But some girls love pink, and some boys love blue

Cropped image of a child writing on paper with a red pencil at a wooden table.

When are people going to admit that a lot of boys love trucks and footy, and – let’s face it – many, many girls are obsessed with dolls and dressing up as princesses?

You see so many kids like that – doesn’t it suggest they do have a natural tendency towards ‘masculine’ or ‘feminine’?

…No.

Ok, so there are those girls with short hair who love climbing trees and getting grubby. And there are those boys that have no interest in sport and would rather draw pictures of butterflies all day. So maybe you could say that most children fit neatly into the ‘standard’ feminine or masculine, but a few are either ‘tom-boys’ or a bit ‘sensitive’?

…No.

There are kids who are obsessed with footy, love their toy kitchen and enjoy platting their sister’s hair. Plus the kids with long hair, trouble with anger issues, and sing every song from Frozen. Are they average kids?

Yes! (...see what we did there? We took gender out of the equation!)

Every child is capable of enjoying, being good at and learning from an endless range of interests that help their brains grow and develop. When we try to make rules about what ‘most kids’ do, are good at, or feel based on their gender, we ignore, and sometimes discourage possibilities. We inadvertently suggest to children that only certain things are ‘suitable’ for them, and ignore or dismiss anything outside of that stereotype.

Children should feel free to explore whatever they’re curious about, whatever excites them and whatever is in their world that helps them learn and practice new things. A boy that lives for footy and a girl who adores her dolls should be equally encouraged to do what they love – just as much as if the scenario were reversed.

Because why would we want to limit kids’ opportunities to learn by suggesting, insinuating or straight out telling them, “That’s just for boys” or “It’s a bit girly”. Why would we keep obsessing about pink being for girls and blue being for boys?

For ideas on how to play beyond gender stereotypes see Child’s Play – 6 ways to challenge gender stereotypes .