How to convince DH that boys can have dolls?

(95 Posts)
Nix01 Tue 26-Nov-13 21:59:11

My 3 year old son has wanted a doll for ages. My mum saw one wearing blue (so a boy baby) on his wish list and she's bought it for him.

She also stupidly told DH that if it arrives here it will be returned and I should never have put it on the list etc etc.

Truthfully, he's being a total dick about the doll. He's got it in his head that boys do not have dolls and no one will convince him otherwise.

He's a very bright man and totally lovely but he's adamant on this. I want the doll. How do I convince him?

Nix01 Tue 26-Nov-13 22:00:01

I mean she stupidly told DH and he said if it arrives here etc...

Luggage16 Tue 26-Nov-13 22:01:50

ask him if he expects his son to grow up to be a dad - and if so what kind of father is he hoping he will be!

I can't find the great cartoon I'm looking for, but this is an interesting article

Manchesterhistorygirl Tue 26-Nov-13 22:03:03

Give it to ds and let him see how happy he is playing with it and hopefully he'll get the message.

Dh was like this with ds1's pink pushchair. Once he saw how happy he was with it he changed his mind. That was eight years ago and now ds2 plays with the same pram.

Ask him whether he had an Action Man and point out they are dolls.

Ask him whether he had an Action Man and point out they are dolls.

Ask him whether he had an Action Man and point out they are dolls.

Ask him whether he had an Action Man and point out they are dolls.

Ask him whether he had an Action Man and point out they are dolls.

Idreamofsunshine Tue 26-Nov-13 22:09:00

Tell DH to grow up

scallopsrgreat Tue 26-Nov-13 22:13:15

Why does he think boys shouldn't have dolls?

TheDoctrineOfWho Tue 26-Nov-13 22:14:10

Do children play with toys that represent the world around them, such as cars, toy food, play tools etc? Yes.

Does the world around them include babies? Yes.

Do babies get cared for by their parents? You betcha.

So...ask him to articulate what his problemis, assuming he has cuddled, kissed, bathed, fed, played with DSat some point in the last 3 years WITHOUT HIS PENIS FALLING OFF!

The chances are, he has done all of their things much more often than he has done DIY, but no doubt would have no problem with DS getting a toy hammer and chisel.

bundaberg Tue 26-Nov-13 22:14:18

point out that HE HAS A BABY HIMSELF.

SantanaLopez Tue 26-Nov-13 22:14:34

Didn't quite catch that, edam? grin

Tell him to grow up.

CheshireSplat Tue 26-Nov-13 22:16:51

Travelin, I'm thinking of (I imagine) the same cartoon which I saw on Facebook. It was shared from the moby wrap FB if anyone more technically minded than me can post a link.

OP, it was great. 2 men talking and a boy giving a baby doll a bottle. 1st man saying you can't let your son play with a doll. Aren't you afraid he'll turn out to be..... Turn out to be what, 2nd man says. A dad?

bundaberg Tue 26-Nov-13 22:18:53

this might work

runningonwillpower Tue 26-Nov-13 22:20:44

Nix - so what's his real problem?

Does he really think that letting your little boy have a doll will determine his sexuality?

You and he need to talk.

neontetra Tue 26-Nov-13 22:21:32

What arguments does he make against it?

That's the one!

KrabbyPatty Tue 26-Nov-13 22:25:12

He doesn't sound very bright - he sounds quite the opposite.

At that age, my eldest ds was happily carrying Fizz from the Tweenies around with him everywhere, and continued to do so until he was 4.

Ask him whether he had an Action Man and point out they are dolls.

Nix01 Wed 27-Nov-13 07:58:52

Thanks for the input, some great points for my argument

Nix01 Wed 27-Nov-13 07:59:31

Unfortunately, telling him he's a dick won't improve my chances ;)

MortifiedAnyFuckerAdams Wed 27-Nov-13 08:01:55

ID say "He is playing at being a daddy. Why is that a bad thing?"

sonlypuppyfat Wed 27-Nov-13 08:02:20

I know I'm going against the grain but I don't like seeing boys with baby dolls action figures ok. I know I should be ok with it but it gives me the shivers .

DH and I have had similar talks but he doesn't feel that strongly about it. I generally point out that, as far as I'm aware, no-one has ever caught 'gay' from playing with a doll.

DS is about to become a big brother and I've been encouraging him to look at the dolls at play group. He takes them for walks in the little pushchair and cuddles them - just like his Daddy will.

ipswichwitch Wed 27-Nov-13 08:06:46

I got 2yo DS a doll for his birthday (a Doc McStuffins one) that he'd seen in the shop and instantly fell in love with. DH was at first at bit twatty about it, now he sees how much DS loves it and has changed his opini

ipswichwitch Wed 27-Nov-13 08:10:54

I got 2yo DS a doll for his birthday (a Doc McStuffins one) that he'd seen in the shop and instantly fell in love with. DH was at first at bit twatty about it, and after a stern talking to and seeing DS's little face when he opened it he has thankfully changed his thinking.
DS is now currently potty training his doll - even though he's not really taken with the idea of using it himself! He likes to put nappies on her and give her cuddles which I'm hoping will prepare him for the arrival of his baby brother/sister in a couple of weeks.

