There is a perceived notion that boys do not go with pink color, they do not clean the house, they do not cook, and they do not play with dolls. All believe that boys are masculine and not feminine. Boys who would ask for a doll are looked upon as a taboo. They are told that ‘ You are a boy, play with your ball or car’ or ‘Why don’t you play outside with other boys?’ Also, if a boy hits, it is said that ‘He is a boy that is why he is doing that?’ If a boy wants to learn ballet, he is made to look like “out of society”. Parents start discouraging and get worried about his mental health. His sexuality is questioned.
If someone agrees with the above statements then I have a really bad news for you. You are not raising a boy. You are raising a person who will not understand gender equality, who will think that he is above the female population. He would be facing psychological issues later in his life.
As per a kindergarten teacher who has seen it in the schools where she has worked in “We have always had imagination rooms with all sorts of toys in it, the boys enjoy playing with toys they don’t get from their parents, and immediately run over to the kitchenettes, dolls and puppets to see what the fuss is. The girls go to the construction toys and dress up section to wear police/firemen/ construction outfits. By the middle of the play time, they’re all playing together in different areas. It’s completely normal to them.”
Let us understand:
If adults make a fuss, the kids tend to be overly conscious of themselves and second guess their exploratory and investigative skills.
This may lead to them being a little reclusive or not wanting to engage in certain activities.
It may also alter the way they view things and might judge other kids harshly or make certain statements towards other kids who still enjoy playing with what society has deemed as “girls toys”.
If it makes you a little uncomfortable because of the parents, don’t discourage him, but don’t play along. Leave him to explore it on his own.
As per the research, it is evident that such things help boys develop good emotional intelligence and helps them build their understanding of other perspectives, empathy & a broader range of interaction strategies in the non-judgemental environment of the home/school.
Why not establish this before social norms & peer pressure gets in the way? Let us stop being a sexist and let kids explore things while they are still innocent. Boys playing with girly things and vice versa only help them become a stronger individual. It is not something to point to. Respect the kids and teach them values. Do not become a hurdle in their way of learning. It is all for a healthy and better tomorrow.
So, next time your boy wants to buy a doll, please buy it for him. Do not insist on buying only the manly stuff. Inspire and don’t create obstacles. So, what’s wrong when the male child plays with the doll is YOUR mind and not his.
If you feel inspired by this post, please share your suggestions and feedback in comments. Let us help many mothers get out of this dilemma and give them a reason to not reason with their kids.