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arhyalon

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09:52 am: Boys and Girls Forever
A reader of the last post wrote: I use to work in a church creche with 3-4 year olds. There were no swords or guns allowed but the boys just made them out of leggo anyway. I think that if you leave kids alone most girls will chose dolls and boys trains. If they choose non stereotypical toys it shouldn't be a big deal.


So true. So like life!

I have met so many young women with sons who have said to me: "I used to think men and women were the same...until I had a son. Right from the start, he only wanted to play with trucks and monsters." 

Girls seem to be different. There's less of this shock to the mother. Some are really girly from the start, but many are not. Some are very tomboyish right off.

If my sons had a tea set (which they would be welcome to, if they asked for one) they would turn the cups upside down on the plates, pretend they were flying saucers, and shoot each other with them.

They loved the MacDonald's Polly Pockets, because the clothes came apart and snapped together. It was like girl toys for boys.

But in my previous post, I was not talking about toys. We know a boy who loves fairies and another one who loves pretending to be a girl and plaing with Ariel the Mermaid. Nobody cares. (Well, sometimes the parents cring a little, but really, they don't care.)

But that is very different than whether or not you should teach your son to "be a man." Our Taekwando teacher tells our crybaby son "men don't cry." It really woke me up. I began to wonder why I was allowing him to act this way. While I think real men do cry occasionally...a man who cries a lot is going to have a hard time in life.

Maybe someone really does need to tell boys these things: don't cry in public, don't hit women, treat girls well.

They don't pick these things up by nature...maybe we should be teaching this stuff!

Comments

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From:madkestrel
Date:July 4th, 2009 02:22 pm (UTC)
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There were no swords or guns allowed but the boys just made them out of leggo anyway.

I taught three-year-olds in a preschool for nearly 15 years. We didn't have any combat-related toys at all (no army men, no plastic guns, etc) but the boys tried to make them out of Legos. If I took the Legos away, they would bite a corner off a graham cracker and make guns out of those!
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From:annafirtree
Date:July 4th, 2009 03:47 pm (UTC)
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I have a little trouble with thoughts along these lines sometimes. Do I teach all my kids not to hit anyone? Do I teach my boys to fight back if they're being bullied? Do I teach my girls to fight back if they get bullied? Do I tell my boys not to cry so much? Do I tell my girls the same thing? Do I say, out loud in public in my very GLTB-friendly city, that skirts are only for girls? Do I make a point of buying more skirts than pants for my girls?

I think I need to get into my heart and talk with God about it; find out what I really *believe* I ought to be doing, because I'm not very sure at this point.
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From:juliet_winters
Date:July 4th, 2009 05:05 pm (UTC)
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My own parental response is to teach children to stick up not only for themselves but for others who are being bullied. They may have to accept punishment as a result of their actions.
Both of my kids have fought and gotten in trouble for fighting at school. Given the nature of their handicap, I'm never sure who threw the first punch. But if the school authorities are satisfied that punishment is merited, I expect them to take it and will reinforce it at home.
But I'm not horrified at the violence and would honestly rather deal with the kids having a bit of fight in them than the opposite. Both accepted their punishments and enjoy socializing under most circumstances.
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From:annafirtree
Date:July 4th, 2009 05:43 pm (UTC)
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I think that "it might have been the right thing to do, but accept your punishment anyways" tone would be a very hard one for me to take, although it does sound right.
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From:arhyalon
Date:July 4th, 2009 05:26 pm (UTC)
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I do think that looking to God is the real answer. Answers don't always come at once...but sometimes they do come quite strongly.

But we have to identify that there's an issue and pray before we can get answers. ;-)

(I still have your recent emails. I haven't forgotten. Just short on time.)
[User Picture]
From:annafirtree
Date:July 4th, 2009 05:35 pm (UTC)
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(Heh. I was starting to wonder if I should remind you or not. Being short on time is ok.) :)
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From:juliet_winters
Date:July 4th, 2009 04:58 pm (UTC)
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I have had similar experiences with pre-schoolers. Having nearly raised 2 of my own now, I don't think I'm doing children any favors by babying them.

If they are emotional enough to have an IEP on it, it's one thing. If they're just "sensitive souls" it's another.
To me, a truly sensitive soul should be VERY concerned about others' feelings. A child who is too sensitive to have the same snack the others eat and is not used to being held accountable for his actions is simply a brat.
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From:kalquessa
Date:July 4th, 2009 05:09 pm (UTC)
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Amanda Witt has a lovely post on the subject here. It makes me happy to be having a baby boy.
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From:arhyalon
Date:July 4th, 2009 05:25 pm (UTC)
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That was an excellent post!

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