that if the kid is still playing pretend when they're older, that there might be something going on.

Amber - posted on 02/11/2011

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also, my sons favorite colour is pink as well. he adores anything pink, the brighter the better. you can imagine how my husband loves that.

Amber - posted on 02/11/2011

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*SIGH* my husband is the same way, although he has gotten a bit better [i think he's just bitten his tongue on the matter, as i refuse to back down]. he wouldn't even allow our son to have a kitchen set or a tea set! i snuck one in, let me tell you, and my son isn't any gayer for it. the toys you play with as a child have nothing to do with what you fancy in the bedroom. sexual preference is completely seperate, and it isn't a chice, so it's silly to try to "avoid" it.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 02/11/2011

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I was talking with my son about when we buy a new house, what color he would like to paint his room (he is 5 in may) and he said PINK! Soooo.....when we DO buy our new house, and if he STILL wants to have a pink room...guess what...he will have a pink room until he wants to change it. He has confenscated one of my old purses and uses his pink change wallet in it. He carries it in the store also. Is my son gay? I don't think so...I think he is emmulating what he is used to. He loves pink, and I am fine with that. My husband doesn't care as long as no other kid makes fun of him....so far so good.

Jenni - posted on 02/11/2011

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What??? So being gay means the child has psychological/emotional or..... a learning disability?

Wow. What quack psychologist would ever say being gay is a symptom of a emotional/psychological issue or a learning disability...

that is really new to me!

April - posted on 02/11/2011

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Out of line!! 100%. Children tend to grow out of pretend play around 4th grade...so I wouldn't question it. If they are in middle school/high school and still "playing make believe" then I wouldn't worry about the child being gay. I'd worry that there are some psychological/emotional issues or learning disabilities.

Krissy - posted on 02/11/2011

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I think she was a lil out of line. We excuse our friends, though, because many of them don't know better if they don't have kids yet. It's not intentional for them to overreact.

However, that being said, I would have found a nice time to let her know that raising her voice to my son upset him and that you don't mind in situations where it's a safety risk, but ask her if she would try to not raise her voice at him over the small stuff. I mean, you guys are friends, you want your friend comfortable enough around you and your kid to scold him (not over stepping bounds, that's another story) if she feels the need. It just makes for a better friendship, and honestly, teaches your child to honor other adults in their lives.

However, yes, I would have mentioned when I felt it was unnecessary. As for the "gay" issue, I would have just laughed a little (in a friendly way) and told my friend she was paranoid!

Corena - posted on 02/10/2011

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We bought Moses a double stroller and two babies for Christmas. He loves it and loves it when we tell him what a good daddy he is when he is caring for his babies.

People are utterly ridiculous sometimes. Yeesh.

Jodi - posted on 02/10/2011

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Interesting article about Dr Phil's views I just came across!! Thought I'd link it given it is on topic for this one.

http://au.lifestyle.yahoo.com/practical-...

US television pyschologist Dr Phil McGraw has created controversy with his comments to a mother advising her to remove any girl toys, like dolls away, and to "buy him boy toys."

The mother, a viewer of Dr Phil's popular tv show, wrote in to the show's website asking for advice on her 5 year old son's behaviour. The mother states that the boy enjoys playing with Barbie dolls and dressing in girl's clothing, and asks if this should be of concern.

While Dr Phil's response that it's not uncommon or unusual for young boys to enjoy playing with girl's toys and clothing, and that it's "not a precursor to your son being gay'', some of his other remarks have drawn criticism from childhood behavioural experts.

Dr Phil advises the mother that she should "direct your son in an unconfusing way. Don't buy him Barbie dolls or girls' clothes," and that "You don't want to do things that seem to support the confusion at this stage of the game. ... Take the girl things away, and buy him boy toys.''

Last year an American mother caused controversy by allowing her son to attend a school Halloween fancy dress day dressed as the female character Daphne from Scooby Doo. Fellow schoolchildren's mother's were horrified, and her Church even called for the family to be banned for dressing her son in what they referred to as 'drag'. The mother said her son had specifically requested to dress in the Daphne outfit so she thought it was fine for him to express himself.

