It’s the season of kiddie’s birthday parties – by season I mean all year, every year.
My sister and my best friend both have two children very similar in age, give or take a few months but same years. My sister has two girls and my bestest has two boys.
I find shopping for my besties boys much more challenging than shopping for my nieces. Although similar in age you cannot buy them similar things. Of course, unless it’s a puzzle or clothes but my point is girls are much easier to find things for than boys. Girls have an advanced variety, be it stamps, make-believe groceries, baby dolls, dress up clothes, Barbie’s, teddy bears, make-believe hair accessories, and make believe makeup etc. Move on to the boys’ list cars, guns, and well yes that’s about it. They can dress up to a certain extent as their favourite superhero but I also think boys outgrow this well before the girls so then you are left wondering will he dress in this or throw it back at me while waiting for his next better toy.
There is an immense amount of pressure in toy shopping, will they like it? Will they use it? Is this too small? Will they outgrow it in a week? Will they be bored with it in an hour? Will three other parents buy the exact same gift as me? You also don’t want to be that boring one who just buys them clothes, kids aren’t excited over clothes they want COOL STUFF! Girls are a bit excited by clothes but boys won’t bat an eyelash unless its covered in superheroes and looks nothing like their 426 other Superman/Spiderman/Paw patrol T-shirts, shorts, and PJ’S.
Some people say we stereotype kids by only buying girls ‘girls’ toys and boys ‘boys’ toys. Children will play with anything including the box it came in, they don’t necessarily know this is a girl’s toy or a boy’s toy until they are older at which point they will ask and pick out the toys they want. Stereotyping at this point would be refusing a girl to get a remote control car and a boy a Pony for example. Wouldn’t we want our children to reflect their personality and play with toys of their choice rather than toys of force?
We should allow children to be open-minded and decide their likes and dislikes for themselves, shouldn’t we? We should give them the space to evolve into the little person they want to be at their own free will. Gendered toys are a thing of the past, girls and boys are learning to love and play with the same toys, watch the same cartoons and enjoy the same games as each other. That is the way it should be.
Happy toy shopping…