I am not getting into the argument corcerning Target that has taken social media by storm. Yes, the one about organizing the toy aisles differently.
Anyway, I think that everyone knows I have a degree in Human Development; I am proud of that degree because I worked very hard to get it. (It took a while because I was married, had a toddler, and was pregnant with our second child at the time of finishing.) I say all of this because what I am about to address is something I not only believe in, but can prove.
I have a boy and a girl child. Of course there are obvious differences that make them unique. Duh. I don’t think that is up for debate. However, it freaks some people out that they play with each other’s toys. Dun dun dun!
I think that people are doing more harm than good and they may not even realize it. If you tell a little boy that he cannot play with a toy because that is for girls, then in his mind he could start thinking, “I like that toy and if it is for girls, then maybe I am a girl?” No. It is a plastic toy that does not care either way. If you tell a little girl that she cannot play with a train set because it is for boys, then you could be planting seeds of doubt and break her spirit. Sheesh, I am not talking about dressing your kids in skirts, etc. I think that kids just have different personalities; you will have some boys that only want to play with guns and some girls that only want to play with Barbies. That is perfectly fine! However, that does not mean that you can shame the girl that wants to play with Nerf guns and the boy that wants to play with a doll house. So much of it comes from personality type and birth order.
I have a daughter who can tell you just about anything you want to know (or don’t want to know for that matter) about Ninja Turtles. She loves to play in the mud and kick a soccer ball around. She enjoys playing with her toy kitchen and grill set. She loves to take care of her baby dolls and when she is done feeding them a bottle, throws them on the floor of her room, and moves on to something else. She is not organized and her room often looks like a disaster zone.
I have a son can tell you anything you want to know (or don’t want to know for that matter) about Ninja Turtles. He loves to play in the mud and kick a soccer ball around. He enjoys playing with his toy kitchen and grill set. He loves to have tea parties with his younger sister and when done, puts the toys away where they go and moves on to something else. He is very organized and his room is usually spotless.
I say this to simply remind people that kids have wonderful imaginations and could have the time of their life with a simple box or stick. So why care if a little girl plays Hotwheels cars and toy guns or if a little boy plays with a toy vacuum cleaner and a tea-set?
Will playing with Ninja Turtles make my daughter want to transition to a turtle at 18? We as a society do not object when little girls wants to wear blues and greens, but God forbid a little boy want to wear pink. If you do your homework you will see that pink and purple are the original colors of royalty and men wore them originally. (Tough men wear pink!)
I’m not here for debate to tell you that a child will catch sexuality by playing with a toy. Seriously, it is not an STD. I grew up playing outside wanting to play for Coach K at Duke basketball, climbed trees, and along with my sister, played different sports. Let kids be kids and stop telling them that they cannot play with a simple toy because of gender stereotypes.