"When I'm a girl, I'm going to be a princess": Advice from Kids (Part 2)

By: Kaitlyn

I posted an “Advice From Kids” post a little while back and decided to write another one. This summer I am working at a day care and I’ve discovered that I’m learning a lot from my kids (in between all the poop and emotionally eating donuts).  Kids are smart and we should never doubt what insights they might give us. So here are a few insights that I’ve gained or have been highlighted again for me:

Family is what binds us together

My favorite kid and I (yes I have a favorite kid because I’m only human) have a routine going on every day. Part of that routine involves reading as many books as we can while he sits in my lap holding his beloved kitty cat and points at crazy pictures.

This one time we were reading a book all about sea creatures. Each page had a few different creatures on it with pop ups (so basically this book is awesome.) The second to last page of this book says, “What do all of these animals have in common?”

On the next page the answer is revealed that “They’re all from the sea.” Go figure.

But as I asked my reading buddy what they all had in common he said as if it was obvious: “They all have a family.”

I just melted right there. First off, it was just adorable. Secondly, he was right. No matter how different we are in culture, looks, gender, upbringing etc, the one thing that really binds us all together is family. Our family life affects us so incredibly greatly and it’s all something that we have in common with each other. The idea of family not only brings us and our families together, but the world together.

“Grown-ups” define Gender

I was talking to the aforementioned favorite kid above, who is a tiny little four-year old boy with the biggest smile and is always looking to give away hugs and kisses. I don’t know what we were talking about, but he said that his favorite color is pink.

I smiled at him and said, “That’s awesome!”

[caption id="" align="alignleft" width="340"] from goodreads.com. Excerpt from "My Princess Boy" by Cheryl Kilodavis[/caption]

He smiled back and said, “Yeah, when I’m a girl, I’m going to be a princess!”

Now, I thought that it was perfectly great and fine that we wanted to be princess and a girl someday. However, I know a lot of adults, even ones I work with, that would have freaked out. I mean, people tend to freak out when boys even say that they like the color pink.

And it really dawned on me that us grown-ups define what gender is to these kids. I’ve seen adults all the time telling their kids what colors to like and what toys to play with. When a boy plays with a Barbie or says they like pink, adults quickly correct them. Boys are supposed to like blue and play with dinosaurs.

It’s sad. It’s tragic, really. Adults end up defining their kids without letting kids define who they are and what they like by themselves.

This needs to stop. If a boy likes pink and wants to be a princess, then gosh darn it, we better make sure that we do everything we can to help him make that dream come true and to show him that embracing your true self is the greatest thing that we can teach him.

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We're Sarah and Kaitlyn, roommates from Milwaukee who started this blog to promote creativity and life.
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