Saturday, October 18, 2008

Why boys need dolls!

A few of years ago I had a rather strange encounter. I believe it was on a sunny fall day when I took the kids to the park to play at the playground. As usual when I go out, I had one of my projects with me. I am always crocheting, sewing, or have something with me to keep my fingers busy. As I sat there on a park bench a young woman approached me. People are always curious when they see an artist at work. So of course, I end up telling them that I make dolls.

The young woman had her 4-year-old son with her. As we got to talking she sighed and told me about her dilemma. A couple of weeks ago a toy catalogue had arrived in the mail, and her son saw a dollhouse in it. Now whenever she asked him what he wanted for Christmas he'd say: I want that cool dollhouse from the catalogue. To which I responded: "So, why don't you get him a dollhouse?" She said her husband would have an absolute fit. He thinks boys should play with trucks and "manly" toys and that "Dolls are for girls"! I was totally stunned and maybe even annoyed. After taking a moment I told her that her husband was so wrong. That there was no reason why her son should not have a dollhouse to play with.


Role play with dolls is very important for children. Why would we assign boys to play with inanimate objects such as cars, trucks, and building blocks only? Maybe we throw in an occasional plastic soldier or a plastic superhero. But why not give them a soft cuddly baby? Or a doll family? Some day this little boy will be a dad, have a family, and a real house. I told her to ignore her husband and get the boy the dollhouse anyway!
I get so frustrated when I hear such stories. Often I hear boys, big and small, talk derisively about the "Pink Aisle" in the stores and dolls being "for girls" only. I think this world would be a much better place if we gave boys dolls and allowed them grow up in a more loving and nurturing environment. Both boys and girls need to learn how to nurture and cuddle a doll because some day they will be a parent. I feel sad for this dad in my story who did not want to give his son the gift he so much desired. It made me wonder how he grew up...
I really wish more people bought dolls for their sons. I always keep one or two boy dolls in my store. Sadly they sit around the "virtual store shelf" much longer than the girl dolls...Sprinkled throughout the text please find some examples of sweet dolls that have found a loving home - nurtured by a boy who will, no doubt, become a great dad!

Maybe you know a boy who would love a friend like that for Christmas. My son still loves the doll I made for him when he was little. He is much older now but recently requested a new outfit for his friend...

9 comments:

ElegantSnobbery said...

I think I am definitely lucky to have come from a family that believes dolls are a-okay with boys. My big brother got a boy cabbage patch kids for Christmas back in 1984, just like I did, and his doll Chad went with him everywhere.

Your dolls are just fantastic!

germandolls said...

Thanks, that's really kind of you!

kim* said...

yes i believe boys need a doll or stuffed animal. it helps them to be able to show what they know about babies. they need to express themselves and use it in their play.

TheSingingBird said...

My son grew up with a favorite doll and now he is a young man who is extremely kind and gentle with his younger cousins. I think every boy should have a doll to love.

FairiesNest said...

I agree completely! All three of my "boys" (men now!) had dolls and loved them wholeheartedly and I agree with Birdie that it helped make them the compassionate young men they are today. I recently repaired my 75 year old Dad's cloth doll from his childhood and it actually brought tears to his eyes.

Jenn said...

My boys have always had dolls. I am just now finding your new blog, Ulla and it's lovely! I am glad you have started blogging because I enjoy reading from the ladies in the group! :0) ((((HUGS))))

germandolls said...

Wow, Fairiesnest! That is so cool about your Dad's doll. I wish I could see a picture of that doll!
Thanks for all the sweet comments!

Renee said...

OMGosh. So true. My husband's mother gave him a doll when his little sister was born so he could have a baby, too. He's very much a man today. No harm done.

germandolls said...

Thanks, renee! I am glad your husband is such a wonderful guy! Give your mother-in-law by best!