Let Kids Play Their Own Way
I am the mom who got called into school after a group of boys beat up my son for playing with dolls in the after-school program. This was not the first time he had been harassed at school for his preferences, but it was the first time the school decided to do something about it. It was in that moment I knew that I needed to do something to fight to remove gender roles from playtime.
The school’s solution was to tell my son he can no longer wear pink, no longer sit with his legs crossed, and no longer play with the kitchen or doll toys. He was six years old and in first grade at the time. The group of boys who decided to hurt my son had their parents called to the school as well. It was an all-out blame fest, with me at the center.
Sometimes I wonder if I had told my son he could not pick out his clothes, did not get to pick his toys, or could not host his awesome tea parties if I could have sheltered him from this pain. Maybe he would have “fit in” better with his classmates, but there is no joy in being average when it means going against everything you want out of life.
My kids no longer attend that school, and they are much happier without teachers and faculty telling them they are the ones who need to change, instead of the bullies.
My kids are a little different, but they are well-rounded and loving little beings. I would not change a single thing about them.
Remove Gender Roles From Playtime – Let Boys Have Tea Parties and Let Girls Love Green
My seven-year-old girl and nine-year-old boy love to play together. My little guy loves hosting tea parties for my daughter, and my daughter loves making mud pies for their parties. He swaddles dolls and cares for their stuffed animals while she pretends to mow the grass or work on the cars. They get along swimmingly when I let them play how they want, but issues can arise when someone tries to step in and tell them how they “should” be playing all in order to fit the “norm” of gender roles in society.
Here’s the thing, they are both engaging in playtime activities that will help them grow into their full potential, regardless of their genders. What if someone had told MMA star and actress Gina Carano that fighting is a boy’s sport? She might still be a successful adult, but would she be happy?
The last thing I want is to dim the light in my children’s eyes. If they are doing something that they love and socializing together, I could not be happier. My children have so much potential, just like every human on this planet. I want to let them find their path to fulfilling their potential by growing into the people they were destined to become, without setting limits or ever telling them that a boy can’t join ballet or a girl can’t be a police officer.
We’re Shaping Awesome Humans – Not Just Little Boys and Girls
One day, my kids will be adults, and I am raising them with their futures in mind. That’s not to say that they don’t get to be kids, now. They deserve to bask in the glory of their childhood as long as possible, while being lead toward growth and self-awareness. I simply want to ensure that they are never told that their dreams are impossible, even if they are not typical for their genders.
I know they will always feel accepted, loved, and nurtured, because I will make sure of it. These feelings of acceptance will help shape them into the incredible adults I know they can become.
When my children are grown, I want them to look back and know they were supported in their decisions. I would never push them to be something they are not, but I will move them to chase after the things they love.