Be My Enemy

13 Jun

Thumbs Up Target! Gracie 20 months

I love my Target store! I do. It’s love. My Target has a Starbucks inside – can you blame me?! (And I do refer to it as being mine as if I have something to do with ownership, which I clearly do not). I feel so strongly about my Target that I pretty much have no use for any other in the area. I am fully aware that the products and layout are virtually identical, but I’ll admit it, I think mine is better. This is not rational, I know that, but it’s true. I really love mine, and I’m not going to be so crazy about yours…

You know, kids employ this same type of reasoning when figuring out the world around them. So, am I embarrassed that at times I have the mentality of a child? Yes, yes I am. And a young child at that! My kids are completely irrational. While I am less amused by the illogical reasoning which contributes to bedtime battles or avoidable injuries, I find their little irrational minds fascinating when put to use in figuring out their world. 

Kids develop an understanding of themselves by sorting through all the information they take in and deciding what is for them and what is not for them. They are so conditioned to categorize – and to categorize by gender – that they over use it, and in turn, develop very extreme ways of looking at the world. 

Girls wear dresses,
have long hair, like the color pink,
go to dance class and think dolls are fun.
I’m a girl. This stuff is for me.
Boys have short hair, like the color blue,
play sports and think superheroes are fun.
That stuff’s for boys. That stuff is not for me.

The line has been drawn – girl stuff on this side, boy stuff on that side. Now, it doesn’t take long for the idea of “that’s not for me” to lead to thinking “mine is better.”  Left to their own devices, many kids would have a very difficult time seeing that this line can be crossed because they adhere to the concrete rules they establish for themselves. So, in a way, girls and boys are set-up for developing the idea that they are very, very different – even enemies.

Down With Girls by Synchronicity

The truth is boys and girls are a lot more alike than different. It’s up to us as teachers and parents to help our kids recognize and celebrate all that we have in common. And if you join me in this mission, I promise I’ll give your Target a try ;).


3 Responses to “Be My Enemy”

  1. SB June 14, 2011 at 4:29 am #

    So funny and so true…..

  2. McAfeeCyberMom June 24, 2011 at 8:30 am #

    I have three kids, two boys and a girl. I noticed from the time that they were babies that gender was indeed programmed into their DNA. From crawling to talking, milestones were reached at quite different times. My daughter was much more interested in talking than crawling and climbing, where the boys were more interested in mobility. She was a girl from day one, liking all things pink and frilly. The boys definitely liked boy things. Eventually my oldest wanted a vacuum cleaner for his 5th Christmas and got it! (I still joke that that was the last time he used one!) My youngest boy carried a doll everywhere when he was 3. The boys like pink and purple and will argue with anyone who claims that pink is a “girl color”. I assume that this may be because when they were very young we lived in what was considered the “gay” area of Boston. The boys there liked all kinds of things and that was okay. Or maybe it was because we let them have the vacuum and the doll without even questioning it, because it didn’t matter to us. So they like what they like without pressure from my husband and I about gender appropriateness. We love them no matter what, and they know it. 😀

    Really enjoying your blog!

    • superheroprincess June 29, 2011 at 12:10 pm #

      So great to read about your fantastic attitude, allowing your kids to like what they like no matter what. 🙂
      Thank so much for posting your comment!

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