I’m raising a little human. He happens to be a boy.
In our culture, many unsaid rules exist about how little humans called “boys” should act. Even more so for “girls.”
At the age of two, I bought my son a little doll, a newborn baby dressed head to toe in pink pajamas. I wanted to give him access to a wide variety of toys, not just those considered “gender appropriate.”
My son will grow up to become a father one day, and every parent needs to know how to nurture and nourish.
We give boys race cars and doctor kits all the time although only a very small percentage of them will actually grow up to become race car drivers and doctors. Compare that to how many boys will one day become fathers.
As soon as I showed my son the pink box containing the doll, he grew excited. He yelled, “Baby!”
Although he had never played with a doll before, he knew exactly what to do. He put the blanket on the baby and took turns feeding her the milk and orange juice bottles that came with the toy. All I did was show him how to gently hold the baby in the crook of his arm as he fed her.
Later on, he tucked the doll under the covers of my bed and said, “Shhh! Baby tired.” Then in his own garbled words, my son started singing her the lullaby “Rock-a-bye Baby.”
As I watched him cuddle the doll, I realized I’m not just raising a human and a future father, I’m also raising a loving big brother. I’m just so proud that my rough-and-tumble energetic toddler can also be gentle and soothing.
Let’s face it. Boys and girls aren’t born inherently caring and compassionate. They learn these traits through interaction, observation and play.
Boys can learn a lot of life skills from playing with dolls. Girls can learn from playing with dump trucks and other “boy toys” not typically given to girls. For this reason, it’s thoughtful to give a child a toy not typically given to his or her sex. Baby showers, birthdays, and Christmas can all be opportunities to give children equal access to toys!
Toys aren’t for boys or girls. They’re for kids.
What are your thoughts on this matter? Please share in the Comments section!