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Educational Toys - Its Relevance to Gender Identity and Sexuality

Playtime is one of the fundamental core elements of childhood development. Toys are the conventional tool used to stimulate the growth of the child-- emotionally, physically, intellectually and socially. We are partial about educational toys that help our kids develop their motor skills, foster creativity and imagination, and enhance other skills like cognitive skills, thinking and reasoning skills and mind-muscle coordination.

Parents follow conventional norms when dealing with child rearing and development. This concept about how their child should grow is drawn from their own perception of what society consider as normal and their own experiences during childhood. For all of us, child development should have fun activities as its core component. The child needs to enjoy and find satisfaction with everything about his or her environment.

We are, however, caught in a dilemma on what types of toys are appropriate for our child. Every child is unique and as he grows, he develops his own set of rules for fun activities. He will pursue his own unique interests and actively explore new things-those that might not arouse the curiosity of another child.

What will you do if you see your child develop keen interest in educational toys which you think will distort his concept of gender roles? Is this a sign of abnormal behavior? What if your boy loves to play with dolls and doll houses?

Gender role issues are results of the varied forces of society. It takes it shape during the socialization phases of childhood and adolescence. Parents must be keen at how and where this takes our child as he grows. His specific bias towards certain girl-type toys is reinforced by strong influence coming from his immediate environment. Kids' personality development is built on models drawn from variables with strong stimuli and forces in his surroundings. You need to identify these variables before making an action.

It may be wise for you to introduce new things that might interest your child to correct the "distortion" in his personality. It should be done in a way that we are not turning out to be too pushy. Let him have the freedom to discover his environment but guide him through the frustrating and annoying episodes. Be creative with your approaches at child rearing and nurturing. Majority of child development experts recommend that parents encourage their children to engage in creative play when they are young. Creative play has been shown by a lot of researches to form the foundation for the emotional, creative, and intellectual growth of your child in later years. Be an ACTIVE participant in these fun activities.

Consider a subtle "tapering-down" of fun activities involving fun toys. Bring him out in the open! Fathers should initiate activities they can dub as "boy stuff." That way positive concept about his personality is reinforced by the satisfaction he gets out of these new and exciting activities with you. Fathers must identify appropriate educational toys which can encourage them to pursue some strictly "boy stuffs". For instance, you can start a contest with your boy child in dressing up you family car while he competes with his own dressing up of his toy truck. You can also inject some fun while doing some minor repairs around the house. For instance, you can involve your child with the minor things like deciding on the color of paint and buying materials from the hardware store uptown.

Child rearing is a full time job. You must enter the world of your child to get the feel of what he is experiencing. At the same time, you should also be a strong stimulus so that he grows into the community adequately prepared for a life as an adult in the best way possible.


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