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Parents struggle to find gender-neutral toys


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Poll: Do you/Would you take gender neutrality into account when buying toys? (30 member(s) have cast votes)

Do you/Would you take gender neutrality into account when buying toys?

  1. Yes (6 votes [20.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 20.00%

  2. No (23 votes [76.67%])

    Percentage of vote: 76.67%

  3. I (would) only give girls all sorts of toys, but no dolls for boys for example (1 votes [3.33%])

    Percentage of vote: 3.33%

  4. I (would) only give boys all sorts of toys, but no toyguns or science sets for girls for example (0 votes [0.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 0.00%

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#16    Jinxdom

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Posted 27 December 2012 - 05:07 AM

Give the people what they want.... works with kids too. Just avoid things like lawn darts or the vibrating Harry Potter broom stick and you should be ok. Hell as a kid my toys were pretty much anything I could think of. I could have fun with dirt and mud alone because of my imagination. God wrapping paper tubes and sticks as swords, anything with a handle a shield... fun times.


#17    Andami

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Posted 27 December 2012 - 05:25 AM

What a coincidence. My grandparents bought me an Easy Bake Oven for Christmas one year. It pissed my dad off, but he got over it.


#18    WoIverine

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Posted 27 December 2012 - 05:41 AM

Gender neutral toys...really? Seriously? Who does that? Let the kids be kids, let them pick out what they want and roll with that.

That said...damn, I wish I still had all my Star Wars and Transformers...I could ebay it all and make a forturne on vintage stuff. Ah well.

Edited by WoIverine, 27 December 2012 - 05:45 AM.


#19    Jessica Christ

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Posted 27 December 2012 - 07:42 AM

View PostTaun, on 26 December 2012 - 11:47 AM, said:

I voted No in the Poll, because I buy my grand-neices and nephews the toys they want... not what someone else thinks they should play with...

View PostHilander, on 27 December 2012 - 01:36 AM, said:

Give the kid the kind of toys they like.  Boys play with dolls too they are just called action figures.

View PostWoIverine, on 27 December 2012 - 05:41 AM, said:

Gender neutral toys...really? Seriously? Who does that? Let the kids be kids, let them pick out what they want and roll with that.

People who can make informed decisions and take a comprehensive approach do this. You might not know anyone like this...

When some say let the child pick what they want, if they mean to simply go into the toy section or store and allow the child to pick, well then you are allowing others to pick for you: the corporations who choose what to market including television adverts, the person at the store who decides what inventory to order, and most likely whatever is shiny and junky.

If others want to be lazy and not use discretion that is fine but one should not be fooled into thinking they are truly allowing their child to choose because they are simply deferring their decision to others who are more interested in profit than the well being of the child you are selecting a toy for.

Do the research and if you wish allow your child to choose from a range of toys you have already preselected or from a catalog or shop (learning express) that you trust. As is you are already trusting others. A child might want a certain toy, to watch television all day, or to wear neon to a funeral, a parent has discretion in all these domains, surrenduring that discretion to others might not be the best choice.

Edited by I believe you, 27 December 2012 - 07:52 AM.


#20    Taun

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Posted 27 December 2012 - 11:41 AM

View PostI believe you, on 27 December 2012 - 07:42 AM, said:




People who can make informed decisions and take a comprehensive approach do this. You might not know anyone like this...

When some say let the child pick what they want, if they mean to simply go into the toy section or store and allow the child to pick, well then you are allowing others to pick for you: the corporations who choose what to market including television adverts, the person at the store who decides what inventory to order, and most likely whatever is shiny and junky.

If others want to be lazy and not use discretion that is fine but one should not be fooled into thinking they are truly allowing their child to choose because they are simply deferring their decision to others who are more interested in profit than the well being of the child you are selecting a toy for.

Do the research and if you wish allow your child to choose from a range of toys you have already preselected or from a catalog or shop (learning express) that you trust. As is you are already trusting others. A child might want a certain toy, to watch television all day, or to wear neon to a funeral, a parent has discretion in all these domains, surrenduring that discretion to others might not be the best choice.

Or, it just could be that I KNOW what type toys the kids I buy for will actually play with and those are the ones they want... The important thing about a 'toy' is not that it 'educates', not that it reinforces stereotypes or some socio-political engineering of a childs mind... but that it allows the kid to have fun, not get hurt and exercise their imagination... The only research I need to do to select a toy is "does the child like it?" and "is it safe?"....


#21    Sunny Day

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Posted 27 December 2012 - 11:49 AM

I have a daugher and a son.  They both just play with exactly what they want to as they have access to all sorts of toys.  They definately play differently though and do genuinely seemed 'wired' differently.  My daughter will make up long winded stories and plays, whereas my son will be very physical ie. which toy can bounce off the ceiling the farthest.

