Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Nature vs. Nurture

The great debate in child-rearing. How much of the boy/girl personality differences are innate or born in the child? Or... are most of the differences due to things we subtly teach children about how a boy should act and how a girl should act (i.e. boys should like sports and girls should like princesses).

So I was buying a building/block set for my BFF's little boy Jack. Since Jack and his dad love the set so much, I decided to buy one for Little S - she and her dad could build cars/planes together too, right? WRONG!!

While Daddy worked on building a motorcycle Little S took the mini screwdriver in one hand and a block in the other and proceeded to poke her eye with the screwdriver.
Mommy: Stop poking your eye! What are you doing?
Little S: No, Mommy. I'm putting on my makeup. You want your makeup?
Mommy: OK.. (at which point I got the screwdriver poked in my eye and brushed along my cheek)

On a kind-of related note - I read an excellent article today on npr about the benefits of children participating in pretend play and free play. You can read it here

1 comment:

The Photographer said...

We also try to pay careful attention to the development and reinforcement of such role messages. Nevertheless, there have been some odd instances where behavior I would not have expected comes out. I think the approprite goal is to be a mindful as possible of the messages we send to our kids in order to provide them a level playing field to define themselves. If they want to fritz around with makeup, that should be fine. I just don't want them thinking that is the way things are supposed to be because of something we are doing.

So, just watch everything you do and don't do anything wrong. If you do, it is all your fault for destroying an innocent thing of beauty. No pressure.