I have no idea how it happened, but one day, out of the blue, Future President blurted out, “Those toys are for girls!” while looking at a LEGO catalog. He was referring to the purple LEGO Friends boxes featured on one page of the catalog. No, I told him, those toys are for boys and girls. Just like all of the toys in the catalog. I was hoping it sunk in, but he’s repeated the same thing at least three times and each time I corrected him.
Last night he was looking at another catalog and told me that girls and boys can play with cars. (Hooray! Progress?) This LEGO catalog didn’t have any LEGO Friends sets, so maybe that made a difference in his perception. But I’m outraged that he has begun to think this way about toys (and more outraged that LEGO makes a set “for girls”). Where did he get the idea that there are gender-specific toys? He has a play kitchen (which, admittedly he rarely plays with) and plenty of stuffed animals and a baby doll. No, I haven’t bought him other “girl” toys because he naturally gravitates to cars and trains. But if he requested another toy that’s more traditionally “for girls” I would buy it for him.
For someone who isn’t in preschool and rarely interacts with other children outside of Sabbath School, swimming lessons and the park, he is surprisingly opinionated about what toys are for boys and girls. Did we parent him to be programmed this way? Even if it wasn’t intentional? My hope is that he grows out of this notion and is more open minded, especially when he starts preschool and interacts with girls more.
Do you have any tips on how to prevent this from becoming a life-long problem?
LEGO sometimes gets it really, really right, though.