Friday, 24 Oct 2008

Nature vs. Nurture Again

When Bug was about 11 months’ old, we walked out of the house and he pointed and said, “Car.” I don’t think we had any toy cars at the time and none of us had talked much about cars. It was the beginning of his love affair with all things vehicle-oriented.

Then came LadyBug. I was determined to let her choose her own path in terms of toys. I didn’t want to force either of our kids to choose based on gender stereotypes.. She is, of course, surrounded by trucks, cars, trains, planes, and so on. But we also have a couple of baby dolls and some bottles we got the kids last Christmas. Her first word after Mama and Dada? “Baby.” She walks around all day toting a baby and a blanket and hugging her books. It’s bizarre.

I was thinking about this today and pondering that whole nature vs. nurture question again in terms of gender roles. I know the kids are influenced by factors outside of this house. The grandparents in particular assume their interests based on gender. There’s only so much I can do to give them a neutral starting place in life.

This evening, I was playing a game with Bug. He got to design his own super hero. He chose a little blonde girl with pigtails and dressed her entirely in purple. And then I remembered that he waivers between pink and purple as his favorite color. And that LadyBug spends just as much, if not more, of her time smashing cars with her brother. And sometimes Bug likes to feed and snuggle with the babies, as well.  I guess we’re doing ok, after all.


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