How do you explain to kids that certain things are girl / boy things?

(167 Posts)
BabyRuSh Fri 01-Mar-13 17:39:31

Sorry if its a dumb question. We were picking out shoes for ds recently (2y) and he kept pointing at pink ballet pump shoes in the catalogues. I didn't know how to say that those designs were for girls. Is there a nice way to explain this?? I have no issue with him playing with pink toys as i believe toys are gender neutral, and am a bit stumped as to how I explain that he can't wear certain things because he's a boy!

Tee2072 Fri 01-Mar-13 17:40:12

Why can't he? Are his feet an odd shape?

CinnabarRed Fri 01-Mar-13 17:42:11

I wouldn't tell him, personally. I might point out how impractical they are for jumping in muddy puddles, on the other hand, but then I wouldn't buy them for a 2 year old girl either.

sooperdooper Fri 01-Mar-13 17:51:40

I wouldn't say anything, apart from if they're shoes for general day to day wear they aren't very practical!

specialsubject Fri 01-Mar-13 19:44:59

apart from the fact that no-one should wear ballet shoes except to do ballet (really bad for the feet), what's the problem?

Given the choice my DS would pick out pink in anything, be it clothes, shoes, toys, whatever. It's his fave colour and as far as I'm concerned that's fine.

Ballet pumps are just not functional as winter footwear IMO though, unless doing ballet, so why not buy him a cheapo pair for dressing up indoors and you choose him some outdoor shoes that are more practical.

cory Fri 01-Mar-13 19:52:08

What, you mean like willies?

Wolfiefan Fri 01-Mar-13 19:52:33

I'd just say they were special shoes for dancing. Why mention gender?

CuttedUpPear Fri 01-Mar-13 19:55:14

Why can't he wear pink ballet shoes? hmm

My DS chose his own pink flowery wellies at age four and wore them proudly for a year.
I'm glad that he lives in a society where he can choose. Or do I mean I HOPE he lives in a society where he can choose?

Pink does not belong to girls
Really it doesn't.

SecretNutellaFix Fri 01-Mar-13 19:58:49

I would refuse them for boys and girls on the basis that they were not suitable everyday footwear.

Not mention that they are "for girls".

Spero Fri 01-Mar-13 20:02:30

I think its so sad little boys get put in this box at such an early age. Friend of mine's husband refused to let their little boy have a £2 pram to push about. I think he was afraid he would catch gay or something. Ridiculous and sad.

hermioneweasley Fri 01-Mar-13 20:04:32

I just strained my eyeballs rolling them too hard. FFS.

Goodwordguide Fri 01-Mar-13 20:06:30

grin hermione

VerySmallSqueak Fri 01-Mar-13 20:09:01

Pink is fine for either sex.
Ballet pumps (except for ballet) are crap for either sex.

I'm so much more interested in what is good for their foot health than the colour.

impecuniousmarmoset Fri 01-Mar-13 20:09:09

I find the pram thing particularly mystifying. I mean most of these blokes push their own bloody kids' prams without apparently calling their own sexuality into question?!

And yes to strained eyeballs. My toddler son just went to bed wearing rather fetching pink pyjamas with ice-creams on them. I don't think his willy has fallen off, though I'll have a quick check in the morning just in case.

lisad123everybodydancenow Fri 01-Mar-13 20:10:13

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Selks Fri 01-Mar-13 20:11:10

Why can't he wear them?

Iggly Fri 01-Mar-13 20:11:34

You tell him that ballet shoes are for ballet dancers surely. Not that they're for girls

hmm what an odd thread.

Iggly Fri 01-Mar-13 20:12:34

I will add ds is 3.5 and we've not yet covered pink is girls blue is for boys.

mrsyattering Fri 01-Mar-13 20:20:04

I was just explaining to my dd 5 that pink isn't just for girls. Although I wouldn't let my ds wear ballet pumps, as he would break his neck the first time he tried to run in them. FIL is horrified at the stuff I let him dress up in (i am going to turn him gay apparently!) wink dd loves dressing ds up as a fairy/princess, much to FIL annoyance grin

Spero Fri 01-Mar-13 20:20:49

I think we have established there is a risk his willy will fall off. Or he will catch gay.

ShowOfHands Fri 01-Mar-13 20:21:48

Do you know that not much more than 100 years ago that ONLY boys wore pink. It was a boys' colour.

DS is currently wearing pink pyjamas with a ballerina on the front of them. You'd be forgiven for thinking they were hand me downs from his big sister. They aren't. They're his, he loves them. Similarly, he loves his velvet pink trousers, flowery tops and his little dolly. He also loves his tool kit and playing rugby. They're just things and he chose them himself. On Monday, his big sister plays rugby (only girl) and she has mostly male friends and collects Marvel superhero stuff. The only time my heart sinks a bit is when dd comes home and says she's been teased for doing boy stuff or being told certain stuff is for boys only. Bollocks, frankly.

IrnBruTheNoo Fri 01-Mar-13 20:27:12

Just say that ballet dancers wear them and that he doesn't need a pair right now. He can be Billy Elliott when he's older if he likes?

Homophone Fri 01-Mar-13 20:30:47

I think you're all being a bit disingenuous. Yes if course boys can wear pink and why not ballet pumps etc etc. but op still needs her dc to understand that society currently sees some things as boyish and some as girly, so they understand why some people may react to them the way they do, rightly or wrongly.

CuttedUpPear Fri 01-Mar-13 20:36:46

No he doesn't need to understand why some people are prejudiced - he just needs to be not prejudiced himself! Really. That's all it takes.

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