Boys and girls should have equal opportunity to play with whatever they are interested in, regardless of whether those things are usually only for boys or usually only for girls. Here are three ways to do that.
- Be sure to give your children opportunities to be interested in all things. For example, boys in dolls or interior design and girls in trucks or sports. One mom made sure her daughter had all these opportunities – trucks, diggers, dinos, ballet, mermaids, and princesses. When her daughter was asked to draw a picture of what she wanted to do when she was older, she drew a picture of a ballerina paleontologist (scientist studying old bones) – quite a fashion statement at a dino dig – tutu and all.
- If your little girl (or boy) is involved in play that is not typical for girls (or boys), try to prevent others from making fun of her (or him). Let friends and relatives know that this is OK with you. Let them know you notice how much fun she (or he) is having right now with those toys. Mention that you expect to see completely different interests develop any time now. Tell them you have seen children switch from trucks to princess dolls or sewing to football overnight.
- Don’t be afraid to play football with your daughter or cook with your son. Show your OK with whatever he or she likes to play by asking to play right along with her (or him).