Felyne Wed 27-Nov-13 08:16:19
SugarHut Wed 27-Nov-13 09:39:30

As an adult, I am probably the girliest mannered person in existence. As a child all I was interested in was Transformers, and my mother despaired.

My DS has Kens and Barbies...although they are little people who go in a model village thing he has, as opposed to dress up type dolls. There are husbands, wives, children that sit on little swings, babies that get wheeled round in little prams. He role plays with them for ages. The babies are naughty, the parents tell them off...the children go off on adventures, the husbands and wives go to the shops. Ask your DH if I should remove any of the babies from the village, as they are just a smaller version of what your DS wants.

Then when he looks sheepish, give him a poke in the eye smile

bundaberg Wed 27-Nov-13 10:20:49

sonlypuppyfat... seeing children with dolls gives you the shivers? really?

do you have a partner/husband/dad? did you allow them to hold your baby?

ElfontheShelfIsWATCHINGYOUTOO Wed 27-Nov-13 10:24:03

Its not something i would defer to my DH to decide or do away with. I would like to think he trusts my judgement on a doll.

If he said anyting about it or tried to do away with it Id tell him where to go.

Although apparently men like your DH do not actually exist according to past MN threads!

noblegiraffe Wed 27-Nov-13 10:28:46

Awww, he wants to be like his daddy!

Tiredemma Wed 27-Nov-13 10:31:54
sonlypuppyfat Wed 27-Nov-13 12:12:58

No just seeing boys with dolls gives me the shivers and yes I had a dad and I've got a husband .

SolitudeSometimesIs Wed 27-Nov-13 12:20:10

My son has a baby doll. He has a selection of high heels and tiaras passed on from my niece. Toys are toys for everyone. I worked as a childminder and the father of one of the children demanded that his son was to be kept away from the "girls toys", he came across as such a knobhead.

Just let DS be given the doll, let his Dad see how he plays with it.

ShoeWhore Wed 27-Nov-13 12:29:59

You could point out to your dh that his son wants to be like him smile

The delicious irony is of course that gay men are statistically much less likely to have babies than straight men...

Ds had a doll around the time his little brother was born, he was very sweet with it and used to "read" his baby stories and pat its back and take it for walks.

sonlypuppyfat, why do you think that is? And do you think the problem is with the boys, or with your reaction?

WhereIsMyHat Thu 28-Nov-13 22:39:43

Just give the doll to your son and tell your DH to get over it. Not helpful, sorry. Can you talk to him to establish exactly what he is afraid of. Anyone reasonable should be able to discuss the topic.

My 3 year old son is having rainbow dash and twilight sparkle my little ponies for Christmas.

sonlypuppyfat Fri 29-Nov-13 10:22:49

edam I don't know why I don't like it, I know it doesn't make any sense I come from a family of loving men so I know its not a fear of raising softy boys!! I just always think cars and toy guns for boys, dolls for girls. I know I'm not right but thats me.

JanineStHubbins Fri 29-Nov-13 10:26:10

^ I just always think cars and toy guns for boys, dolls for girls.^

sad That's a really depressing attitude.

sonlypuppyfat Fri 29-Nov-13 10:36:58

Sorry sad

WhyDoTheyDoThat Fri 29-Nov-13 10:39:56

Do you normally ask your DH's permission when buying your child toys? How odd.

mummylin Fri 29-Nov-13 10:51:51

My hairdresser has a little boy of five and he is having a doll and a pram. His mum has no problem with this at all .no different than another friends daughter wanting cars.

ds wandered around with a boy baby doll on holiday when he was around 18 months old and had a wee doll pram for it too. Nothing wrong with it at all.

CA95616 Fri 29-Nov-13 13:08:51

My Sisters husband wouldn't allow their son to have a doll and I know mine wouldn't if we had a boy. Tbh I wouldnt care enough to make a stand on this issue.

But if the child wanted a doll why on earth wouldnt you get them one. What is it going to do to them? It lets them explore their more nurturing caring side, it doesnt make them soft or turn them gay (not that I would mind if either dd or ds were gay, its not a disease!)

GuffSmuggler Fri 29-Nov-13 14:01:15

Thanks to those that sent the cartoon, it's brilliant. I will be sending to my BIL who heavily criticised us getting our DS a doll and pushchair (which he loves) He has also banned his own son for playing with any 'female' toys such as a toy cooker which he desperately wants angry sad

This is why the Let Toys be Toys campaign is so important IMO to get rid of these ridiculous outdated opinions. OP there are some really good explanations on the website about why things like dolls shouldn't be just for girls.

If you like them on FB you can keep up with what they are doing. They are having a massive impact on retailers not branding certain toys 'girls' and 'boys'. I think some MNers started it.

