Looking after boys and girls
Posted by iChild, March 28, 2018 4:18 PM
I strongly believe that toys should be gender neutral. Why should girls be expected to only play with pink, girly toys and boys only rugged, tough toys?
When I was working as a registered childminder I would put out a selection of toys aimed at both sexes in my playroom every day.
I discovered that the girls who didn’t have a brother at home would often veer towards the cars and garage. Similarly boys who didn’t have a sister (so no toys aimed at girls at home) would head for the play kitchen and dolls.
My own middle son had a doll and doll's buggy as a favourite toy. And dads take their children out for walks in a pushchair, don’t they?
I once heard about a father who, when he saw his son playing with the kitchen at his childminder's house, told her that this wasn’t to happen again. She correctly pointed out that most of the top chefs are male. He still wasn’t happy, so the minder polity said that perhaps he should look for alternative care for his son.because she wasn’t going to dictate what he could and couldn’t play with.
I looked after a little boy who liked to dress up in a pink tutu from my dressing up box. I could see no harm in this, he was only playing. Would a girl choosing to dress up in a fireman's costume be frowned upon in the same way? In fact, I think that this boy used to put on the tutu to annoy a little girl because he got to it before she arrived!
I liked to read the children books that challenge gender stereotyping. One of my favourites was Amazing Grace by Mary Hoffman, and more recently I have discovered and reviewed Pilot Jane and the Runaway Plane written by Caroline Baxter.
I also had posters displayed on my playroom wall of both men and women in different professions, such as a female firefighter and a male nurse. I like to think this had a positive influence on the children I was caring for. Only time will tell, I suppose.