Socially enforced gender stereotypes tell us that boys are supposed to play with boy things, and girls with girl stuff, and never the twain must meet. Some parents fear that their young bucks will become sissies or ‘go gay’ at some point if they play around with girl stuff like dolls. Pure twaddle, we say.
Boys ought to be allowed to share some girl things on occasion, and we’ll share 10 reasons to let your son play with baby dolls:
- Parenting Skills – Even some single Dads will tell you that they wish they’d had this sort of exposure earlier in life. It would have made them better Dads, they say. Simple things like being able to hold a small child comfortably and naturally can be learned this way.
- Gentler Nature – A boy doesn’t need to be all snips and snails, and puppy dog tails, all the time to keep his male membership card. In fact, some exposure to some of the softer things in life can be a healthy counterbalance, and make for a well-balanced child.
- Natural Selection – We don’t mean in a Darwinian kind of way necessarily, but instead to allow children to gravitate naturally toward those things that appeal to them.
- More Open-Minded as Adults – Gender stereotypes which have limited career choices for both men and women are being challenged, or eliminated entirely, all the time. To saddle our children with these biases early in their development is contrary to what is expected of mature adults in the world they will one day inherit.
- Adjust To A New Sibling – A boy playing with dolls can learn, either through his own exploration or some focused education from a parent, about how to care for and dress a baby, the need to be gentle, and be better prepared to greet a new sibling into the home.
- Career Preparation – A child’s formative years have a tremendous impact on how they view the world. What your child may or may not feel encouraged to pursue while they are young could influence the paths they choose later as a vocation.
- Saying No is the Wrong Message – There is no supporting evidence that boys who play with dolls become ‘sissies’ or gay when they grow up. Forbidding them to do something, without giving a truthful reason for saying no, will only create a disconnect between you and your child later on, once they discover the truth on their own.
- It Reflects Their Reality – Some boys are growing up in an environment where their Dads – thankfully – are actively involved in domestic parenting duties. It’s only natural for a boy who sees his Dad helping to raise his family, to mimic that reality in his playtime activities, using dolls with which he can role-play.
- On the Flip Side – Letting boys play with dolls goes hand-in-hand with allowing girls to explore those things that traditionally were considered for boys only.
- Reinforce All Positive Traits – When a parent attempts to delineate between what is a masculine activity and what is feminine, the implication is that any expression of gentleness or softness is inappropriate for a boy, and therefore wrong.