Since the past few days, the house has begun to witness some changes. I have had requests for boy toys from the girl and girl toys from the boy. While I am more than happy giving a cricket bat to my daughter I sensed that somewhere when my son asked for a doll I paused. Then I smiled and said ‘ sure, you may have one!’
As a society today we are on the cusp of a new children’s culture in which delineations between boys and girls and thus; boy toys and girl toys don’t really exist. I notice my kids sharing the toys because they believe ‘toys are for everyone.’
I think there is a lot of learning for kids when we remove the tag ‘boy toys’ and ‘girl toys’ from things that are meant to simply have fun. The gender equality of toys needs to evolve a bit. When we look at what is termed at as ‘girl toys’ we can’t help but acknowledge that toys such as dolls, cooking sets, etc. are all aimed at developing nurturing skills and relationship virtues. On the contrary a lot of supposed boy toys harness competition and physical play.
My perspective: If I allow both my kids to play with all sorts of toys, there perhaps, will be a good balancing equation opening up channels for all kinds of development. Because my daughter loves her doll and my son co-shares the love, it is a great connecting thing.
Should I be worried? In my opinion there is no reason why my son should see my daughter’s toys as the forbidden. I would like him to grow up into a good nurturing, caring individual. I would hope for him to be a caring father. But am I providing him the opportunity to learn that?
Our gen women gush over men with strollers in the park, a daddy wearing a baby in the mall a man helping out with domestic chores. It is when we allow our boys and girls to part-take in these by means of pretend play, imaginative play or mere observation are we allowing the fostering of these.
The problems lie within us. When we identify toys with a specific gender we render the same thoughts to our kids. We feed their minds with ideas of ‘this is for girls and not boys.’ In the bigger picture, these manifest into role delegation too. As parents, we don’t want to attribute too much meaning to something as innocent as this and we want to choose to support or child’s needs. We don’t see why he needs to curb his natural inclinations on account of his gender. My reluctance is my issue. Not my son’s. And it is not going to be an issue anymore.
If I can aspire for my daughter to skilfully build out of LEGO why can’t I allow my son to play with a cooking set? Boy games are not any more worthy than girls toys are and by no ways am I sending that message out to my kids.
This is why my son can play with my daughter’s doll!