They both want to be scientists when they grow up, but they come it from very different directions.  My daughter is curious about how and why, studying tiny creatures and rocks very patiently, whereas my son loves making things 'happen' and magic etc.  Isn't that great?  LIfe would truly be boring if we were all the same.  I think it's great that gender differences are noticed and celebrated to an extent, because we ARE different (thankfully) and that is a good thing.


#22    ealdwita

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Posted 27 December 2012 - 12:15 PM

I have five daughters (all now grown up), and they've had their share of dolls and 'girly stuff', but with all of them, the main theme has been horses, so I suppose that could be termed 'gender neutral'.

Personally, I've no time at all for 'trendy' parenting and firmly believe in allowing a child of whatever gender to develop in a way that equips them for the long journey through life they're embarking on, and not lumbering them with a load of PC nonsense that'll probably be a subject for derision in 5 or 10 year's time!

"Gæð a wyrd swa hio scel, ac gecnáwan þín gefá!": "Fate goes ever as she shall, but know thine enemy!".
I can teach you with a quip, if I've a mind; I can trick you into learning with a laugh; Oh, winnow all my folly and you'll find, A grain or two of truth among the chaff!
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#23    libstaK

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Posted 27 December 2012 - 12:33 PM

Kids should get what they want to play with regardless of gender.  I don't have kids of my own but my nieces were a mixed bag, Star Wars figurines, dinosaur anything, barbie dolls and horses/unicorn toys, make up and and jewellery making kits, leggo, play doh on and on, it wasn't a case of "gender specific" it was all about eclectic interests - although neither of them went for tonka trucks and GI Joes don't know why.  Interestingly my nephew's toys were actually gender specific - girls can show interests in just about any area without being "pegged" as this or that it seems but get a boy a barbie and all hell breaks loose - yet when boys and girls play together, the dolls and make up kits come out and get shared around no probs, hmmm.

Edited by libstaK, 27 December 2012 - 12:33 PM.

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#24    Hasina

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Posted 27 December 2012 - 12:34 PM

How about an educational toy?

Posted Image

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#25    Taun

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Posted 27 December 2012 - 12:42 PM

Looking back on it I actually did play with Barbie dolls when I was a kid...

(explanaition)
I had several GI Joe "Action Figures" - the old 11 inch tall ones and I decided that my Joes needed USO girls to bolster their morale... So my Joes went on a "Recruitment Raid" and took several of my sisters unused Barbies (also 11 inches tall) as USO girls...  I was probably 6 at this point... Of course they were no longer "Barbie Dolls" at that point - they were "Barbie Action Figures"...


#26    Jessica Christ

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Posted 27 December 2012 - 01:49 PM

View PostTaun, on 27 December 2012 - 11:41 AM, said:

Or, it just could be that I KNOW what type toys the kids I buy for will actually play with and those are the ones they want... The important thing about a 'toy' is not that it 'educates', not that it reinforces stereotypes or some socio-political engineering of a childs mind... but that it allows the kid to have fun, not get hurt and exercise their imagination... The only research I need to do to select a toy is "does the child like it?" and "is it safe?"....

No, you are still reinforcing a stereotype (stereotypes that sholuld be erased) and socio-political engineering (the way things used to be).

I am all for toys being fun, exercising imagination, and being liked by those receiving them.

It is a sucker's choice if you believe you cannot do all I recommended and still have a toy fall within the parameters of fun, imagination, and well-liked.

The main difference is a cultural one, some simply want to reinforce rigid social gender roles, while others understand that harms others. There is also the difference between anti-intellectualism and intellectualism. Some simply like to ignore scientific studies and rely on their "common sense".

View PostTaun, on 27 December 2012 - 11:41 AM, said:

The important thing about a 'toy' is not that it 'educates'

Hope they rank somewhere on your list. There is a difference between toys designed by educators and those designed by marketers although it might be a difference you cannot appreciate.


View Postealdwita, on 27 December 2012 - 12:15 PM, said:

I have five daughters (all now grown up), and they've had their share of dolls and 'girly stuff', but with all of them, the main theme has been horses, so I suppose that could be termed 'gender neutral'.

Personally, I've no time at all for 'trendy' parenting and firmly believe in allowing a child of whatever gender to develop in a way that equips them for the long journey through life they're embarking on, and not lumbering them with a load of PC nonsense that'll probably be a subject for derision in 5 or 10 year's time!

Horses are definitely marketed, at least in an urban market, more toward females a la Riding Star Equestrian Horse video game and lots of other horsey things. I love horses!!!

Edited by I believe you, 27 December 2012 - 02:09 PM.


