Boy Toys vs. Girl Toys

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    Today was pretty uneventful except for the fact that it was extremely cold here in the Big Apple. I had a pretty good day at work and managed to come home in a great mood. As I usually do, I greeted my sons immediately upon entering my house and conversed with them about their day and how they were doing.

    My three year old, Ethan, noticed that I had a sticker on my shirt and proceeded to ask me who had given me the sticker and why was I wearing it on my shirt. I explained to him that my friend at work had given it to me because she knew that I loved “My Little Pony” when I was a little girl. It was very obvious that he immediately wanted the sticker for himself because he is a sticker addict and loves to collect stickers wherever he goes.

    I asked him if he wanted the sticker and he looked over at my husband and then back at me. Knowing my husband and my son as much as I do, I realized that he was looking to his father for approval and permission due to the fact that the sticker had “girlie” cartoon characters on it. This has been an ongoing point of parenting disagreement between my husband and myself for years.

    You see, as an educator, I understand the value of allowing children to express their individuality and the importance of not establishing preconceived gender roles that children can be steretyped into. It is healthy for little girls to play with toy trucks and toy soldiers and it is also healthy for little boys to play with dolls and play house. Unfortunately, my husband prescribes to the prehistoric, machismo way of thinking that boys should be manly and never, ever play with things that are “for girls.”

    My husband and I are the products of a cultural background that frowns on boys crying and being emotional. Obviously, I am a woman so have never entertained that hogwash. To my husband’s credit, he shows our sons a lot of affection and allows them to express themselves emotionally despite how he was raised. He is much more evolved than his male ancestor counterparts. However, a sticking point for him is the whole issue of allowing boys to play with what he perceives to be “girl” toys. I have grown tired of explaining to him that allowing our sons to play with dolls will not take away from their manhood in the future.

    Perhaps I am having a positive impact on him because he looked back at my son today and told him that it was perfectly fine if he wanted to put the “My Little Pony” sticker on his own shirt. Of course, that is all the encouragement that my son needed because he ripped it off my shirt and proudly wore it on his chest for the rest of the evening. That may not seem like much to you guys but, I can tell you all, it was a huge step for my husband to succumb to allowing either one of his sons to wear a “My Little Pony” sticker. This truly was a monumental event in our home. Maybe you can teach an old dog new tricks…

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  1. yay for that huge step! there really is a large number of people (specifically males) that fall into that same way of thinking. my son loves my daughter's "baby" and i'd like to think that he'll be an incredible daddy someday!

  2. That's a really cool write-up!! Even with me and my brother, my dad wud nvr let us touch my sister's toys…he said tht we're careless n we're likely to break them!!

    Hahahaha…now I don't kno if tht ws the real reason or not cuz most of my childhood gadgets don't decorate my room shelves bt the same can't be said fr my sisters!

    Nehow i loved reading ur stuff….glad to come across ur blog!! Will be reading more very soon!

  3. maria, congrats

  4. I think my husband and I are on opposite ends of the spectrum from each other one this one. I am completely against sex-role stereotyping whereas my DH freaks out if he sees our son with one of our daughter's dolls or something. I can definitely see the My Little Pony sticker being an issue so kudos indeed!

  5. Thank you so much for the feedback, Guys. I am glad we all agree that we should not impose gender stereotypes on children.

    @Shannon-Exactly! I think that my sons will be great Daddys too. I definitely don't think the toys that they play with will determine that.

    @Saadi-Welcome! I am really glad you are enjoying my blog. I also have some Barbie dolls from my childhood. It's just a sentimental thing.

    @Bob-Thanks, Bob. It is always such a pleasure to hear from you.

    @Charlene-Yeah, my husband and I disagree on this too. That is why I was shocked that he gave in on this one. Maybe I am cracking the wall a little bit. 🙂

  6. Hi Tough Cookie Mummy,
    I think compared to you I am more of a soggy biscuit but I am getting there! I so admire Mums who can work, be Mum, wife and lots of times …doctor, psychologist etc.etc. Look forward to following your Blog. Kate

  7. Hi, Kate. Believe me, I am sure you are a tough cookie in your own right. All of us have some kind of inner strength to help us get through the everyday things that come up in our lives. I look forward to your comments and I appreciate you following my blog.

  8. BTW – I finally got around to accepting your lovely award. Thanks again!

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