Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Kids: Gender Confusion Or Normal Development?

Did anyone see this?

Apparently in a J Crew ad recently, a mom and her young son were shown enjoying a sweet moment, but look closer and you'll see the little boy is sporting neon pink polish on his toenails.

And I guess last year, some people took issue with Brangolina's daughter dressing like a boy. 'Concerned citizens' lit up the chat loops/facebook/twitter with outrage, 'positive' this was going to create 'gender confusion' and how kids would be subject to future ridicule.

SO WHAT? I have proof this does NOT affect 'how they see themselves' least for my son, anyway!

My oldest son, at age 3, insisted his favorite color was pink. He had a pink toy box, and used to 'help' me with my skin cleansing routine. He was also fascinated when I shaved my legs; I would spread a little shaving cream on my feet or toes, and let him 'shave' them with a Q-tip.

A year later, he'd become 'all boy'. Everything had to be blue; he loved construction equipment and balls, and was interested in learning how things 'worked'. Today, he's a very well adjusted college student who's joined a fraternity and is still wanting to work for NASA or in the aviation industry.

My daughter, on the other hand...
-'stole' her brother's clothes and toys as soon as she was old enough; I can still see her wearing K's new gray hoodie over her pink outfit as she walked into Grandma's house, ball cap on her head!

-Favorite color was black, because 'it's Grandpa's favorite color!'

-Shunned any attempt on my part to braid her hair, or even wear ponytails. The one picture I have of her with two pigtails, she's also sporting a very unhappy expression!

-She loved going out into the woods to play on the playset with camping/hunting gear. Her best friend, on the other hand, packed her bag with dolls and stuffed animals. S, on the other hand, had the following in her backpack:
-toy walkie-talkie
-'binoculars' (View Master)
-First Aid kit
-toy knife
-fishing pole
-rolled up blanket
-Mess kit
-her favorite bear

Now, she's a fairly normal teenager, with her first boyfriend, and still has a no-nonsense attitude. She still says her favorite color is black, and refuses to wear dresses, but when she was eight, she picked out an Easter dress only because her best friend had attended church with us, and one of her brother's friends suddenly was very taken with N, and commented on how pretty she looked. "How come you never wear anything like that, S?"


Leave the kids alone; let them explore a little! Only worry when it starts to affect their interaction at school.


Amber Skyze said...

I agree with this...I'm not sure about putting nail polish on my son, but that's my opinion. :)
Growing up my son and daughter played with the others toys all the time. They're well adjusted adults who aren't confused about their genders.

Stephanie said...

Te other day my 3 year old son, after my telling him we needed to cut his hair, said he wanted his hair like his sister's (which is long, just past her shoulders). I told him no, but not because I think it's a "girls' hairdo, but because he is too active to deal with long hair. I have one kid in constant tangles..that's enough for me!! LOL!!

But my daughter plays with trucks and when she was 4, insisted she was Lightning McQueen. My son plays with dolls sometimes and loves Dora the Explorer. Kids are kids and they know who they are and what they like.

Molly Daniels said...

That is sooooo right Stephanie:) My youngest was bored by one of his playmates insisting on watching I Carly...but now he tunes in whenever she's over.

But with his best friend, they go out and dig in the dirt, play basketball, or leggos.

And I gave up on my daughter's hair...but now at 16, she dyes it black and wears it in a ponytail, b/c her boyfriend likes it.

And instead of being a vet, she's now decided to go into psychology.

barbara huffert said...

Absolutely! "Concerned citizens" should stick to worrying about their own lives and leave the rest of us alone. Let kids be who they are and stop making them think there's something wrong with them. Growing up is hard enough without people you don't know trying to force you into being something you're not.