Bonnie - posted on 02/10/2011

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I think your friend is over reacting and jumping to conclusions. Kids are learning. It shouldn't matter what they play with or what they watch. My boys like to watch Dora and My Little Pony. Does that mean anything? I don't think so. Little kids don't know the difference. At 10 months old they will play with/put in their mouth anything within their reach.

[deleted account]

My girls played w/ cars and trucks and had 'sword fights' w/ sticks when they were little. They aren't into that stuff now, but will still play 'boy things' w/ their brother.

My son has 2 toenails painted at the moment. He loves his cars and trucks and dinosaurs, but loves his babies and pink backpacks just as much.

I wouldn't have let him play w/ the purse in the store, but only cuz it's not his. I certainly wouldn't have yelled at him or made a big deal about WHAT it was.....

Jenn - posted on 02/10/2011

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@Tara - my son used to "nurse" his teddy bear when I was nursing the twins hehe!!!

Jenn - posted on 02/10/2011

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Yes she was WAY out of line. My son likes to try on my high heels, he's put on my bra several times before, he plays with purses, he likes to play house and with dolls. He also likes to play with dinosaurs, cars, lego, and play in the dirt. The same goes for my daughters - they play with dolls, purses, etc., and cars and dinosaurs. Toys have zero impact on your sexuality and to think so is completely ignorant. There is NO age at which I would tell my kids that they can't play with a certain toy or thing (purses, etc.). I'm not sure why age would matter.

Sarah - posted on 02/10/2011

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Thanks for the input so far y'all. :) I think a lot of our friend's actions/thoughts come from the fact that her husband is homophobic. They actually have a 14 month old son (ALL my friends had boys lol) and I know they don't allow him to play with "girly" items. I think they are truly afraid that he would turn out gay. Hell, what if he does? Are they not going to accept him? That thought just blows my mind.

If my son turned out gay, there would be NO way that I would shun him or turn him away. My husband feels the same way. But, at the same time, I KNOW playing with gender specific toys isn't going to "turn" him gay. That thinking is soooo messed up.

[deleted account]

I agree your friend was definately out of line it isn't her place to tell anyone what their kids can/ should be playing with unless of course the item they are playing with is hers and then she has every right to say it isn't a toy. That doesn't mean she can say no because it is too girly for the child though!

Homosexuality is something that people are born with, external factors do not affect whether our children are gay or not, although if a person is brought up in a way which states homosexuality is wrong they may struggle with who they are and as such hide it and pretend to be heterosexual, that doesn't mean they are actually heterosexual just they are hiding who they truely are.

My son loves pink, he has several of mine and his daddy's old phones that he plays with, if he has a choice between two one being black the other pink he will choose the pink one everytime. I know that won't make him gay, as I have said if he is gay he is gay regardless of his favourite colour. My priority is that my son is happy and content in his life, it is sad that some people seem to prioritise gender roles instead of their child's happiness.

Tara - posted on 02/10/2011

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Some people are just ass backward when it comes to their thinking.
My now 14 year old son, used to take frozen blueberries and rub them on his eyelids, lips and cheeks to look like makeup. He also dressed up in my fancy clothes, his favourite shirt was a silk purple button down. He also liked to do my hair and play with baby dolls. He actually pretended to nurse them!!
He is now 6 foot 2 and very well rounded. He is a straight boy who has a girlfriend and loves colour. He is manly yet sensitive, he loves his little sisters and is confidant to many of his female friends.
He will make someone a very proud wife one day because of his confidence in himself and his understanding of women and men.
Stupid people.

Katherine - posted on 02/10/2011

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I think that was a little overzealous on her part.

I would have been a bit upset by her reaction.

I would question it in his teens....but not now when they're so innocent.

And I really wouldn't care either way.

