Would you let your son play with dolls?

United States
November 6, 2007 7:31pm CST
If your little boy or grandson wanted to play with dolls or play dress up, would you be concerned? Would you encourage them to play any game that made them happy or try to steer them in the direction of more traditional boy games? Being the mom to a little girl, (and no boys), I can't say how I'd feel if I had a son who wanted to play with dolls. Chances are, he would probably end up playing dolls with his sister, anyway. Little brothers often have to go along with older sister's games. And, I guess as long as they were having fun, then it would be alright. My little girl doesn't conform to stereotypes, so I don't see why my son (if I had one) would conform to preconceived notions either. Do you think it's alright for a boy to play games like dress up or dolls?
7 people like this
33 responses
@Firesyne (27)
• United States
8 Nov 07
This sounds almost similar to little girls that act like tomboys and usually participate in activities meant mostly for boys but for some reason, most people don't worry about girls like that in the same way they do about boys...it's kind of strange when you really think about it. I guess it all depends on the situation and be an environment they grew up in, how often they play with these things and other such behavior but it's kind of difficult to tell I suppose. I wouldn't worry about my son doing things that are meant for girls unless it was causing problems for him or others. What kind of problems? I have no idea, but I just think in general, it wouldn't be a big deal but who knows. Good topic ;-)
1 person likes this
• United States
8 Nov 07
oh yeah and there are dolls for boys too ;) sometimes big boys are obsessed with those dolls a little much! LoL my ex boyfriend had way too many G.I.Joe doll's in his possession, but hopefully he was just trying to save them for his kids but you never know? lol
1 person likes this
@Pose123 (21667)
• Canada
8 Nov 07
Hi beautyqueen, If I had a son or grandson, and he wanted to play with dolls, I would let him. All these ideas passed down for hundreds of years, about girls playing with dolls, and boys with tools or boats belong in the middle ages. They should play with what they enjoy. I have a feeling that some parents may think it will make the child gay, but as most people know today, you are born straight or gay, and what you play with makes no difference at all. Of course, because of the way many have been brought up, the child may be teased by his friends, and this could be why the parents wouldn't want him playing with dolls, after a certain age. Blessings.
1 person likes this
@larskie23 (867)
• Philippines
7 Nov 07
well its fine, to play sometimes but if playing happens most of the time, then its time to get his attention. it may means something.
1 person likes this
@speedy1279 (2667)
• United States
7 Nov 07
Actually I have two boys and a daughter. My youngest son who is 10 months older than my daughter does like to play with my daughters dolls. I don't see anything wrong with it, especially at his age. He is only 4 1/2, so to him, he knows no different. It doesn't bother me to see him play with the dolls and I don't try to steer him away from it. I actually heard somewhere some time ago that studies showed, Boys who played with dolls when they were younger turned out to be better fathers than those that didn't. Now I don't know if that is completely true or not. But it is something to think about.
1 person likes this
@Calais (10900)
• Australia
7 Nov 07
Yes, It means nothing at all, its only an issue if the parents makes it to be an issue...Children just play and its great for learning and the imagination..
1 person likes this
@ayou82 (3460)
• Philippines
7 Nov 07
When I saw my son playing with dolls i got scared. Really scared and so scared. He mixed up with his younger sister and they always fight over dolls and accessories. Im so scared that he like dolls better than his cars, i hugged him and said to him dolls are for girls not for boys..im not saying anything again gays or lesbians i just want my son to be straight and have a family.
@Ravenladyj (22940)
• United States
7 Nov 07
ROFLMFAO are you kidding me?! "i just want my son to be straight and have a family." How is you figure a boy playing with dolls is goin to 'make him gay' LOL thats the type of damaging attitude that just drives me NUTS....Ppl aren't MADE gay or lesbian, what type of toys a child plays with has no bearing on their sexuality..if a child is gay, then he's gay right from birth...playing with dolls won't make a straight child gay any more than my living off Italian food will make me Italian :-/
@cyntrow (8525)
• United States
8 Nov 07
Right on, raven!!
