Should lil' boys play with barbies? Gender specific toys.....

[deleted account] ( 10 moms have responded )

I thought her anology was cute! The link wouldn't work so I copied and pasted it here.......

My friend Laura is quite the feminist. She has worked hard in her job and has gone straight to the top. When she was 30, she and her husband decided to have a child. She got pregnant and had a beautiful baby girl, Maddie. Laura always swore that she was going to do whatever it took to make sure that her daughter didn't become a "girly girl" or find herself "pigeon-holed" by being a girl. To combat this, she decided that she would only buy trucks and cars for Maddie to play with. It seemed to work for a while but then one night Laura came into Maddie's room to check on her girl and found that Maddie had tucked her Tonka truck in beside her, taking care to make sure that the blanket was up nice and high so her dear truck wouldn't get cold. The next day Laura went out and bought Maddie a doll. Maddie kept playing with her trucks and cars but she was opened to a whole new world of being able to care and nurture her baby.

So when I took Ethan to preschool, I was faced with a similar situation. We have never really purchased a lot of toys for him so everything he plays with is a gift from someone else. He loves to play with cars and trucks and blocks. But when we got to his class, Ethan made a beeline directly for the baby dolls. He picked one up so tenderly and gave it a hug. I thought it was the sweetest thing. And excellent preparation for the new baby on the way. Then another little boy ran over and did the same thing. His mother, however, was not as pleased.

"Oh, no, Junior. That's for girls." She looked at the teacher apologetically and said , "and I can't seem to keep him out of his sister's play kitchen set. I try to tell him that the kitchen is for girls." Ethan's preschool teacher made a joke about how she wished the kitchen was for girls because her three grown sons can cook up a storm but her daughter can't even boil water.

I almost hyperventilated at the thought of a kitchen being only for girls. I instantly thought of my friend who told me that her 16 year old son still expects her to make him a snack when he comes home from school every day. When this friend told me that, I asked if he had anything wrong with his hands. I cannot even imagine any child asking me to make a snack at 16. I'm trying to figure out now exactly how much longer until Ethan is self-sufficient. I didn't bring it to this woman's attention that some of the most famous of chefs in the world are men and that if she played her cards right, she could have dinner on her table every night without ever having to lift a finger. I wondered if her daughter was stuck cleaning the bathrooms and the dishes while her son would eventually only have to take out the trash as a chore. I don't have a daughter, but I do know that my husband is messier than me in the bathroom. And my son is learning fast. As far as I am concerned, as soon as his little hand can operate a toilet brush, he has a new job.

So why are we so concerned about our sons wearing our shoes? If wearing women's shoes as a small child causes any sort of issue when a boy gets older, nearly every man in the world would now be a cross-dresser. I don't know of one person whose mom doesn't tell a story about how they used to try to walk in Mom's shoes when they were little. It doesn't seem to be as big a deal if our daughters are walking around in Dad's shoes. And why do our sons try on our shoes, our clothes and carry around our purses when they are little? Maybe because they are more colorful, shiny, fun and different from what they normally wear. Little brothers like to wear what their big sisters are wearing sometimes too. Ethan wears Dad's shoes too, but who wants to clomp around in those 10 pound boots when you can try to balance your foot on a shoe with a tiny little heel? Now that's a challenge. Let's be honest. For all those of us who have been forced to wear high heels for years--once the novelty wears off they are a pain in the calf.

By making a big deal out of what is proper for a boy and what is proper for a girl, we just might be stifling our children's willingness to explore and learn by trying new things.

What are ur thoughts about the article? Do gender specific toys shape lil' boys and girls?


Emma - posted on 04/10/2010




I try my hardest to find all the toys my kids have in non gender colours, the kitchen set they both play with (i have one of each) is made of pine with all the primary colours used of the knobs ect, i struggled to find pots and pans that where not pink finally found silver ones, both my kids share one big toy box and both play with dolls and trucks.
They see me doing housework during the week and dad dose his share on weekends, my hubby is the main cook in our house as he enjoys it where's i hate it, i do most of the washing instead except the ironing as my hubby dose his own stuff and i buy things i don't have to ironed.
I will never stop of force my kids to play or not any toys, if my son want to walk round the house in my shoes that's fine as if my daughter puts her dads on.
I would not dress my son in pink as it would not suit his skin tone plus other's would project there issue's on to him if i did.

i think that people who have issues with there sons doing "girly" things think this will effect there sexuality in later life so are pushing to make them manly men....
Ive got a very good friend who is the most manly man regarding profession and looks ect whos parents did the boys don't play with dolls thing, so he never did he's still gay though ,,lol


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Stephany - posted on 04/12/2010




