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Old 10-29-2011, 06:07 AM   #31
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Before DD was born, I thought I would be "gender neutral.". By that, I mean dress her in non-gender-specific clothes (lots of green, yellow, and orange) and give her non-gendered toys (simple wooden shapes, various stuffed animals, primary color stackers/balls/rattles). What we've ended up doing is migrating to a non-gender-preference type of approach. She has a real variety of clothes: some brown puppy outfits, some pink butterfly outfits, mostly brightly colored separates and abstract print accessories. I don't refuse pink because the last message I want to give her is "pink is stereotypically girly, so you can't wear it." I think it would be too easy to misinterpret that to mean "girly things are bad" instead of "pigeon-holing is bad."

My DH does add "or girlfriend" everytime someone makes a future boyfriend comment. And it doesn't hurt that DH and I are a little gender-queer on a handful of things (he's much more likely to cry at a movie and is the only dishwasher in the house - I'm the only one who knows how to change a tire or the oil in the car). The only thing we are adamant about are the Disney princesses, Bratz dolls, etc. I refuse to let her watch that stuff or play with those toys until she can understand the message they are sending and is able to make the decision to accept or reject it. I love my kid, but I doubt her critical thinking skills will be ready for that at 3 or 4.

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Old 10-29-2011, 08:53 AM   #32
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Re: non-gender programming

Meh. I thought I'd be doing this with my firstborn-until he showed me in no uncertain terms at the ageof 7.5 months that things with WHEELS were "da bomb" as far as he was concerned. Since then it's been trains, legos, and cars for him. Gave him stuffed toys and he could have cared less about them. Gave him sports stuff-again, not interested. The Little People toys are awesome, but he tosses the actual people aside in favor of the cars and trucks. He's my engineer/scientist/bookworm and nothing I do is going to change that.

DD ust got hand me downs from her older brother because it's what we had already. She was much more interested in the stuffed animals (still not so much into dolls) and the trains (because they had faces). She plays with the Little People people. She LOVES girly girl stuff-the more ruffles the better. It's just what SHE is drawn to and I don't push her towards or away from it.

DS2 loves sports stuff (throwing balls), crashing cars, and running into walls. He does NOT like frills, but prefers bright colors and busy patterns. And he loves stuffed animals.

FWIW, the kitchen is THE go to toy in the nursery for toddlers at my church and always has been. For them it's ALL about the opening and closing, putting objects in the cupboard/oven, etc. Everyone likes to eat and pretend to make food. There is NOTHING gender specific about a kitchen IMO.
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Old 10-30-2011, 03:22 PM   #33
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I think it's really interesting abut the kitchen stuff being for girls since so many of the top chefs in the world are men. They all had to start somewhere, right?
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Old 11-19-2011, 04:52 AM   #34
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Re: non-gender programming

Quote:
Originally Posted by elizabeth.scalf View Post
My DD has Diego 'boy panties' (what do boys call their underwear?) because they didn't make girl Diego panties.
Underwear.

Anyway, we took a non gender preferenced approach as well (our toy room had books, musical instruments, gears, a cobbler bench, an abacus, dress up stuff, tools, cars, baby dolls and all their gear, a shopping cart with food, play kitchen, play wash machine, little people, blocks, etc. I'd do it that way all over again, but I have to say, there's something ingrained on that Y chromosome that you just.can't.nurture.out. We don't do weapons here, for example, yet my 3yo created a semi automatic cheese stick the other day. They just naturally are drawn more toward the cars and trains... HOWEVER they will also be seen in the play kitchen making 'soup' for me, wearing my shoes and wanting makeup and jewelry if I put it on, etc.

What's more important to me is that they SEE and witness females and males in non-traditional roles. They're just as likely to see me using a screwdriver and drill and DH running the vacuum as they are to see it the other way around. We come from a long line of strong women and supportive men and I want my boys to be raised to appreciate that.

I also seek the "prettier" clothes, if they are ambiguous that's great, but I tend not to buy the pink ruffled stuff simply because I don't like it. I do enjoy the bugs/trucks/dinos/etc only because that's actually what my kids like (of THEIR choosing). The only thing I actively avoid is stuff with sports all over it, or sports items on it, because both genders can do sports, and because I don't want my little boys growing up thinking they're expected to do sports.