@lecanis (16664)
• Murfreesboro, Tennessee
8 Nov 07
"playing with dolls won't make a straight child gay any more than my living off Italian food will make me Italian:-/" I love this line. If our hobbies could change us that much, I would long since be Japanese. *giggles* Isn't there a song about turning Japanese? Anyway, no, people don't become gay because of toys. It's a silly stereotype.
@lecanis (16664)
• Murfreesboro, Tennessee
7 Nov 07
I plan on buying at least a couple of dolls for my son. *shrugs* I want to give him the option of playing with them if he wants. If he doesn't like them, that's fine. But I don't want him to grow up with gender stereotypes anymore than he has to (considering he'll be exposed to them at school and such). I plan for my home to be as gender-stereotype-free as humanly possible, to be honest. He already loves his pink sleepers and such. :P
@foxyfire33 (10009)
• United States
7 Nov 07
Hooray for tne pink sleepers! It was favorite color day at school today and my son wore pink.
1 person likes this
@lecanis (16664)
• Murfreesboro, Tennessee
7 Nov 07
Hehe, that's awesome! ;)
• United States
12 Nov 07
the world will socialize him to be "manly" soon enough. Me, no, i wont make him not play with something harmless that he wants to play with. Playing with dolls is GOOD for child development. It helps them with role playing and relating to the world. And boys DO play with dolls, little plasitc soldiers, GI joes, even matchbx cares are all forms of playing pretend with an object, same as a baby doll. And btw, playing with a baby doll will not make a kid gay...any parent who thinks that really needs some classes. Lol not that i'd care if my kid turned out gay anyways.
• United States
20 Nov 07
You've got a really good point there with the whole "manly" thing. Boys are usually taught that to be a man, they have to let go of all their emotions and become stoic (emotionless in other words). I'm struggling with that right now. Any guys who show emotions are labeled as "sissies" and ect. I think that is really a bad thing to teach boys. Teaching a boy to be emotionless usually leads to the boy being violent and aggressive because that is how he thinks men are suppose to be. I wish society would strip away stereotypes and let people be who they were born to be.
@formy3 (31)
• United States
6 Feb 08
Hi, I have a little boy after 2 girls and my son has always enjoyed playing with his sisters polly pockets and barbies. I see no problem with this, my husband had an issue at first but has gotten over it:-) My son is all boy and is rough and tumble as the next boy. He loves, cars, trucks, balls and tackling his big sisters every chance he gets. I think it is good for them to be exposed to all kinds of play. My daughters have always had that opportunity and so will my son!
@babymar (361)
• Philippines
1 Feb 08
if i would have a son someday, i think it's okay for me if he play with dolls sometimes, but not all the time, i will encourage him to play with different action figures or cars coz i think its more suitable for him....
@mummymo (23709)
1 Feb 08
Of course it is - what harm is there in it? Neither of my children conform to stereotypes and I am happy to let them follow their own preferences - they can learn through any toys and playing in many different ways! xxx
@lancingboy (1386)
• United States
20 Nov 07
Yeah I would let him play with dolls. Toys are toys, regardless of what they are. I played with dolls even when I was like early teens. I'm in my 20's and still have the Barbie doll head off my Barbie doll lmao! Purple squiggly lines and all! I used to put the Barbie head on my Beetlejuice action figure because it was one of those Beetlejuice figures where the head comes off and there is a smaller one underneath (in this case, the snake head that you can make go up and down). Too bad my Barbie doll and Ken doll were thrown away when I was at my grandma's house. They could've at least let me keep my Ken doll. He was a boy after all lmao! Anyways, I view this subject, like the subject of colors. There is no "boy/girl colors". They're all just colors. My message windows and toolbar on my computer are pink right now because it relaxes my mind seeing a bright, cheerful color like that.
