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July 9, 2011

Before I had kids, I knew I would raise them without any gender biases. I didn't want them to think that they could only play with gender appropriate toys. I didn't want my son to think he had to play only with "boy toys" and that baby dolls and such were out of the question. I always say - I am raising a husband and not just a man. He should learn to be nurturing and loving to a baby, have a play kitchen (which J does), know how to push a stroller, etc. I believed that gender was socially constructed and that if I didn't push my son to be a "boy" he would just be himself... whoever that was. Of course that was pre-J. Now I understand what it means to be a boy... he is a species entirely separate from his girl cousins in his boyish energy, interests, antics, and sound effects. I now realize that "boy" is genetically coded into him.

His energy is NO JOKE and sometimes I get tired from merely watching him run around the house and jump off of things all day. Then there are the sound effects. Everything has a sound effect... eating, jumping, coloring, playing, shooting laser, etc. He wants to wrestle, karate, jump off of things, and run around like a cave man. He also likes to play with pretend swords and guns. So far, we have been able to keep violence-ish toys out of our house. J knows mama doesn't play and to not even ask. So, he turns his own hands, drum sticks, legos, play dough, branches, etc. into guns and swords. Obviously I am not doing any good by not allowing these toys in the house. But no one I know has these toys in their house. As parents, there is an unspoken rule that play violence is frowned upon so we just continue to ignore our sons as they wrestle, karate chopp one another, and shoot non-gun objects at one another.

What's a mother to do? Don't get me wrong, I am not going to give in to the violent toys BUT when will he be ready for the fun water guns like those nerf shooter thingy's? What do you guys think? Let me know in the comments section.


Ayana said...

I am the same as you when it comes to gender toys. People laugh at me when they see the little kitchen in his play area.

However, I am not against the play guns. Like you said, they are going to make objects into guns anyway - so the harm must already be done - if it can even be considered *harmful*...

Although I doubt that I would ever let a gun come into my house, I realized that it is only a tool - that if falls into the wrong hands is dangerous. Just like any other tool.

Sorry for such a long comment! I may have to blog about this, myself!

Steph said...

I'm only against super gender specific toys... Like, Charlie will not be playing with Barbie and her dreamhouse, nor will he be owning an American Girl doll. I don't mind him playing with toy kitchens and grocery store stuff and mud pies.

I also don't mind him playing with toy guns and swords and things. He's gonna get a little water gun as soon as he is big enough to hold one. I don't hink the toy guns make kids violent; I think parents who don't teach their kids the harm guns can cause make violent kids. We're gonna teach Charlie that he IS NOT to touch a real gun or knife, and if he (when he is older than 18) wants to learn about real guns, he will need to talk to his daddy (who was in the marine corps) who will teach him what he needs to know. I grew up with all kinds of toy guns and I'm super peaceful (and terrified of real guns).

Samira said...

Thanks for comments ladies. I am not sure it will make him violent either because if I was going to take away ALL violence and shield him from that, he wouldn't get to watch tv ever... and we know that's not possible since it's my babysitter. LOL. Anthony will not come around on this one though. I guess the question is this... WHY are little boys so interested in violent toys? is it because that's what is marketed to them or is that just the toy they want to play with? I mean, there was a good while where J really loved baby dolls and would play with his cousin's every time we went over there. I honestly could have cared less if he carried one around. Why is it that little girls don't want to shoot at each other and swing swords? Why?

Steph said...

He's in daycare, right? I'm pretty sure he's picking up some of it from the boys at school, and if he wants to play with them, he's gonna have to play what they want to play. I'm pretty sure they don't want to play with baby dolls. Also, the shows he watch influence him. Unless he's watching nothing but Disney, he's probably seeing some action. It's all around him and in him (hormones and all). Did you hear about that woman who is raisin her child totally gender neutral? No one outside of her and the doctor knows the sex of her baby! I'm not even sure if the father knows!

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