50 Shades Of Blue

As a mother of 4 boys ( 3 of my own and a step-son) and that the majority of the children I  looked after while I was working as a registered child minder were boys, I have quite a lot of experience in keeping them amused. In my opinion, boys will be boys, so you may as well let them get on with it, to a certain extent, by this, I mean, don’t necessarily ban guns and other violent inspired toys. In my experience they will go into the garden, find a stick and that becomes a gun,

or they build one from lego!. instead encourage calmer play, if possible. I believe that all children should have access to toys intended for both sexes. My middle son used to love pushing a doll around in his toy buggy. While child minding I observed that the girls, who didn’t have brothers, liked the cars ( as they didn’t have them at home) and boys, without sisters, swayed towards more ‘girly’ toys. I did, once hear from another childminder, that one parent complained because his son was playing with a toy kitchen! I think she politely said that if he wasn’t happy, maybe he should think about placing his son elsewhere, as she had similar beliefs to me. All I can gather from this story is that the father thought by playing with a ‘girls’ toy, his son would become effeminate! I had a small boy who liked to dress up in a pink tu-tu, from my dressing-up box. I could see no harm in this. In fact, I think he only did it, as he had seen one of the girls enjoying it and he decided to get it first!  I did, however, persuade him to remove it, before going on the school run, as I thought the older boys, may make comments. This child was very mild mannered and like to play quietly by himself, until one day another boy brought 2 light sabers ( star wars) with him. The play became rough and I had to intervene. I recall once taking my youngest for a walk in his pram. My older 3 sons were playing in the garden, as my husband was home, they were play fighting teenage mutant ninja turtle ( all the rage at the time) On my walk I saw a friends 3 girls ( of similar ages to my boys)  the difference was they were playing barbie dolls. For a split second I thought to myself, why did I have boys, but , of course, I wouldn’t change them for the world and am very proud of the men they have grown into. I think all boys go through the stage of loving anything with wheels. I remember my eldest son, sitting looking out of the window for most of a morning. We lived on a housing estate that was still being developed and was watching the dump trucks and diggers going past. I even gave him refreshment by the window, so not to spoil his enjoyment! He had an enormous collection of cars, lorries, buses and tractors which he used to line up, as if they were in a traffic jam, but then he would crash them all together and pretend there had been an accident ( this was the boy in him, I believe) Playing with toy vehicles can be educational, especially the Thomas the tank engine trains, as not only are they different colours, but also have numbers on the side.

In summery, then, don’t stop boys displaying boyish behaviour be aware that some computer console games can encourage unwanted behaviour, in boys and girls.

Instead encourage calmer ways to play Why not get down and join in, you may even enjoy yourself!

As always, questions/ comments are very welcome. If reading my blogs has inspired to to consider child minding you may like to buy my e book.

Karen

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13 Comments on “50 Shades Of Blue

  1. After having two girls I thought my son would be more gentle like they were, but oh no, he had his own personality and likes. Even though he never had a gun the minute he was at kinder he came home pointing his finger and shooting us. It became his favourite thing to play at kinder. He also loves teddy bears, and played dolls happily with his sisters. #thesatsesh

  2. My girls can fight & be just as violent as boys at times. I don’t always step in as I believe they need to learn to defend themselves to a degree & it is all part of growing up. I do try to discourage it from going too far by bringing out the lego or colouring too. We spend a lot of time watching boats out the window too. 🙂 #mondaystumblelinky

  3. We encouraged our little man to play with things he liked, not what society found the norm for boys. He asked Santa for a toy kitchen on his 3rd birthday. My motto is get involved in play and encourage and praise the good stuff.

  4. I read fairly recently about an experiment whereby some adults were invited to interact with young children. They weren’t given the names of the children and all children were dressed stereotypically in gender colours/styles. The adults automatically encouraged play with the gender specific toys. It was a fascinating read, one that you may know of. Thanks for sharing this with #sharethejoylinky

  5. I think playing along with them helps to keep the game calm. I have 2 girls so not much experience with boys, but girls still play fight and get rough. When I play with them, I can follow the lead but also nudge the game in a different direction if it’s getting out of hand #blogcrush

  6. I had the same problems when i was childminding. One of the parents didnt like that their child was playing with toys ‘intended’ for the other sex. It’s important for children to experiment and explore with all types of toys! #thatfridaylinky

  7. I have one of each and we have all the toys. Typical ‘girls’ and ‘boys’ toys. They both play with a good mix of each, although the prams and dolls are probably a favourite. I really don’t mind who plays with what as ling as they’re happy. The play is generally calm although I think my girl can be as boisterous as my boy…but he is only 2 so I am sure that may change in years to come. Thanks for joining us at #familyfun

  8. Boys definitely will be boys! There are so many toy ranges for them these days, so it is always nice when they will just simply pick up a stick and role play – it definitely is the simple things in life! 🙂 Sim xx #triumphanttales

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