Friday, 21 October 2016

Let your son play with Dolls

We are living in a society where people genderize toys. Very common example is dolls for girls and cricket kit for boys. Fact of matter is toys are for fun, for learning, for improving imagination and encouraging creativity of kids. And every kid should feel free to play with the toys that most interest him. But what we see is a discriminating behavior towards these toys which have nothing to do with gender of any kid. On one handpeople are raising their voices in stopping gender discrimination among kids but when a boy wants to play with a doll, they arrogantly say "Ladke dolls se nhi khelte. Ye to ladkiyo ke liye hai".
Even toy stores are adding to this pity with separating boys and girls section of toys. Isn't it time that shops should stop limiting our kid's imagination by telling them what they ought to play with ? In past, it was kind of not acceptable to cross gender lines in our society. But, there are many benefits in allowing your son to play with "girl toys". Have a look :
1.     Playing with dolls will not make him gay : I am not sure why but some parents’ fear that playing with dolls can make their sons gay. There is no reasoning behind this thinking actually. Toys makers don’t plant any gay virus in these cute pink dolls that can infect only a boy kid. Even if you dress our boy in a girl’s outfit, your son will not catch gay trait. So let your son decides with which toy he wants to play, no matter it’s a doll or a ball.
2.      Playing with dolls will teach him respect femininity : Some parent’s worry that allowing their sons to play with dolls will make them targets for teasing or bullying because they become soft in nature. Other kids may make fun of your son for playing with a "girl toy," as if there's something wrong with girls' toys and reflecting an assumption that anything feminine is less valuable. But if your son belongs to this category, you should correct him. While no one wants their kids to be subjected to hateful behavior from their peers, it’s the responsibility of parents to teach their kids that this societal belief that devalues women is absolutely wrong. Boys should respect every women and every aspect of femininity.
3.     Playing with dolls prepare him as a father : In this age, don't you believe in fatherhood where both father and mother raise their kids carrying equal responsibilities? Then you should teach your son that in future he will become a father and will be helping his wife in managing kids. When kids play with dolls, they practice feeding, comforting and all around caring for their baby doll, miming how they see adults care for babies and practicing for the future.
4.     Playing with dolls break unhealthy male stereotypes : I feel the stereotypical view of masculinity propagated by the TV and gendered toys are aggressive and destructive. Our kids watch cartoons and we find our boys watching Power Ranger type shows where as girls watch comparatively less destructive cartoons. But do you want your son to be like Power Ranger type in future? Dolls give boys the opportunity to explore things besides aggression and learn crucial life skills. Dolls often come with doctor kit or kitchen set and these pretend plays give your son opportunities to learn and communicate with others in normal and common gestures.
5.     Playing with dolls prepares him for a younger sibling : Giving your son a doll to help him understand your family is going to be welcoming a baby can be very effective. It is a great resource for teaching him how to hold his new baby brother or sister. It can also make him understand that new baby needs more attention and care from his parents and from his side as well. He learns to love and care their sisters. Moreover teaching your son to resist gender stereotypes as a child will help him to be a more accepting adult.
6.     Playing with dolls improves motor skills : It is proven by certain studies that dolls are a great way for kids to develop fine motor skills. Actions such as putting a bottle in the baby's mouth for feeding, making them sit and stand, dressing and undressing and wrapping the baby in a blanket all require practice and attention for kids learning to use their hands and bodies. Dolls are perfect indoor toys for helping in fine motor skills of your son.
In reality toys do not inherently have a gender. In the past, there were less tact between what boys should play with and what girls should play with. Toys were just play things for children. But today people have changed and they are influenced by what is going around them. By choosing to give your son a doll in spite of advertising (dolls are for girls), you are making a conscious decision rather than being a foolish consumer of whatever ads and marketing campaigns are dishing out. Think about it!

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