The Adventure Starts Here: It's The Little Things | "Boys Can't Like Pink"

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

It's The Little Things | "Boys Can't Like Pink"

I'm not usually one to post about deep topics.  I usually stick to lighter topics, like weekend recaps, toddler crafts, and the fun things that Noah and I do during the week.  However, today I wanted to spend a little time discussing something that's been weighing on my mind recently.

I imagine that if I was a "girl mom" that there would be many things I'd worry about as a woman raising a daughter.  I would want her to grow up to be a strong a confidant person who never felt limited because of gender.  I've read a few posts that touch just on these issues (Raising a Confident Daughter and Raising a Strong Girl).  While I don't have the exact same concerns when raising Noah, I still don't want him to ever feel confined by his gender.  Just as I would never want a girl to feel they couldn't do something because they were a girl, I wouldn't want Noah to feel like he can't do something just because he's a boy.

I feel like boys are expected to be rough and tough and like "manly" things.  When I think of toys and activities that are marketed towards girls and that are taboo for boys to play with, it makes me sad.  I feel like girls can play with any toy of any color, but if a boy starts playing with a baby doll or a pink stroller, it's not okay because it's considered a "girl toy".  I know it was different years ago, but I don't think many would blink an eye if a girl wanted to play with a tool set or was into trains (in fact they now market them for girls and make them pink and purple!).  Even a doll house, they've had to make garages for their cars so that boys can have their own version that's not a "girly house".  Girls are now heavily involved in sports at a young age, but sign a boy up for dance class and I bet you'll get some funny looks.  You even have to worry about favorite colors as a boy!  Pink and purple are considered girl colors, but I don't think there are any "boy only" colors anymore.

I would love to say that I'm going to be the mom that is going to let her son be into anything he wants.  Whether that's choosing a pink backpack for school or signing up for ballet class.  In theory, I have no problem with any of that.  But in reality, I don't know what I would do if Noah asked for the "girl" backpack and lunchbox for kindergarten.  Would I let him have it and risk him being made fun of or left out or would I try to convince him to pick a more "boyish" color and theme?  There are certain things I already know I won't do, like pushing Noah into sports just because it's "what boys do".  But as for the little things, I'm still not sure.  It's like those lists of things we thought we'd never do as a parent, like let our kids sleep in our bed or give in at the grocery store when our child is having a major meltdown.  I try to avoid saying "I'd never do that with my kid" until I'm actually in that situation myself.  Being a parent is hard!

I know that I should be teaching my son to be strong and not care what others think, but I don't know if I could take the tears if he ended up being bullied.  Sometimes I wonder if it would be better to teach him to fly under the radar and focus on teaching him not to be the bully.  But then I wonder if that is the easy way out but not necessarily the "right" way.   I think as parents, we feel that every new stage is the "hardest".  I know when I brought Noah home as a newborn I thought the lack of sleep and adjusting to our new life and schedule was tough.  Then as he grew older, figuring out how we wanted to raise Noah, teach him how to behave, and set limits was not easy either (and we are still learning every day!).  But honestly, I think that once Noah gets to the age where he has to go out into the world (even just preschool and kindergarten), without the constant protection of his parents, will be the hardest.  Right now he's free to be who he wants to be without any judgment or ridicule.  That won't always be the case.  I'm just glad I have time to decide how to be the best parent (and make many mistakes along the way) to help Noah be the best kid he can be!

That's why I'm so glad that we have it "easy" for the time being.  I love that Noah loves to bake with me and play in his toy kitchen.  I love that he likes to copy me in everything I do, like trying on my necklaces!  I love that he's super into babies (real and toy) and is super kind and sensitive to others.  I love that he's really artistic and loves to paint and do crafts with me.  I love that he is super particular as to what graphic tee he will wear each morning.  I love that he likes to play quietly and do puzzle after puzzle.  That doesn't mean that I don't also love that he loves trains, play-doh, legos, diggers, and throwing balls!

Maybe one day we can live in a world where it doesn't matter what a boy or girl plays with or what their favorite color is.  Maybe one day we can send our kids out into the world and not worry that they will be bullied or made fun of.  Wouldn't that be nice?

Make sure to stop by Jess' blog for the link up!  


  1. I hear ya!! My youngest was given a bright pink 'Peppa Pig' backpack for Christmas last year, and he just loves it, but I know that I'll hesitate sending him off to kindy with it, because I don't want to see him teased or bullied about having or being something 'different'! Both of my boys love trucks/trains/diggers/mud...they also love baking, baby dolls, dress up's and fairies (my oldest is my go-to date to watch Tinkerbell movies because he loves them so much!) I hope they continue to be well rounded and that I can learn to just support them in that rather than be fearful about it, but your so right, it's going to be a hard stage! (For the record, I ended up buying my youngest a dinosaur back pack (which he also loves) so he can pick and choose which he wants to use...still not sure if that was the best idea or not!lol)

  2. This reminded me of this post >
    It is easy to be open to all the things at home...girl boy whichever, but you really don't want it to be something that causes your kid to get bullied when they go out in the world either. Other kids sure are great at breaking spirit. I think in general it is hard to teach a kid that it is okay to be different and okay to be who you are. I've been semi dreading high school because of this. Good post!

  3. I really like this post. It's a tough subject because like you said, you don't want to limit them, but at the same time, you don't want them to get picked on. Where is the line? Unfortunately, I don't have any answers.

  4. Great post! We have definitely had this discussion about our boys. Did you see my posts in the past about Bennett and the baby doll? I can email them to you if you missed them. He looooves my baby from when I was a kid and we embrace it. Wells also loves playing in our play kitchen (they all have and we have a great gender neutral one from KidsCraft)- I went to buy him some new food from target recently and I could only find it in pink in the girls' section. How is food not gender-neutral?? It is definitely a tough balance but you are doing a great job!

  5. YES! Love this post, I actually have a similar post in my drafts. I love that you let Noah have a baby doll, how sweet :) I love your perspective on all of this too.

    Scarlett isn't a typical little girl, she loves trucks, race cars, rocks and dirt. She does have a baby doll but she is not at all into princesses or disney stuff right now and I'm OK with it. When we go to the toy store she always picks out a little dinky car and we don't even walk down the girl aisles and although it kind of breaks my heart because these are the things I was into, I want her to become the person she's supposed to be, without my influence.

  6. Beautifully written! We definitely don't follow gender norms in our household in regards to Liam. And in fact, I'm pretty sure his favorite color right now is purple!

  7. I totally agree! I actually posted a couple weeks (months?) ago about Mason playing with a stroller at my mother in law's house. It is a pink stroller meant for baby dolls. But how does Mason use it? Like a shopping cart lol. I think it's great that boys play with girl toys and girls play with boy toys and they put their own spin on them! I hate that things are labeled as one gender or another. Nobody makes fun of a grown man holding and playing with his son so why should they make fun of him playing with a doll? Its the same thing. Just many years difference.

  8. I love this. We were actually at the store today with my mom and she was letting Palmer pick out a ball. Palmer had one picked out and my mom said "that one is boy colours." What are "boy colours?" I said, Palmer pick that one if you want. That is a nice ball, and so she did. Who cares what colour it is. Seriously. My husband wears pink underwear. Who cares! There should be no judgement about what are boy things and what are girl things!

    Thanks for linking up with the Saturday Spotlight!


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