Boys playing with girls toys

February 6, 2012 in Mums tips


Sleeping baby boy - Wikimedia Commons

Lauren L ponders the signficance of gender targeted toys.

As my son played with a naked Barbie doll in the bath with his two sisters tonight, I pondered whether or not it was normal for him to enjoy playing with so many ‘girl’ toys.

His older sister is 6, and younger sister just 4 months but he is surrounded.  He is surrounded by girly toys, girly clothes and girly chat.  Not forgetting me, all my mummy friends, and his two sisters and their friends.

Like many of his little friends, he only sees his dad for a short while in the morning and evening during the week and at the weekends when my husband’s attention is split between all three children and me.

My son is not in the least bit feminine and is very much a real boy – he loves being loud, running around, playing with cars and trains and loves muddy puddles – but I do worry a little that he has a little too much feminine influence in his life.

Growing up as one of two sisters, and then losing my father at a young age, I wasn’t privy to much masculine influence… something that was exacerbated when I went to a single sex school as well.  So I don’t really understand men, boys, their toys or how they work.

I am on a steep learning curve now that I have a son.  Whereas parenting my daughters feels like it comes naturally, being a mum of a three year old boy often leaves me feeling like I’m in deep waters.

It is often said that boys are easier (whatever that means – I very rarely think that any aspect of parenting is easy!).  But this is definitely not the case with me and my son.

I do feel like I am getting the hang of having a boy.  I finally get it that he is happiest when he has a full tummy, is doing lots of exercise and he’s playing with his willy.

But what else can I do to bring out the man in him?

One of my new year’s resolutions is to set up more play dates with other boys for him and take him to predominantly boy activities like toddler football.  My husband is going to spend some more boy time with him at the weekends.  Apart from that, we are just going to keep feeding him (he tells me he is hungry on the hour every hour), exercising him, and telling him to get his hands out of his trousers.

At the end of the day, being surrounded by girls now could stand him in good stead for the future.  He’ll have more idea about the opposite sex than I do!