My youngest son is very much into baby dolls. His preschool class has baby dolls, and he likes to cart one around on his hip, he 'feeds' her, and puts her to sleep. In fact, several family members got him his own baby dolls for his last birthday. I see absolutely nothing wrong with teaching little boys how to nurture a child. Who knows- maybe it will make him a better Daddy when he grows up. He also wears my heels and likes to lug around my purse. I think its adorable and I have no qualms with it.
One time we were at target and I told the boys they could each choose one toy that cost less than $5. They both chose these Disney princess dolls. I told them their dolls were very pretty, and that I thought it would be fun to take them home and let them take rides on the boys' trucks and trains. The kids were thrilled! We got to the check out line and an older gentleman behind us told my kids that dolls were for girls. I turned to say something, but my oldest son (who is 4) looked at the guy and said, "So? I like my princess and my brother likes his princess. We can choose what we want and we're going to show our princess dolls our trucks." The guy didn't say another word.

C. - posted on 04/10/2010




Personally, I don't find anything wrong with girls playing with trucks and cars and stuff like that.. But I MIGHT be uncomfortable if my son was playing with Barbie dolls, brushing their hair and picking out the perfect outfit with the perfect shoes and accessories. Would I love him any less? Absolutely not! But it would make me uncomfortable just for the simple fact that I don't agree with the gay lifestyle and I'd be afraid that would influence him into such a thing. And I already know that my husband would be all "HELL NO, BOY!" if he ever caught our son playing with dolls. That's another story for another thread..

[deleted account]

I used to buy my girls cars and stuff. They had 'swordfights' w/ each other using sticks (only allowed to hit the other stick). They do 'girly girl' stuff like dressing up and painting their nails and also play in dirt and climb trees.

My son loves his baby doll just as much as his fire truck. :)

LaCi - posted on 04/10/2010




If my son wanted a barbie I'd get him a barbie. He seems to be the alpha male type thus far. Sports, roughhousing, into all things masculine, but I have no problem with girly toys and I want him in ballet and gymnastics classes ;) everyone can benefit from dance and gymnastics, although he may be the only little boy there. He'll have lots of little girlfriends.

[deleted account]

I'm not concerned about it because I think kids should have freedom when it comes to play. My son tried my shoes on a few times and then he lost interest. He played with the dolls at his toddler group and got bored with them too. I got him a toy microwave and he still plays with it. I don't see it as a big deal.

Amy - posted on 03/12/2010




i'm big on letting my kids pick what toys they want. although sometimes i don't think Barbie is appropriate for girls either! maybe my kids don't play with toys enough for them to shape them. but my son loves drumming on pots and pans. i hope that makes him a good chef one day! both will have to do dishes and their own laundry when they get older. boy and girl will be taught basics of cooking. both taught how to change a flat tire. i don't think toys do too much shaping. what we teach mostly shapes.

Carolee - posted on 03/12/2010




My husband and I have decided to let our kids pick their own toys. Now, we won't go so far as to let my son dress up in frilly dresses just yet, but if he chooses to do so in the (far) future, so be it. So far, his main interests naturally include dinosaurs, Mickey Mouse, Transformers, and Spiderman (he's 2 1/2 years old). He also likes to walk around in my high heel shoes. He's tried to walk in my husband's shoes, but he can't even shuffle his feet in them because they're SO heavy.

Also, my husband is the cook of the family (I get hurt making spaghetti), and my son loves to help. I think it's a VERY good thing. You never know if the person you are going to end up with will either enjoy cooking (like my husband) or be more of an "eater" (like me) who can't really make anything unless it's basically a TV dinner.

Amy - posted on 03/11/2010




My favorite toy store story- when I was in HS I loved collecting Barbies. We were in a different town and I went into the toy store to see if they had a barbie I had been looking for. There was this little boy 5 or 6 throwing the biggest fit I had ever seen. He wanted a barbie. Not just any barbie the Queen Amidala (sp) doll from Star Wars. Dad was adimate that his son was not going to have this doll and drug screaming little boy out of the store. Grandma pick up the doll went to the counter paid for it and went chasing after the little boy. A little while later I saw the happiest little boy I had ever seen clinging to that doll box.

I am the mother of 4 little girls and have never pushed one gender over another. My first child never cared for toys either way. Give her a pen and a paper and she can keep herself happy for hours. My second child is totally tomboy. Loves soccer, babseball and will sit and watch football games with dad. Got mad at me this year when I told her she couldn't join the wrestling team. My third child is a princess. Will play dress up, loves barbies, will play with toys til they break. Fourth girl is still too young. I don't beleive in gender specific. I don't beleive that playing with another toy is going to change your outcome in life. I sometimes beleive it opens new doors.

Sorry so long :)

Brandi - posted on 03/11/2010




I think it's ridiculous to try to push your child either way, personally. I'd never force my daughter to only play with boy or girl toys. I only plan to choose toys that I think are good for her emotional and intellectual development or are just fun for her.

That said, the idea that babies and kitchens are for girls is a completely terrible one. Cooking and cleaning are things adults have to do.

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