So before we start, I'm talking about heterogeny in children... mixed genders. I hate how we all (myself included) get all offended by points prior to investigation.
The other day I realized I was SICK, absolutely sick of pink, purple & turquoise. And I realized that OMG all my girls play with 24/7 are gender-stratifying female icons of awesome mothering and domestication. (I do own all the Doc McStuffins stuff because my tomboy wants to be a doctor.)
So then I asked myself, am I guiding them into their choices? I mean... that is what good parents do these days, we question ourselves and our choices. So I thought about it and the answer is no. When I gave them the choice between AWESOME trucks and dinosaurs they chose a froo-froo frilly dolly with a unicorn or a baby included. WTF! So I thought because I am awesome, I let them pick their toys.
I am a tomboy still. Almost borderline masculine. So I have a strong aversion to dolls and teacups and would rather play with a ball or a racetrack, needless-to-say playtime is boring for me.
What did I do? Today I decided to choose for my kids. My sister has a mixed gender home so all of the kids are exposed to stereotypically gender specific toys and everyone plays with everything. They are "just toys" (especially when my sister steps on one). I however was inundated with estrogen promoting toys that have one side of the human spectrum. We all know that play is a way of socializing kids and allowing them to imagine themselves or others in roles. I think that it is really important that humans grow up seeing the bigger picture. Life is a spectrum of options, choices and lifestyles, and the world that my kids acquire will more apparently display this.
Today I bought 4 farm animals and 2 dinosaurs to supplement the other "boy toys" I have been sneaking into the toy box... much to one child's dismay (who broke out in tears that I did not purchase another Dora or Barbie doll). That same child then chose the dinosaurs to eat soup with them and their dolls during 30 minute imaginative play. So... I'm winning.
I highly challenge homes that are one gender to branch out. I'm not telling people what to buy, but I am saying that a few items from the "other side" encorage a broadened scope and fully developed person.
I'm a former teacher and former college athlete, currently working in edtech. My mission is to get parents to partner with their child's teacher.