Why Kids Need Gender Neutral Toys
Parents shouldn’t put labels on their children anymore whether they are boys or girls.
All parents love to dress girls in pink and boys in blue, however; the world has changed and kids should dress in gender-neutral colors as well. Children are being raised differently now and parents have to change their thought patterns when it comes to raising their children. This also goes for children being exposed to gender-neutral toys, so they can learn to play with both boys and girls and they can enjoy each other’s interests. Both sexes can learn from playing with toys made for both boys and girls. These toys can be balls, games, superheroes, beach toys, sandboxes, swimming pools, etc.
Children should still be able to decide what they want to play with as far as toys are concerned.
Children also need a wide variety of toys to play with to help them develop different motor skills. Marketing is also important and parents can put the reins on the form of the way their children play by following the marketing trend.
Playtime is critical to how kids learn about the world. Educational experts believe that kids should have access to a variety of toys and different playtime experiences. Spatial skills are developed by toys that are action figures, construction, and technology. Toys that are made for theater and role-playing encourage kids to practice their social skills. Arts and crafts encourage fine motor skills.
Boys and girls should have the chance to develop all these capacities, however; toy stores still separate the boys and girls toys into separate areas. Arts and crafts are still marketed to girls and construction and technology toys are marketed to boys. This is a disadvantage to both boys and girls. This is how they miss out on learning about each other’s interests.
Consumers are swayed on how toys are marketed and packaged and people now feel uncomfortable buying a pink toy for a boy and a girl toys that are made for boys. Some consumers don’t really care because they feel science toys are good for girls and some model cars and airplanes in the arts and crafts sections are good for boys. If they never experience the chance though, kids may never find out if the experience the joy of enjoying neutral gender toys.
Children aren’t born thinking about stereotypes, it’s the way they are raised that sways the ways they are going to behave and build their belief and value systems. Children begin to notice stereotypes with the marketing of toys and by the time they hit middle school, these kids are already thinking about the jobs they want based on jobs typically suited for men and women. Women aren’t thinking about becoming a cable installer or working as a trucker because most parents are telling their daughters what they did after high school and the jobs they got. One mom may have been a secretary back in the ’50s and encouraged her daughter to take high school classes so she can get a job geared to be a secretary. The daughter takes the classes and is completely bored. All children are different and by limiting their play with toys geared for genders, parents are not letting their sons and daughters find out about both sides of the fence. Stereotypes that are learned by children during their growing years are hard to change when they become adults.
The marketing puts out the glitz and the theme based on glamour and beauty that are geared for young girls. These little girls begin to worry about how they look and about their appearance. Marketing again tells parents that boys are rough and tumble and interested in violence and action toys and this tells young boys that are more reserved or sensitive that they got this boy idea mixed up. These boys begin to have low self-esteem that affects their performance at school.
No one is asking retailers to substitute different toys, however; they might want to think about the way they organize their toys, by the way, the toys function, rather than gender-specific. Parents are now thinking there really is not the emphasis needed to put toys into the boys and girls sections anymore. Look down the aisles and in one aisle you see pink and the other aisles are blue, black, dark blue, nerf guns, cars, etc. Toys should just be normal toys and arranged by groups and not by gender.
Parents don’t want their children taking in subliminal messaging about how boys and girls are supposed to be and how they are supposed to dress. Children are more interested in suitable patterns and appropriate social rules. Kids get the boy-girl thing the same way they understand important rules like don’t push and shove. Take away those strict boundaries because it turns children away from what they really are interested in. This also fuels bullying.
Parents all realize that they can knock themselves out when they have toddlers and buy toys for their boys and their girls but chances are they are going to want to bang on the pots and pans, move their highchair around, move the kitchen chairs to climb and color on the walls. When kids are little, they don’t understand any gender-specific items at all. They just want to explore, so why not keep the exploration and imagination going full throttle and let them discover what they are interested in. Kids don’t really understand the difference until age three and parents are becoming confused when it comes to buying toys for their children. Just let their creativity flow and they will tell you what their interests are. Parents don’t need to stress over the toy thing when their children are newborns but this certainly is something to think about as marketing changes and as their children grow up and it’s time to play with their friends. You children will love you for teaching them to learn new things and choose what they want to play with. This will help build both of your confidence with each other.