Last night hubby and I ran to Target to grab a few things while visiting his family but not before we asked our twin five year old nieces what they wanted.
They shouted out the usual:
“Barbie dream house!”
“A real necklace!” (Um, what? Ma’am you are five. I said Target.)
We perused the toy aisles stacked with Barbies, cloth dolls, and art sets (where I promptly told hubby to put down the Caucasian doll). As I reached predictably for some dress up doll set, hubby stopped me with a startling thought; “Are we preparing them for marriage or we preparing them for independence?”
If I get my nieces an Easy Bake oven, am I subconsciously placing them in the traditional homemaker role? Or am I getting them ready to live a full independent life?
If I get them a Bob the Builder set, are they really going to know the difference between a Phillips and a flat screwdriver later in life?
I know my nieces and although they are both girly now, that may change down the line. Will one more Barbie dream house have a negative impact?
As a kid, I was never given the Barbie that I saw in all the toy commercials but that is not what I remember most about my childhood. I remember my mother always in the kitchen trying to pull me from my beloved books and my father always telling me to stay in them. I remember hearing how “nappy” my hair was and never being told, “You are beautiful,” enough. That is what I remember and hold with me still to this day.
It is not about the toys we buy our kids; it is the words we use that hold weight.
We ended up buying them an Easy Bake oven because they are fun and hope they will carry the memory of family with them.