#27    sarah_444

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Posted 27 December 2012 - 03:53 PM

I have a boy and a girl. Something I have noticed since becoming a parent is that it does tend to get questioned or brought to attention more if a boy shows interest in "girl's toys" than if a girl shows interest in "boy's toys".

When my son was 2 he was obsessed with Dora the Explorer, and even had a Dora doll. His dad wasn't bothered by it, but his uncles made a few jokes now and then.   Now he can't get enough of Transformers/ Star Wars/ Batman /TMNT etc. One of his best friends is a girl and they have matching Batman backpacks and Runners.

My daughter holds more of a mixture of interests when it comes to toys and I think part of it has to do with having an awesome big brother around who she looks up to. She likes playing with My Little Ponies and dressing up in tutus or princess dresses but will have just as much fun building Lego Starfighters, playing zombie chase games or Transformers.



BTW on the subject of paper tube swords, certain coloured foam pool noodles with the ends wrapped in electrical/duct tape make excellent lightsabers.  Much more "hit your sister in the head" friendly than the store bought ones. :yes:


#28    ealdwita

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Posted 27 December 2012 - 06:02 PM

View PostI believe you, on 27 December 2012 - 01:49 PM, said:

Horses are definitely marketed, at least in an urban market, more toward females a la Riding Star Equestrian Horse video game and lots of other horsey things. I love horses!!!

I take your point, but one of my brood, many Christmases ago, upon being asked her prezzy preference, shoved a school book under my nose and showed me a picture of King Henry VIII's horse armour with an emphatic "That, please!" Strange child!!!

"Gæð a wyrd swa hio scel, ac gecnáwan þín gefá!": "Fate goes ever as she shall, but know thine enemy!".
I can teach you with a quip, if I've a mind; I can trick you into learning with a laugh; Oh, winnow all my folly and you'll find, A grain or two of truth among the chaff!
(The Yeoman of the Guard ~ Gilbert and Sullivan)

#29    WoIverine

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Posted 27 December 2012 - 08:13 PM

View PostI believe you, on 27 December 2012 - 07:42 AM, said:

People who can make informed decisions and take a comprehensive approach do this. You might not know anyone like this...

When some say let the child pick what they want, if they mean to simply go into the toy section or store and allow the child to pick, well then you are allowing others to pick for you: the corporations who choose what to market including television adverts, the person at the store who decides what inventory to order, and most likely whatever is shiny and junky.

If others want to be lazy and not use discretion that is fine but one should not be fooled into thinking they are truly allowing their child to choose because they are simply deferring their decision to others who are more interested in profit than the well being of the child you are selecting a toy for.

Do the research and if you wish allow your child to choose from a range of toys you have already preselected or from a catalog or shop (learning express) that you trust. As is you are already trusting others. A child might want a certain toy, to watch television all day, or to wear neon to a funeral, a parent has discretion in all these domains, surrenduring that discretion to others might not be the best choice.

I'd hate to be your child. Never having what I want because mom or dad picked out toys for me? Way to stifle your child's creativity and freedom there. When they grow up, they will over indulge in the things you didn't let them do, because you wanted them to play by "politically correct" rules. You will inadvertantly encourage in your child everything that you do not want.

Edited by WoIverine, 27 December 2012 - 08:15 PM.


#30    willowdreams

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Posted 27 December 2012 - 08:23 PM

View PostWoIverine, on 27 December 2012 - 08:13 PM, said:

I'd hate to be your child. Never having what I want because mom or dad picked out toys for me? Way to stifle your child's creativity and freedom there. When they grow up, they will over indulge in the things you didn't let them do, because you wanted them to play by "politically correct" rules. You will inadvertantly encourage in your child everything that you do not want.

you know, when we find out we are going to be parents, we all think of all the things we can do to make our kids smarter... better.. and the truth is,  we cannot.

We can give them 'chances'.. but in the end they even out. My daughter learned to read by the time she was 3 to 4 yrs old.. her first book she read (chapter book) was little woman, and she understood it.. got it.. loved it.. but it did not make her smarter then other kids, it just meant that she loved reading and i gave her the chance to do it at a young age.. by the time she was 10, all the other kids were at same level she was.

you even out eventually, unless you are one of those sheldon cooper like pple.

thing is, we spend so much time wanting to make the 'right' choices.. that we forget that sometimes we can just 'let go' a bit and let the kids make choices.. as long as they are not harming themselves or others (let us face it.. a choice to play superman and jump off a second story balcony is not a right choice to allow).. then let it go.

Toys/games can be 'just for the fun of it', we do not have to always turn everything into a lesson.

Personally, i feel the worse choice we as parents can make is 'making all the choices' and becoming 'helicopter parents'.

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