How Gender-specific toys can badly impact your kids

gender specific toys are bad for kids- Parenting resources by ZenParent

As a society, women have been bridging the gap between the genders by embracing every profession that was previously considered a man’s turf and men are supporting them too. The only area which is actually regressing is gender-targeting among babies. Pink for girls and blue for boys. Dolls for girls and trucks for boys. Sounds stereotypical, doesn’t it? Here’s what’s really happening and what you should be doing to prevent it –

1. Dolls vs trucks – If your girl or boy naturally levitate towards dolls or trucks respectively, that’s okay. But typically, a child’s gender identity starts showing around the age of 2. And the choices you’ve made up until them will certainly influence them. Avoid hyper-masculine or hyper-feminine toys unless they love it. You don’t want your child to not have the developmental benefits of playing with opposite gender toys – nurturing from a mommy-baby set or engineering from Legos, for instance.

2. Communicate! Even if your child has self-stereotypes, you want to point out that dinosaurs are fun or that cooking and baking can be something fun to do with you, etc.

no gender bias toys for kids- Parenting resources by ZenParent

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3. Include gender neutral toys. These include Play Doh, Legos (don’t choose the gender stereotypical Legos), puzzles, and musical instruments. These provide a range of activities for them and developmental benefits from each of them.

4. Limit exposure to gender-targeted media. If an advertisement shows girls play with dolls and only dolls, you can for instance say, Isn’t it also fun building stuff with blocks?

5. Mind your words. Ingrained conditioning preexists in each of us. And it’s so ingrained that we don’t realize it even when we’re saying it. Other than the don’t cry like a girl which is more obvious, we naturally praise a young girl for looking “pretty” or “cute”. This gives her the impression that her appearance is what matters and she naturally strives harder to look better. Similarly, we tell boys, you can do it, you’re a strong boy. While neither example is bad by itself, it can be damaging if used only to specific genders.

Click here to know what all you should never tell your son.

Find out here what all a daughter should never be told.

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