A.N. asks from Bayfield, CO on November 30, 2010
My Son Wants a Doll Should I Let Him Have One? Sorry Its Long
Ok my four year old son wants a Barbie/ Doll and I dont see anything wrong with it at all. My aunt who graduated Cuma Sum Laude in Early Childhood Education got her son a few of them and he eventually grew out of playing with them. The rest of my family thinks that Im opening a door for him to be gay which is the stupidest thing I ever heard. I actually would support any decison my child makes because all I want is for my children to be happy but casting this upon him and saying ignorant things like that makes my blood boil. He is absoulutely sweet and says he would take care of her like a baby he makes dolls himself out of thing laying around dryer sheets, wipes, (which is the dress or hair ) and wraps a tiny rubber band around them to stay in place around a paint brush or stick a licoln log. He tells me that he wants a real doll because they have hair. This makes me so sad that my baby wants a doll and everyone tells him do you want to be a girl. This is braking my heart he cries alot so do I. Please somebody what do I do? THANK YOU TO EVERYONE FOR THE AMAZING ANSWERS
So What Happened?™
All I can say is THANK YOU and WOW every last one of you women is amazing and I knew the right thig was to just get him one but I wanted to see if this was normal. Im not afraid for my child turning gay but you see the storys of bullying gay teens and I think that is what my family was worrying about but they dont always say what they mean in nice words. I have plenty of gay family memebers and friends and they are people with feelings. I just needed reassurance that I was doing the right thing by my child. But we are going to get him Rapunzel Barbie because he likes her hair (i have long hair and let him brush it). Thank you so so much everybody my baby is going to have a good Christmas this year and get his over due doll.
D.S. answers from New York on December 01, 2010
First of all playing with dolls for a boy and playing with trucks as a girl is not going to make children gay. I believe a person is born gay and there is nothing any one of us should or could do about that. I own a preschool and clearly have just as many boys as girls play in the kitchen and dramatic play area. The boys dress up as girls and the girls dress up in the firefighter and police costumes. I wouln't sweat it. And most of all if you son were to be gay would you love him any less??????
6 moms found this helpful
N.B. answers from Minneapolis on December 01, 2010
Does anyone remember the "Free to be you and me" show from the 70's with Marlo Thomas? They updated it a few years back (to include things like cyber bullying or something like that?)
At my school growing up in the 70's, we had a school assembly to watch this every year, and now as a home childcare provider, I own the DVD. SO way ahead of its time in teaching equality and diversity themes to children!
One song is "Willy wants a doll" Sung by Alan Alda....such a great thing! My daycare kids all play with trucks and dolls equally. I have a nephew, now early 30's who was given a boy Cabbage Patch doll (his name was Neil) as a small child..and that thing went everywhere with him....and he passed it along to his younger brother years later. And you know what..they are both great daddies now!
Get the doll and tell them to get over it! You are the parent!
5 moms found this helpful
J.D. answers from Grand Rapids on December 01, 2010
Along with the doll, maybe buy him the book "William's Doll" by Charlotte Zolotow. It is a sweet children's book about a boy who wants a doll.
4 moms found this helpful
E.D. answers from Seattle on November 30, 2010
If a doll could "turn" a child straight or gay...(Sigh...)
Your son, my daughter, and the next door neighborhood kid are all going to be gay, straight or bi regardless of what we, as parents, do. Sexual orientation isn't trained into a child/teenager/adult (though fear, ignorance, hate and prejudice are).
Personally, I would rather not invite barbie into my home, but for *very* different reasons.
When my girl children want to play with cars, dinosaurs, blocks or in the mud - I let them.
When they nurture their dolls, cats/dog, each other or me, I am grateful!
I wish we lived in a world where every boy/girl child was able to explore their nurturing, rumble tumble, creative, ect. sides. I applaud you for allowing your son to grow and expand in his childhood.
Edit to add:..how many times do questions/vents come up on this where mom/wifes are (essentially) asking how to deal with their husband, who isn't nurturing, sensitive or a good listener. If little boys were given the opportunity and encouraged to explore those traits, those little boys might turn into men who exhibited more of those characteristics and who "got it" more.
11 moms found this helpful
T.S. answers from Sacramento on November 30, 2010
My son is 4 (almost 5). He has Barbies and LOVES them. He also loves musicals and frequently dresses up in "princess" clothes.
