The Art of Confusing StrangersMar 5, 2000 Write an essay on this topic.
Quite frankly, I despise pastels as a color group. So keep that in mind when you read this. That dislike could very well color my opinion.
The only reason that I can see for dressing an infant in blue or pink is so that strangers in the grocery store don't have to stammer and call the baby 'it'. As in, "Oh what sex is it?" or "Oh what a beautiful baby...er...handsome baby...uh...what flavor is it, anyway?"
I mean honestly, the child could care less if you dress them like a 1920's flapper provided you feed them and change their nappies. The color coding is for other people.
Gender neutrality is equally silly. At least, it can be.
Children very quickly develop their own play habits and dress preferences.
I have seen 'Gender neutral' parents go into a complete state of confusion
because they carefully cultivated this neutral environment for their child and he still insists on spurning the dolls in favor of a nice stick he can use as a sword. I've seen them despair because their daughter is happiest wearing that frilly dress grandma sent instead of the nice gender neutral overalls mom and dad bought at the Gap.
Both sides of this issue have to do with parents thinking that they can somehow shape their child's personality in this area. That they can force their idea of what is acceptable or their preference onto the child.
In general, I would have to say that they are fighting a losing battle. You can dress your little girl in ruffles and lace and she still might be happiest playing in the mud with the little boy next door who has all those nifty Tonka trucks. You can carefully give your little boy a selection of dolls to play with and he might never pick them up.
Children are just like everyone else, they will be who they are and there is precious little you can do about it.
Of all the things to worry about while raising children this has to be the most pointless. Far better to spend the energy making sure they grow into compassionate, well rounded, well adjusted adults.
This goal can be achieved whether you dress them in pink or blue, buy the her the Barbie doll or buy him that really nifty laser tag set. They will grow up to wear the colors the prefer and will eventually leave the toys behind but if you did your job right they will carry with them all the tools they need to be successful adults.
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