Monday, February 11, 2013

moving beyond gender stereotypes

This weekend is my daughter's 3rd birthday. She's having a party and she couldn't be more excited to share the day with her friends. When we started thinking about her birthday a month or two ago, it was pretty easy to come up with a "theme" the she would love. I asked her if it was what she wanted, and she agreed happily, and continued to want the same theme ever since. So, this weekend will be my daughter's Construction party. 

My daughter came upon her love of construction vehicles naturally. The major road that she and I drive when we go to visit my parents every month or so has been having work done for as long as she can remember (a multi-year, expansion project). Diggers are her favorite, and she gleefully points out every. single. one. along the drive. At daycare, she plays with her classmates with trucks... but also all sorts of toys, blocks, books, trains, puzzles, baby dolls, and in the play kitchen.

I never really worried about gender stereotypes in our household. I don't like pink, my husband's favorite color is purple, we both love to cook, he cleans more then I do, and we both work outside of the home. Since my daughter was born, I've bought her clothes from the boys section and girls section equally. We never turn down a gift of clothes, no matter what the color, and whatever she chooses to wear in the morning is fine by me, so long as its weather appropriate. We're also blessed with family and friends that don't bat an eye when we answer their question of, "what does she want for Christmas?" with "Trucks!" She adores her two babies, Lily and Laura, and has the best time pounding away on her tool bench.

I wonder if this is going to change as she gets older. Her interests will grow and change, for certain, but all I want is for her to know its okay to love whatever she loves, that her gender does not determine her interest, her actions, or her capabilities. I hope no one she meets, be it child or adult, will make her feel badly for choosing hobbies that are more traditional "boy" hobbies. And for my own part, I will do my best not to let my own interests or associations dissuade her from any traditionally "girl" hobbies.

My girl, she is perfect when she is building tall towers with blocks while wearing pink dresses, and perfect when she is rocking her baby to sleep while wearing brown sweatpants and a blue hoodie, or a football uniform.

How do you feel about gender roles in your household? Do your friends and family respect that? Do you feel moving beyond gender stereotypes is harder with a boy?


Amy said... [Reply to comment]

I totally agree! Zoe's favorite christmas gift was her workbench, although her father is a carpenter so she likes to "build houses like papa." She plays with everything equally - her cars and trucks, her dolls, her kitchen... We also dress her extremely gender neutral.

Emily said... [Reply to comment]

I think this is awesome :)

Ronda said... [Reply to comment]

We are experiencing the same thing here. Since we didn't promote anything in particular that she should like because she is a girl, we have a train conductor/cowgirl/baking/pedicurist/ballet dancer/handyman toddler. She has chosen trains as her 3rd birthday theme coming up. I love that this neutral approach is allowing her the freedom to explore every interest she has.

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