Friday, November 20, 2009

Gender Roles

For the past couple of weeks I've been thinking a lot about gender roles. It first came up when I was browsing toys for Christmas, thinking about what the kids might like. In a matter of minutes I realized I was only considering dolls & anything baby related for Charlotte. For Solomon, cars, dinosaurs & sports. Immediately upon this revelation I left the store, concluding I needed to think more about what this would tell my children.

I don't have a problem with girls wanting to play primarily with dolls, or with boys wanting to play primarily with cars. But I also don't want to have a problem with allowing my children to do the opposite. Of course I think gender identity is important. It's a part of who we are & how God made us. But should I subtly discourage my son from playing "daddy" & practicing affection with a "baby"? Or discourage my daughter from "being a football player" if that's what she wants to do? Would sticking to gender-specific toys contribute this discouragement?

This didn't sit well with me &, honestly, I still don't know how to find balance on this issue. As a parent it is my responsibility to help foster their identities. Part of finding identity involves gender. How am I supposed to do this??

(A blog I read this morning, which prompted me to blog about my dilemma, has a hilarious take on modern gender roles!)


Dani said...

Your kids are so getting the "Free to Be" video for Christmas! :o) Mom Jones would buy our kids "gender reversed toys" when they were little all the time! I think they will naturally figure out what they like, especially since you have one of each, there are both kinds of toys around, H & B play together with her toys and his toys, don't put so much pressure on yourself!!

Maria said...

Larry is super duper into babies--dolls or the live variety. We never really pushed dolls on him, we just have them around because he has two sisters (who by the way are into Princesses and ponies{gag}).

My dad calls Larry gay all the time--I think this is hilarious (he doesn't say it to his face--probably because Larry could kick his ass). The boy is just really into girl gendered toys.

Holden is into robots and sharks--I guess those are boy things, but they seem kind of gender neutral to me.