Why I let my son play with dolls

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Among my cousin’s younger kids, my son is the only boy. So when we all get together he is the thorn amongst the roses but he takes it in his stride because he just loves playing with other kids. He doesn’t care if they’re girls or boys.

A couple of weekends ago we all got together and one of my niece’s brought her baby doll along. And he just wanted to play with “the baby”.  He also loves babies in general. He’s usually a boisterous one but he is so very gentle when it comes to babies.

We don’t have any issue with him playing with dolls, I’m always reminded of this cartoon by Chris Hallbeck from the webcartoon series Maximumble:

So we really just give him the freedom to play with whatever it is he wants to play with (unless it’s knives or plugs or the toaster or other dangerous things obviously).

I was out of the room and I heard one of my aunt’s saying to him that he shouldn’t play with dolls and that dolls were for girls. He doesn’t understand that concept and it’s one that I’m hoping he never has to try to fathom.

I said to her that he just thought it was a baby and she says to him (but obviously making the statement to me – why do people do that?) “Tell your mommy she must rather give you a real baby, man”. Yes, because I would trust my 2 and a half year old with a real, live baby no matter how gentle he tries to be.

Why at 2 and half does my son have to be subjected to gender stereotypes that he has no idea about? Why does he not get to explore his emotions through play. Is being gentle and nurturing only for girls? I honestly thought this kind of thinking was outdated but apparently it's still going strong amongst the older generation.

My son loves his cars, trucks, trains and fire engines. He also loves his fluffy toys and he is absolutely fascinated by his cousin’s mermaids. I mean why wouldn’t he be? Mermaids are pretty fantastical. How are you not going to be in awe of a girl who is half fish and has blue/green hair?

Let toddlers be toddlers, they’re exploring the world and learning so many new things every day. That includes how to be gentle with babies and that mermaids kind of exist.

Do you let your son play with dolls and other toys that are considered girls toys? Send us an email to chatback@parent24.com and let us know.

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