ETA: It kills me when my SIL and BIL say my niece can't come play here because we don't have any "girl toys". That poor thing. They've been programming her to be a princess/housewife from day one.... and if you look at my list of toys there's not one item I wouldn't let a girl play with. Her toys include dolls, disney princess, and her play kitchen. That's IT.
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Old 11-21-2011, 08:04 PM   #35
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Re: non-gender programming

My son's favorite colors are yellow, green, and pink ;-). He loves his trucks, trains, and tractors but also loves wearing my clothes and shoes, and he asks me to put pony tails in his hair. A favorite joke is for him to call himself a pretty girl, and me a handsome boy.

He definitely farts like a guy, though .

I admit that, once I realized how much this annoyed members of DH's family, I'd bring it up more often. An aunt once gave me such a hard time because I let him play with Grandma's old jewelry with the girls. She actually told him he couldn't play because he was a boy, and then glared at me when I said "Why, of course you can play with those necklaces. They look great on you!"

Nothing I say or do is going to change who my son is. And no matter what he is I will love him dearly.

...and especially if he ends up being straight, I am going to have the motherload of embarrassing photos to threaten to show his girl friends if he doesn't behave himself as a teenager
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Old 11-22-2011, 05:55 AM   #36
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Re: non-gender programming

Athene, I say that about play kitchens and cooking all the time- More than half the famous chefs on TV are men! My husband does all the cooking at our house, and loves to shop for food and try new recipes. I sent out our amazon wishlist to our family, and someone commented to me, "why do you need cookbooks, if you don't cook?" Right. I could care less about a cookbook...They are for DH!!!!

I was thinking about the "embarrassing photos" comment, Swismiself, and I think part of non-gender programming is remembering that pictures of a boy wearing dress-up clothes is NOT embarrassing. Boys snuggling a baby, trying out nail polish, or wearing a flower on their shirt is NOT embarrassing! It's just a boy exploring, learning, and being a kid.

My Grandma has a picture of my dad with his hair in a bunch of little flower clips. He had really curly hair, and always wanted it in clips like his sister when he was 5 or 6. My grandma shares the pic not to embarrass my Dad, but just to show how gorgeous his curly hair was, and how cute he was at that age. In turn, my Dad isn't embarrassed by it at all. He thinks it was adorable, and loves that his Mom was so accomodating.
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Old 11-22-2011, 01:08 PM   #37
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I was referring to the picture of my son walking around in my high heels...and nothing else. It would be just as embarrassing for a girl, I think ;-).

My son went through an anti-clothes phase...
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Old 11-22-2011, 01:29 PM   #38
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Re: non-gender programming

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Originally Posted by swismiself View Post
I was referring to the picture of my son walking around in my high heels...and nothing else. It would be just as embarrassing for a girl, I think ;-).

My son went through an anti-clothes phase...
LOL-I lOVE when they go clomping around in adult heels- piceless! And, yeah, my DD is nekked practically all day right now. Great fun when PT and OT come in for my son 4x/week!
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Old 11-22-2011, 07:42 PM   #39
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Re: non-gender programming

New to the thread, but this issue is something I've been grappling with since DD hit a super-girly-girl stage (refusing to wear anything but dresses and developing a fascination for princesses). Has anybody read Cinderella Ate my Daughter? The author discusses one study where boys aged 5 to 13 were ushered into a play room and told they could play with anything there, and half of them played with "girl" toys as often as they did with "boy" toys, but ONLY if they believed nobody would find out, especially their fathers. Boys as young as 4 said their daddies would think it was "bad" if they played with "girls'" toys, which included miniature dishes.

I thought that was really sad.
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Old 11-23-2011, 07:49 AM   #40
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Quote:
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LOL-I lOVE when they go clomping around in adult heels- piceless! And, yeah, my DD is nekked practically all day right now. Great fun when PT and OT come in for my son 4x/week!
Nice!
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