10/11/2013

Influence...

As a mum of two children 1 boy (3.5 yrs old) 1 girl (19 months old) I've often wondered whether boys and girls play differently or the same if left to there own devices?...

In our house both children play with the same toys... They have a train set, duplo Lego (non gendered variety!) wooden pull along dogs, crocodiles, jigsaws, teddy bears, plenty of paper, crayons, things for sticking, ink stamps, for christmas they are getting a play kitchen (Sssssh! Don't tell them)...
We also dress them in gender neutral clothing apart from the odd dress for the little bird...

Just lately my little girl is all about babies... She doesn't have a baby doll or a baby pram etc (I know I'm a cruel parent)...
But everything is called a baby (could be a digger, teddy or a shoe!) & she notices all the babies when we are out of the house and shouts at them loudly... I don't ever remember my son ever doing this... Both children go to the same nursery 2 days a week so have been exposed to similar things and I just wonder where this comes from?...

Is it learned from nursery or is it naturally within us as human beings to go through certain behaviour depending on gender?...
I'm going to assume there's a bit (lot) of playing with dolls at nursery but then surely my son would of been the same? He did used to bring home an oopsy daisy doll for a short while but just carried it around never did the whole tucking it in bed calling it baby etc...

I find it pretty fascinating watching them play and copy each other and dread the day the whole boys do this and girls can't do that type of outside influence that they will be exposed to at some point. People always assume my son is a girl (he has long hair) and my daughter is a boy (she doesn't wear pink) and it's quite sad to see the assumptions and hear the remarks from people along the way...

I want them to grow up to believe they can do anything they want and are unique (slightly going off topic here!) which I'm sure every parent wants the same... But I do wonder from what age do we subconsciously notice and become influenced by 'stereotypical specific gender roles'?...