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What should I do if my son plays with "girl toys?"

My 2-year-old son loves playing with "girl toys" like dolls at other people's houses, but my husband doesn't like it. What should I do?
Submitted by Parents Team

Stereotypes are powerful. Your husband assumes that playing with dolls will make your son less masculine, but extensive research has shown that it's healthy for boys to play with so-called "girl toys." Playing with dolls may help boys become more empathetic and affectionate as they grow older, and it doesn't affect their development in any negative way. If you refuse to permit your child to play with these toys, it will only make your son feel hurt and confused. Try to help your husband understand that toys don't determine a child's sexual identity. Even better, convince him to play with dolls along with your son. He'd be teaching your child a great deal about what it means to be a real man with a full range of emotions -- tenderness and caring, not just strength. --Sally Lee

Copyright 2004. Reprinted with permission from the June 2004 issue of Parents magazine, Updated 2009

The answers from our experts are for educational purposes only. Please always refer to your child's pediatrician and mental health expert for more in-depth advice.

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I discuss this same thing over at my blog. http://parentbucket.com. I believe that it is up to your child to play and do what he or she wants. No one should be influencing them by what society has deemed "normal"
Submitted by parentbucket
My son has baby dolls with bottles and diapers for them. I feel that it has made him more compassionate and calm around babies. Don't get me wrong he has tons of "boy toys" too. I was lucky that I didn't have to fight my hubby to let him choose his own toys. Any toy he plays with is a learning experience even if he just tosses it to see what happens when it lands. Let them be kids!
Submitted by alwayswill87
I agree, I played with a doll and had a baby buggy that I pushed around for a bit when I was a kid and played barbie with my sisters sometimes and I can attest that I am empathetic and affectionate which has helped me tremendously in my relationships. I later when on to martial arts, soccer, boy scouts, etc. My sexual preference was not affected by any of it and I definitely love the ladies.
Submitted by batty13