If I have ever met a "straight" 4 year old, my son is one, but even if he wasn't... it wouldn't be BECAUSE of the Barbies!
Luckily my son is a total know-it-all and easily tells off anyone who makes comments about "girl stuff." "Girls can play with whatever they want and BOYS can play with whatever they want."
Whatever. Get him what he wants. If he's gay, you're not going to turn him straight by withholding Barbie. If he's straight, he'll still be that way with a dolly.
11 moms found this helpful
M.M. answers from Chicago on November 30, 2010
Buy him a doll with a lot of hair :))
There is nothing wrong with him. My older son had a doll and a pink stroller to push it around. I DID NOT CARE what people thought when they looked at us.
My little guy is not into dolls but has a collection of stuffed animals that he cares for...talks to... puts them to sleep...etc.
That's how boys learn to care and to be good daddys in the future :)
Who is "everyone tells him do you want to be a girl"? That is why he has you to set all the stupid and ignorant people straight!
9 moms found this helpful
K.L. answers from Cleveland on December 01, 2010
I am the only girl in my family with three brothers. All of my brothers had dolls and played Barbies with me. Guess what? All of them are married and have children and I am the one who turned out to be gay!
Toys have no bearing on sexual orientation, and I am glad that you already know that. Most boys I know play with dolls. If girls can play Mommy why can't boys play Daddy?
8 moms found this helpful
J.R. answers from San Diego on November 30, 2010
Of course you should get him one if he wants one and you want him to have one. It boggles my mind that there are still people out there who think this is an issue or that something like this would "make" a child gay. Or that there is anything "wrong" with being gay anyway (but that's another issue, I guess).
Tell your family to can it with the comments. I can't believe that anyone would try to shame a young child out of wanting to play with a doll, much less people who are his family and purport to love him. They should be ashamed of themselves.
7 moms found this helpful
R.Y. answers from New York on November 30, 2010
It sounds like you want to get him a doll and he wants one. So get him one. If you are worried about what people will say get something less "girly" than Barbie. But if he really wants Barbie, it's not a huge deal.
There are some gender neutral baby dolls out there and even a few little boy dolls. I got my son a baby doll when my daughter was born but he is a typical boy and not much into dolls (though he has whole families of stuffed animals). My mom even found him a little boy doll with actual boy parts (handy for potty training at least).
The worry about being gay is just silly. From what I have read sexual orientation is established before birth and parents can't change it--just love the child they have, whoever they turn out to be. If he gets to the point where others give him a hard time then you will have to teach him about coping with that. But you may need to have words with your uninformed family members. I'd get some information first so you can feel confident you know what you are talking about. But if you see a relative being mean or rude to your child stand up for him on the spot!
7 moms found this helpful
M.P. answers from Portland on November 30, 2010
Why does he cry alot? Sounds like he needs some help in knowing that it's OK to play with dolls and that he's OK. I wonder if your concern about what others are saying is influencing his feelings. If you can stand firm knowing in your heart that he's OK that will help him feel OK.
I suggest that you stop the negative comments from relatives. Have you told them that their comments are unacceptable to you? Tell them that if they insist on making comments that you and your son will leave. Do not tolerate their rude, homophobic behavior.
Teach him how to be proud of who he is. A good answer for "do you want to be a girl?" would be "I am a boy but girls are OK too." Another answer would be, "why do you ask? Daddies take care of kids too." Would that shut them up? IF not then it's best to ignore what they say. Actually, if he were my son, I'd tell him to get up and walk away from them. No one has to listen to such rude comments.
I would not want to spend much time with people who treated my son and my choices for him with disrespect. Your relatives can have their opinion but once they've voiced it they need to stop trying to change you and your son. It is your life and your responsibility to raise your son as you think best. Tell them to stop with the comments. Be calm, polite, and firm!
I might not get him a Barbie doll just because Barbie's are older and more appropriate for an older child. There are little girl dolls with hair. I had one when I was a kid instead of a Barbie.
7 moms found this helpful
J.M. answers from Boston on December 01, 2010
I haven't read all the posts but here's mine, short and sweet -
You're right, they're wrong, and the very best thing that you can possibly do for your son is not give in to that stupid, bigoted, small-minded nonsense.
I hope you and your son have a very happy holiday with his new toy.
6 moms found this helpful