Thursday, November 13, 2008

Do your kids fit the stereotypes?

Mine do.

Max likes cars, fire trucks, planes, trains, buses and basically anything that goes.

Sabrina likes princesses, pink, princesses, princesses, princesses, princesses (did I mention princesses)?

How exactly did this happen? I didn't encourage them. Yes, Max has toy cars and stuff, but since he was a baby he'd screech in delight when a truck passed us on the road or a plane flew overhead. And I tried so hard to avoid Cinderella-itis. But suddenly, at 3&1/2 or so, Sabrina started talking about princess this and that and insisting on wearing pink every day ("BLUE is for boys," she informed me the other week.) My husband and I jokingly call her Sabrinarella behind her back.

I'll admit to being psyched that in some ways, Max is a typical little boy. But the princess stuff bugs me, especially because there are no cool princesses. It all seems so retro and narrow-minded, though I am not worried Sabrina will one day head off to college dressed in a dippy pink taffeta gown and carrying a wand.

Are your kids the same way? And how do you feel about that?


  1. yes, they least the boys do, and I have to say, that Victoria will...she has nothing but frilly pink stuff...even her car seat. And no, I didn't buy her car seat, Daddy did.

    Jonathan had cars and babies as an infant/toddler but always went for the cars. He even made the driving noise, that I didn't teach him, and no one else did, since Tony was in Iraq. I really truly think that genetics plays a part!

  2. I'm laughing, Sarah. Dave also buys Sabrina all this girly stuff. Although I admit, I am a sucker for the dresses.

    So interesting about Jonathan knowing how to make driving noises! I'm with you on genetics.

  3. I think it depends on the child's strengths. I have two boys and a girl. My oldest, a boy with special needs, has always prefered quieter activies, books, puzzles, etc. He plays with his super heros, trucks, planes, etc. but he does it in a quiet way. Whereas my youngest, also a boy, is much more active and destructive... crashing cars or throwing a plane across a room to see if it will really fly...what I consider to be more like a the stereotypical boy. Don't misunderstand me, I don't think my older son's special needs have caused him to be less masculine, but he is more sensitive to others. After my daughter was born, he would take her dolls and hold them under his shirt, similar to the way I held his baby sister when I was breastfeeding her. My daughter is somewhere in between. She has dolls, but she rarely plays with them. She likes quiet games as much as rough housing... she is more of a girly tomboy... depends on the day.

  4. I balance Lucy's princess obession w/ anti- princess/princesses don't need to be rescued by a prince books: my favorite is The Paper Bag Princess. In terms of fitting into gender stereotypes, how ironic that Josh's (Lucy's 4.5 y/o twin brother)favorite part of Paper Bag Princess is when she's naked! LOL! During dress-up I try to encourage her to be Cinderella the doctor, or Ariel the firefighter (mermaid outfit & fireman hat, etc...). also, should I be concerned that Josh likes to dress as a policeman while wearing tiaras & high heels?!?!?!

  5. I am going to buy The Paper Bag Princess this weekend--thanks, Hed! And Anonymous, you are so right, kids' needs can really shape their play habits. Lately, Max has been obsessed with this new giant dollhouse we got for Sabrina, he sits there and opens and closes the door because he likes the sensation of it slamming and because it is easy for him to do.


Thanks for sharing!