@jolenegreen (1209)
• United States
12 Nov 07
YES I would. My kids play with dolls and babys and I think it is perfectly fine. Ecspecially my 2 yr old. He loves babys soooo much! My MIL bought him one and he loves it and is just oh so gentle with it.
@steve9737 (918)
• Colombia
8 Nov 07
when I was kid sometimes I played with dolls but I was just for be near of girls or talk to her, I remember I didn't enjoy to play with that stuff, I think I would be serious worried about him if he started to play with dolls and prefer dolls instead toys, I think you are wrong about it is ok that a boy play all the time with dolls because you know it is like playing to how they want to be when they grown up so I don't think I would be encourage him to play with dolls, anyway when he grown up a little bit, he would not feel good playing with dolls because other kids would call him names.
• United States
8 Nov 07
Hi BeautyQueen, When I was a kid, I was a tom boy more than anything. I mean I played with my barbies and my baby dolls. But I also liked to be out in the mud with the trucks and cars or playing kick ball or baseball. We all played together as kids, boys and girls. I think at that age its really innocent, and if he grows up liking girly things then maybe it was just meant to be that way. Not like letting a boy play with a doll would change him from a boy to a girl. I gave my friends son a really plush pink bear Beenie Baby, one of the larger ones. He was 4 I think, and he still sleeps with it, carries it to his Ma and Pa's when he stays the night. He loves all things pink really! lol She doesnt tell him no, she just lets him like what he likes. I dont have any kids, but I would let them play with any toy that is safe, regardless of what it was. If you didnt, I think all their innocence would be lost. Kids arent so conformed like adults are, so I think they may have the bigger picture over us. They see it as a toy, we see it as a toy for a girl or a toy for a boy. Bay Lay Gray xx
@devilsangel (1817)
• United States
7 Nov 07
Sure why not. I have a 5 y/o son and a 6 y/o daughter and my son will play with his sisters barbie or she'll play with his toy cars and dinosaurs. They have played with her doll house together, it doesn't really bother me. I don't see anything wrong with him playing with a doll or "girls toys." Just as I don't see anything wrong with my daughter playing with toy cars and trucks.
• United States
7 Nov 07
...From what I understand, one cannot become gay. You either are or are not. So it would make no difference what a small child plays with, let them play. ...Studies have shown that children allow to play with non-gender specific toys are more secure, have greater self esteem than children who were forced to play with gender specific toys. (Psychology Today Magazine has had several articles along this line.) ...It was a great comment about the little boy wearing pink to school on favorite color day! More power to him. ...Great thread. Peace be with you. =(^;^)= Della
• Australia
7 Nov 07
I would let my son if I ever have one play with dolls. I still play with dolls :P Sides they end up playing with dolls anyway. It just there called "action figures"
• Denmark
7 Nov 07
I think that you should allow boys to play with dolls to, I have never played with dolls or stuff like that, but ┬┤sometimes when i'm home at my best friend his dad makes fun with him because when he was younger he played with dolls. I know his dad very good so I dont see it as a problem but if it was a not so close friend I would be very angry if it was my dad or mum who said it. Well some how that was another attitude problem. But as I said I think it ok boys playing with dolls.
@moneyandgc (3430)
• United States
7 Nov 07
I think it is perfectly acceptable for little boys to play dress up and play with dolls. My ex-husband threw a fit when my boys got boy Cabbage Patch dolls for Christmas but too bad. Both boys liked to wear my shoes and purse and walk around the house when they were 3 or 4. My little brother (who is now a married sports fanatic with 2 children) used to play with mine and my sister's toys. He loved to dress up in our nightgowns as well. This type of play means nothing. My ex is having a fit again this year because my 8 year old son asked for a sewing machine for Christmas and I bought him one. Again, he has watched me sew most of his life and has always wanted to try. My machine is just too big and complicated for him though. I say, no big deal.