I hate having to tell people , "If you're not going to bother reading the article please don't comment," but, I found this random article to be pretty spot on with how we raise our kids and it inspired me to write about it. It always seems to me that many of the people on my Facebook read the title of a post and comment without ever having so much as clicked on the links. Just like online posts, people are so quick to judge how other people raise their children and we're not immune to judgement; especially when it's insane. All of them have been allowed to play with any toy they want. There have been times when my boys have owned Easy Bake Ovens and played with dolls. My daughter had a Darth Vader birthday party and owned a Wookie water gun for years. But, they have always gravitated towards the things that are inherently seen as male and female because they are male and female. I'm not going to force my kids to go out and prove they can perform tasks that show manliness any more than I would demand they don tiaras and practice being a princess. Why make their lives about my political beliefs? I'm a parent first, not an activist.
As each of my children grow up they will express their own likes and dislikes. Sometimes, I feel like my job is to show them the ropes as a female because that is what I am and my husband's job is similar to task only masculine in nature. If they chose to be something else in life, I'll still love them. But, I can't show them the ropes of a life I don't lead. I can't pretend that I'm a cat to make sure my pet feels less shame for not being a human either. But, that doesn't mean I would ever force any of my children to be little clones of either of us. A sign is just a sign. A toy is just a toy. It's your motivation and intent that counts. Even in court it's the difference between guilty and innocent. Intent is everything. Let them be little is what I say. Why make every other playtime about your own selfish political agenda? This lecture reaches out to both sides of the fence because I've seen parents rob their kids of playtime choices in both scenario. Shame on you parents refusing to allow your children to play with dolls! How else will they learn to be good parents. Shame on you adults that rob your daughters OR daughters of Tonka trucks just because of your opinion on social normatives. A doll isn't what will make your son turn gay. Your daughter will choose on her own if she wants to be a mom and there's no shame in choosing to be one. Quit turning childhood into hipster ideal and just let them pick their own toys and quit messing up their little heads with your nonsense. They shouldn't have to fight for their right to party, ( yet!)
As of now, our kids aren't taught to hate others. What goes on in the bedrooms of adults across the globe need not concern them and they are happier for it. They get to play with pretty much anything they want (safety rules applicable) and I don't have to worry about politicizing their childhood (too much.)
Oddly enough, what I have had a problem with isn't the LGBTQ (did I miss a letter?) community. It's often times the more "right-wing" types that give me the hardest time in raising my kids. I honestly have had someone insist that if my son plays with a black childrens oven he's "being turned gay." I have watched my boys have their dolls ripped out of their arms by their well-meaning uncles in efforts to protect my kids from being turned into "sissies." The final straw was hearing my daughter had been told she was ugly and would never find a man because watching anime was for boys!
It's sad because I am the one that put these wonders of life into my children's hands. In turn, these attacks only serve to hurt my relationship with my children because they get confused. My sons went from telling me that they wanted to be daddies and were playing as such with their dolls to telling me dolls are for girls. It's almost like the only way to prove masculinity (as if you could) is to get violent, rude and run around playing with toy guns. Which, while I'll admit they have played with their share of toy guns, their choices shouldn't be limited to the "boy section" of the toy store. I get fed up knowing that if my daughters wanted to play with a ball and bat, they'd be fine, but, if my son grabs a wand and crown it's something to be shamed. It's called pretending for a reason folks.
Recently, the latest person in our lives to cause such painful drama has since "run away" after being held accountable for their toxicity. Since locking the door behind the person spewing such caustic propaganda, by children have certainly seen calmer days. They can play with their toys without having to answer inquisitions about "why" they chose this or that. They can live their lives and I don't have to explain someone else's hate to them while trying to soothe their tears. It's pretty swell being able to watch whatever we want on tv, too! Sometimes, I feel sad for having to tell people, "A toy is just a toy" and for wanting to scream, "LET THE CHILDREN PLAY!" I shouldn't have to teach adults how to let children be little.