Meghan - posted on 02/10/2011

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Personally I don't like J playing with my purse....I tell him to go get his. And you know what he totes around in it? His spiderman toys and cars...or a screwdriver that he pretends is lipstick. A 10 month old doesn't know the differenced between gender specific toys...hell, a 2 year old doesn't either. It is all play time and imitation. Has nothing to do with potentially being gay. Geez

Angela - posted on 02/09/2011

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I think your friend was out of line,but every parent is different.
I wouldnt care if my daughter Played with "boy" toys,and i wouldnt question it at all at any age. Our children will be who they are and grow into whoever they chose to be and we are to love the unconditionally :) Hell,I loved Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles when I was a Little girl and I turned out fine.

Nadia - posted on 02/09/2011

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I think your freind was out of line... the kid is only 10 months old! if he was 10 YEARS od... i might be a little worried. i've got 2 girls (well one i only 5 months old, but the other is almost 5 yrs) and she plays with whatevr she wants... which is usually barbie stuff or dressup. but she also sees daddy watching the hocky game and says "i want to play hockey!" there's nothing wrong with that! you're freinds little boy probably doesn't even realize "boy" and "girl" items yet! only now is my oldest starting to put it together... she says she has to buy a Flynn Rider doll (the prince from the Tangled movie... the barbie/ken doll) so that daddy can play cuz he's a boy and he can't play with my girl dolls! lol And when i was little, my best freind's little brother always played barbies with us... and now he's grown up into a very handsome, very sweet, very courteous not-gay young man, who treats women with every ounce of respect they deserve!

Alyssa - posted on 02/09/2011

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I like to let my boys discover and play with what they want. Even this morning my 2 yo wanted some blush on because he sees mummy doing it, so i let him. I wouldn't push it too much though. (like a family friend who lets her twin boys wear high heels when going out :/
They need to understand the difference between gender roles until they discover who they are
I like to allow them the choice and if they told me they were gay, I would 100% accept it and so would my husband - something i have made sure we discuss on occasion.

Jodi - posted on 02/09/2011

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Yes, your friend was out of line, and sounds like she needs to grow up. Seriously!! I think we've debated this topic before, and my opinion on this will never change. How RIDICULOUS to think a boy playing with girl's toys will become gay. We don't assume that girls playing with boys toys will, so why the reverse?

I'm not sure at what age I would question it. I'd certainly have concerns if my 13 year old son started wearing my clothes, but I wouldn't assume he was gay because of it, after all cross-dressers generally aren't. However, my 13 year old does play Barbies with his younger sister sometimes - probably because he is just being nice to her, but my point is, he doesn't mind doing it, and I don't assume he is gay because of it.

Either someone is gay or they aren't. No toy is going to make them something they're not.

Medic - posted on 02/09/2011

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I like this topic....some of our friends like to joke that our son is going to be gay which I really couldn't care less what he is but it does irritate me that they say it. He plays kitchen and house and dress up with his little friends that are girls( he is 4) he is very into music and takes ballet and tap along with soccer. He plays with his little sisters dolls and whatnot. He has played in my purses since he could get to them and he has no problem sleeping with his sisters blanket if that is what is close to the sofa or in the car. I don't want to teach my son that there are certain ways girls and boys act and one is right and one is wrong. My husband has been a stay at home dad for almost a year just because he wanted to. We both clean and cook and share every task because I don't want either of our children feeling like they have to fit in a certain little box. Our daughter also usually plays with his cars and tools and thats fine too. I want HAPPY< HEALTHY, WELL ROUNDED children. oh yeah and PS I think male dancers are damn sexy..haha

Sharon - posted on 02/09/2011

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They were out of line.

No I don't care if the boys play with barbie but she's likely to wind up with a pretty butch haircut.

no I don't care if my daughter plays with the boy stuff

is there an age i would question it? Not really- it would depend on the context.

Stifler's - posted on 02/09/2011

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No. Boys can play with whatever they want. I don't let my son play with my purse because it's "not a toy". He seems to be getting the association with 'things that are not a toy' vs. toys. I think it's awful that people still make gay assumptions based on whether boys like pink or play with dolls.

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