My mother got lots of new T-Shirts for my son when he started going to the preschool. (There was no uniform). He wore a new one everyday very happily for school. One day he came back and said, “Mummy, I will never wear this T-shirt again. Throw it away.” I was puzzled as it was all fine, not dirty or torn. When I asked him what was the reason, he said, “Pink is girls’ colour”. I was taken aback as as I had never defined what was boyish or what was girlish to my child. I smiled and told him that it doesn’t matter. Boys can wear Pink too. But he was adamant as his best buddy in class had told him that “Pink is for Girls and Blue is for Boys”
Another incident that I had come across a long time before my son was born was of a dear friend’s son. He was and his favourite color was Pink !!! At first, she just laughed it off, when her son wanted a pink bag, a pink pencil box and a pink “everything”. But soon people around her started to point out the “erroneous”. Soon she was worried about her son’s choice. So much, that she went to his pediatrician. The doctor just laughed and said, “What does a child know? The differentiation is all created my man and not nature. So relax and let it be”
Who defined this? Why is it “inappropriate for a boy to adore the Pink but not that much for a girl to love the blue?
It is said that between the age of 2-4 a child realizes the physical differences between a girl and a boy and can define her/ himself accordingly. Now this is something natural. But everything else that we tell them is defined by humans. Girls play with dolls and boys play with cars, Girls love to paint and boys love to run, Girls are soft and Boys are tough, Girls can cry but Boys should not.
Over generations, all these things are embedded in everyone’s mindset. But somewhere, this is breaking now. With the changing dynamics of the society as well as families, people are looking at all these “definitions with a different perspective”. Its OK for a boy to play with dolls or a kitchen set – he will become a good caregiver and be responsible (NOT HELP) about his duties at home. Its OK if the Girl is tough and loves to run around rather than sit and paint. Let her not be defined by the society norms but let her be set free and pursue whatever amuses her.
I remember once taking my son for a playdate at a play zone for little kids.
For the first time he saw a doll and was confused if it was a real child or a toy. He had never seen a barbie doll. I realised that I had never introduced my child to a “doll”. I was so engrossed in cars and tracks that it never occured to me. Though the picture might not justify the confusion of my son, it is from the same moment that I am talking about.
That day, I realised, what I had missed on in my parenting – gender equality. (In some way). Maybe it doesnt depend on toys, but maybe it starts from there.
Though times are changing, still, this gender differentiation will go on for a long time before people accept them as equals. But for me, my son will do whatever he likes – play with dolls or a kitchen set as well as cars and guns. And yes, he is allowed to cry. He is allowed to vent out and let go of the things that trouble him or make him sad.
I believe its all about wanting the best for your child and not what is acceptable by the society.
Here is some food for thought for you. Do share your views and experience in the comment section.
Happy Parenting !