It's My Fault My Son Acts Like a Boy & My Daughter Is Such a Girl

Mom Moment 6

boy with doll
My son making me feel a little
better about the whole thing.
I have twins -- one boy and one girl. Baby jackpot some would say. They just turned 3. My parents bought my daughter a dark blue velvet jacket for her birthday. It's adorable, but Pippi will not put it on. She pushed it away and said, "No, that's for Hunter." I explained how it's a gift for her but she said, "No, that's a boy's jacket."

My daughter, who wore mostly pink for the first few months of her life because you can't find preemie clothes in many colors, has been pink-washed. My daughter -- the little baby girl who I bought baby dolls for and dressed in tutus -- is a girly girl who doesn't think she can wear certain colors. And it's all my fault.

My son does it, too. When all the toy catalogs were coming in the mail leading up to Christmas, Hunter would look through them, see dolls, and say, "Those are girl toys, where are the boy toys?" He would be happy when the page turned to reveal the trucks, cars, and superheroes. This upsets me. I don't want them to think there is this separation, but society teaches them that there is. I apparently, unknowingly, unwillingly taught them that as well.

I don't think I treat them differently, but I have dressed them "as a girl" and "as a boy." They learned this from me. It's one of those little things we as parents do without thinking and it's something our kids learn from us. Is this something to worry about down the line?

My son does enjoy wearing barrettes -- something considered a "girl" thing to do. He also takes a time-out from playing with his race cars to play with dolls. He showed me his nurturing side not just from him tucking in and saying goodnight to his firetruck, but by feeding baby dolls as well. I hope this is a sign he knows he can wear whatever color he wants, and play with any toy he wants, whether marketed to him or not. I do believe that we focus too much on gender-specific toys and that needs to change. Easy-Bake Ovens aren't just for girls and boys shouldn't feel they can't play with them. Matchbox cars aren't just for the little guys.

But my daughter loves her pink. She loves her princess crown and ballerina dresses. She's more drawn to frilly things and fairy wings than dark colors and motorcycles. My son prefers the train set over the play kitchen, and Diego over Dora.

Perhaps when they are teenagers, learning more about themselves and what they like, my daughter will want to wear all black all the time (just like I did). Maybe my son will love cooking and be really into fashion. I just want them to know they can like whatever they want to like -- there are no "girl" toys or "boy" toys. They can wear any color they want and be who they want to be.

I never want them to feel limited because of their gender.

Does your daughter prefer "girl" toys over "boy" toys? How about your son? Is it something you worry about? Will your child shun toys supposedly meant for the opposite sex?


Image via Michele Zipp

girls, play, siblings, toddler toys, boys, a mom's life


To add a comment, please log in with

Use Your CafeMom Profile

Join CafeMom or Log in to your CafeMom account. CafeMom members can keep track of their comments.

Join CafeMom or Log in to your CafeMom account. CafeMom members can keep track of their comments.

Comment As a Guest

Guest comments are moderated and will not appear immediately.

Aeris... AerisKate

No, I don't worry about it at all.  My 4 year old daughter likes what she likes and nothing anyone does or buys for her changes anything about what she likes.  She has always preferred stuffed animals (and animals in general) and bugs.  She loves Spiderman.  People have bought her dolls and they collect dust.  So, it didn't matter that people tried to push dolls on her - she didn't like them, told us so, and proceeded to play with her stuffed animals.  She will wear a hair bow maybe once a week.  She got a play kitchen for her birthday when she turned 3 and she uses it as a fort for her animals. No pretend food has ever been prentend cooked on it.  So...I am not saying that gender stereotypes aren't part environment, but all of it is not.  Some of it is just part of who the person is.  I think that little girls who like all the fancy girly girl stuff really do like that stuff on their own and not necessarily because someone taught them to like it. My daughter is a perfect example.  She likes what she likes and nobody else is going to change that.  She has her own mind and opinions on things. 

nonmember avatar Gretta

My boys skip over girl toys completely. I never told them to either. Whatever. Most of the girl toys suck for girls or boys. Pink idiocy.

Jmum Jmum

My five year old girl is wearing a blue boy's shirt and playing with her brother's monster truck. Of course, her Lalaloopsy is driving it and she's wearing my makeup... And my 2 year old son got a tea set and cooking toy for Christmas. That he uses to feed dinosaurs. So yeah, I'm not worried and even if they did I wouldn't worry.

BKozICan BKozICan

Honestly, it kinda bothers me that we should feel guilty for our boys (or girls) liking traditional gender toys. It bothers me as much as not being able to buy a kitchen set that wasn't pink. Kids like what they like and we shouldn't push a toy/color/game on them for them for the sake of political correctness. 

nonmember avatar C

I did feel guilty at first for buying my daughter nothing but dolls etc. But then this year for Christmas she asked for a babydoll, some pink stars, and a big airplane and a train set! So now I'm just not too worried. Kids have their own identities and personalities. So as long as I support her with whatever she decides to do, and as long as she's happy, then i'm happy for her!

nonmember avatar Common.Sense

I don't understand why anybody would buy a girl dolls. They don't do anything, they don't teach anybody anything, they just sit around and be a lump. Worse than useless! I got lots of really cool science toys as a kid, and all the other girls I knew all wanted to fiddle with my chem set and binoculars.

1-6 of 6 comments