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June 9th, 2014 05:51 PM #1
Parenting boys - How do you try and avoid gender bias?
So I just read this article about a little girl who likes dressing like boys and being called "Sam" (her name is Samantha), and all I could think was, "well, that's great, society is pretty darn accepting of that at this point". What with the perfluence of more masculine names on girls, and a recent emphasis on toys for girls that aren't pink and princess (Goldie Blox, etc.), I can't help but feeling totally left out of the "girl power" discussion now that we found out we're having a boy.
I'd like to raise my son with the same values on equality, but there seems to be a heck of a lot of gender bias in boys' clothes and toys (I almost cried when I was at Target the other day, because 80% of the clothes were "girl" clothes")! Has anyone else struggled with this? How did you approach it?
BTW I do sew and knit to a beginning degree, but dang I don't have time to hand make all my kids' clothes!Baby boy due October 2014! Current tentative name:
June 9th, 2014 07:06 PM #3
Watch (or read) Raising Cain: Protecting the Emotional Life of Boys. There is plenty of nurturing and discussion (re: emotions and feelings) and empowerment that needs to be cultivated with boys, too.
On the clothing issue, I definitely feel for you. There are sooo many cute things for girls and not nearly as many for boys. My boys (even the baby!) pretty much live in gym shorts and tee shirts, so even if I buy my older boys something dressy/nice/stylish/special I have to lobby hard to get them to wear it. So I've started looking at it as a perk: less time needed to shop for them, more time for doing other fun activities. Also, I overcompensate for it in the shoe department--they're really picky about the shoes they're willing to wear, and we could spend a lot of time looking for the perfect pair if we really wanted to. Toddler boy shoes can be really cute, like the ones at the Vans store at the mall. Make sure you indulge in those, before they're old enough to have a strong opinion!Mom to James Daniel (9), William Joseph (8), Elise Marie (7), and Zachary Allan (baby)
Serena (Seri), Amy, Diana, Kate, Adele, Georgia, Audrey, Lucy, Linnea, Clara
Thomas, Henry, Orin, Arthur, Samuel
DH's "approved" list:
Seri, Amy, Diana, Lucy, Kate/Katie/Katherine, Audrey
Thomas, Martin ("maybe")
June 9th, 2014 07:38 PM #5
I'm really glad you asked this, moonkai! I feel the same way, and trust me... I was ready to flip displays over when I was at Target as well. You're not alone!
@mill1020 I will have to check out that book!- Em
Jameson Lewis debuting October 2nd!
Charles Ronan | Asher Heath
Lorelei Ruby | Hazel Marian | Nadia Laurel
June 9th, 2014 09:04 PM #7Senior Member
- Join Date
- Jan 2011
I have a 2 1/2 year old son. There are way more girl clothes than boy clothes, it is true. BUT the boy clothes are much sturdier, in my opinion. Some of my friends with little girls actually buy boy jeans b.c they say that the girl jeans are so flimsy and also cut so they fit much tighter and don't allow for much range of motion.
I have actually bought very little, b.c we got a lot of hand me downs. But there are cute boy clothes, depending on your aesthetic. They are a little harder to find, but if you decide what look you are going for, there is way more cute stuff for boys than there ever has been before.
I would say that if you want to sew or knit for little babies/kids, go for the big impact pieces. Make the high holiday clothes, take a million photos, then fold them carefully away to pass on to your grandchildren. If you knit, sweater vests for little boys are a great piece.
I am positive that we have passed on gendering messages to our son, I don't think there is any way to avoid that. But he plays with dolls as well as trucks, he loves pink and tends to select the pink option if there is a choice. He likes to pretend to cook and he likes to play with his excavator. He plays with boys and girls equally well, I don't think kids get all gender police till they are a little older. We talk about feelings and emotions a lot.
To me, the most important thing is having good role models for your son. If you have that in your partner, that is awesome, if not, find that someplace. My husband is really excellent at talking about his feelings and other stuff men are not "supposed" to be good at. So I feel good about that.
Of course, all of this stuff gets so much more complicated the older they get!
June 9th, 2014 11:24 PM #9Senior Member
- Join Date
- Aug 2013
Totally feel you with moarning all the cute girl clothes and the little selection for boys. It sucks
One perk is this. We are saving all of our little guys clothes. If we have anther boy, perfect. If not, I plan on buying her a few cute girly things, but she can wear most of Jems clothes, and I'll just add a bow in her hair!
Here is an article i enjoyed when we found out we were having a boy!
Like it says, Most boys have a strangely innate tendancy towards 'boy' things, no matter how hard you try and be open minded and make them open minded. This is a generalization of course. Some boys love baby dolls, dress up and play kitchens! And I plan to stock up on all these things!