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Do you enforce gender roles?

Do you let your son play with dolls and kitchen sets? Do you let your daughter play with action figures and trucks? Would you buy dolls, kitchen sets or play cleaning stuff for your boy? Would you buy cars and trucks for your daughter? If your son wanted to take dance classes, would you let him? If your daughter wanted to be on the wrestling team, would you let her?
Why do you or don't you enforce gender roles?

Answer Question

Asked by legalmommy101 at 4:28 PM on Feb. 13, 2010 in General Parenting

Level 7 (169 Credits)
Answers (22)
  • Never enforced any kind of role, they played with what interest them and my son from an early age had an interest in cooking, someday he will make one lucky lady a great husband.

    Answer by older at 4:31 PM on Feb. 13, 2010

  • i let my dd choose which toys she wants to play with and when we pick out pj's she picks which one she likes. recently she picked the "cars" pj's over biggie.but she loves her nails painted and dolls too. i let her choose and it will always be this way. her choices.

    Answer by mywonderyears at 4:37 PM on Feb. 13, 2010

  • No I don't. I let my kids be who they want to be. My boys have some dolls around and they also have a kitchen and other "girl" toys. I don't think it is bad to teach them to care for others.
    My sister always said that she would raise her kids to be androgynous, but somehow it backfired, because her kids are the epitome of manly boys and girly girls. I think their father had a lot to do with that though. He is very concerned about gender rolls and about had apoplexy when I bought MY son a doll. His boys weren't allowed to even have GI Joes, because they were dolls.

    Answer by SleepingBeautee at 4:43 PM on Feb. 13, 2010

  • I don't enforce gender roles and encourage them exploring out of the box -- my son takes gymnastics and I'd be thrilled if he wanted to do dance (I don't see it as effiminate as my recently pointed out in the past male ballet dancer were known womanizers).
    I don't push it either - I offer choices and just go with what they want -- my dd is a ballet obssesed karate taking princess one day taking karate and soccer the next.

    What actually bothers me is that its much more okay for girls to "cross" the lines than boys which is why I made sure to offer dance as a choice (he wants hip hop) and to tell my auties to hush when he had a doll as a toddler (it was his baby like dd was my baby) -- and he LOVES to play cooking with dd or on his own. -- after all many of the top chefs are men.

    Answer by MamiJaAyla at 4:46 PM on Feb. 13, 2010

  • My boys have never played with dolls but they do know how to cook and clean. I don't believe cooking and cleaning are strictly women's roles. When we got married, I couldn't cook at all. My husband was the one who knew how to cook, clean, wash clothes, iron,etc. Boys need to learn how to do that stuff so their wives don't have to wait on them hand and foot. My boys don't like pink "girly" things, princess, Barbie, etc. They do like stuffed animals however, and have a whole zoo of them.

    Answer by Bethsunshine at 4:48 PM on Feb. 13, 2010

  • My dd loved to play with trucks & GI Joe as much as she did her horses & babies (she has never liked barbie or the princesses). She's a tomboy, and every once in a while likes to get dressed up. Her favorite colors are green & blue. lol

    ds likes to play dress up with his sister, and frequently plays with her babies- his favorite color is pink. he is who he is.

    my 2nd ds is a trip, and until I cut his hair, he liked it pulled up and tole me how pretty he was... they do as they wish.

    I could buy stock in matchbox cars, and art supplies- those are all of my little ones favorite toys.

    Answer by ObbyDobbie at 4:56 PM on Feb. 13, 2010

  • my son plays with dolls, has a shopping cart, and scrubs the kitchen floor at will. This isn't a gender role, this is a child who is copying what he sees his parents are doing. He plays with dolls because he wants to be a daddy just like his daddy. His daddy goes shopping ang and his daddy does house work. This isn't girl stuff to him. it's just stuff.

    Answer by You_Are_Invited at 5:19 PM on Feb. 13, 2010

  • My kids play with whatever they want as long as it won't hurt or kill them.

    Answer by NightPhoenix at 5:39 PM on Feb. 13, 2010

  • Well in a sense I suppose I do. I have two boys and a lot of our toys are what you would consider stereotypical boys toys - trucks, cars, tools, train set etc. Even a lot of our books are about trucks, vehicles etc. Heck, their clothes are "boys" clothes. They do have a kitchen set and they have lots of gender neutral things like puppets, blocks, puzzels, but no "girl" toys. So yes in a way I enforce gender roles because I don't buy them the stereotypical girl toys.

    I would never discourage them from playing with anything if we are at someone else's house or play group or something. They can play with whatever they want to, although they do tend to gravitate towards the "boys" toys. Maybe that's because of what they've been exposed to.

    I probably would not put my son in ballet on my own, but if he asked sure. I think it is hard not to reinforce gender roles, but I wouldn't say no to anything my sons wanted to do.

    Answer by EmilyandIsaac at 6:13 PM on Feb. 13, 2010

  • I should also add that my kids love to cook with me and love to help with household chores, but they also like going outside with their dad and shovelling the snow, doing yard work etc. I kind of consider all those things to be gender neutral, but I know historically cooking and cleaning are "girl" jobs and outside work is a "boy's" job. My kids get exposure to both.

    My kids love dancing too. Dancing and gymnastics are things I consider to be gender neutral too, but again I guess typically they are not regarded that way. There are all kinds of examples of males dancing on TV so I don't see it as a girl or boy thing.

    Answer by EmilyandIsaac at 6:19 PM on Feb. 13, 2010

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