Lucylouby Fri 29-Nov-13 14:28:41

I bought DH an action man the year ds got a doll for Christmas. They both got dolls together. Ds is now 5 and doesn't play with his doll anymore, but has moved on to the action man in the past few months, so it wasn't a waste of money. It's only a doll. If you had a dd would she be allowed a toy car or would that not be allowed in case she turns out all masculine and Tom boyish?

CaroBeaner Fri 29-Nov-13 15:08:20

My DS had a doll for Christmas when he was 5. He asked for it, was excited about it, it was a girl doll, he played with her. It is NORMAL for boys to want to play with the toys they see around them.

It is NOT NORMAL for adults to restrict this and for boys NOT to play with dolls.

Really, why are men so disckwittish about this, I wonder? Why is it such a threat to them?

capsium Fri 29-Nov-13 15:12:23

As people have said Action Man, I would add PlayMobil, Lego figures in fact any other 'action figures' are actually dolls.

Would it be any better to call the doll a large 'Action Figure'? I don't really see the difference, apart from marketing. However all childcare settings have boys and girls playing with the dolls.

AliceinWinterWonderland Fri 29-Nov-13 15:15:45

DS1 and DS2 both play with the dolls from Toy Story, including Barbie and Ken. DH was a bit hmm about it at first, until lovely MIL started listing off all the antics he got up to with his Action Man doll when he was young. grin

qazxc Fri 29-Nov-13 15:24:25

Maybe tell you DH that it isn't a doll it's a large action figure.

ErrolTheDragon Fri 29-Nov-13 15:28:53

>the father of one of the children demanded that his son was to be kept away from the "girls toys"

That's easy then - because there's actually no such thing as 'girls toys' or 'boys toys'. There's just toys for children.

Someone has linked to Let Toys be Toys upthread - yes, it was started as the result of an MN thread in the run-up to Christmas last year.

absentmindeddooooodles Fri 29-Nov-13 15:46:56 would rather a boy play with guns ( dangerous...enable millions of people to be killed etc) than a doll.........does your husband look after your ds ( do you have dc?)

Please dont pass that attitude on to anyone. Theres enough pathetic homophobia and sexism in the world without someone else adding to it!

Fwiw my ds is 2.8 and has a random swlection of toys. Cars, dolls, cooker, garages, tools, dressing up box containing everything feom pirate and police outfits to dresses and fairy wings.

I encouraged him to play with a doll when he was younger....I plan on one day having another dc and I thought it would be a great way to introduce the caring/nurturing of a baby. I think its workes. Hes amazing with babies...familys etc. even if he did try and breastfeed my cousins 3 day old dc hes not quite got the hang of all the details just yet bless him.

Op your dh is being a eight numpty. Like so many men over the same kind of issues. Do you plan on having another dc? If so you could use that angle. If not as other posters have said.....hes just copying his dad!!

ChunkyPickle Fri 29-Nov-13 15:48:38

Good God, people like this really exist!? Even my otherwise gruff FIL happily plays dolls with DS (and dress up, with necklaces and stuff), and I happen to know that DS caused chaos today in the baby section at playgroup when he decided to talc the dolls after bathing them (not sure where he got that, I don't even have talc in the house)!

Toys are toys. DS plays with whatever he finds, and couldn't care less whether other people think they are for boys or girls. I'm sure your DS is exactly the same.

absentmindeddooooodles Fri 29-Nov-13 15:48:51

Right not eight?!

ControversialAnnie Fri 29-Nov-13 15:59:36

But the doll, tell him to get over itgrin

My ds (19m) has got a princess Holly doll for Christmas. He will love it. DH wasn't pleased but I assured him DS would not catch 'gay' or lose his penis wink

*Of course there is nothing wrong with being gay, but people seem to think girls toys = gay*

ControversialAnnie Fri 29-Nov-13 16:00:51

"Girls toys" blush

OneMoreChap Fri 29-Nov-13 16:10:27

It's a reflection on your DHs views on masculinity. WTF does he think will happen?

That your son will catch the gay/trans?

How about "I can't believe you're being so hetero-normative; I may have to start going to consciousness-raising in the local Radical Feminist group".

That should terrify him into submission <ducks and runs for cover>

sonlypuppyfat Fri 29-Nov-13 17:33:57

I am the least homophobic person on this earth do not judge me thank you.

AnAdventureInCakeAndWine Fri 29-Nov-13 17:50:55

Given that seeing non-gender-stereotypical behaviour gives you "the shivers", sonlypuppyfat, you're probably not actually the least homophobic person on the earth. That distinction would belong to someone who shares your other no-doubt-admirable attitudes but doesn't have a strong visceral negative reaction about transgressing gender norms.

Lilicat1013 Fri 29-Nov-13 17:55:45

My son has a doll for Christmas. My husband isn't overly keen, he isn't bothered enough to try and talk me out of buying it but he would probably prefer I didn't.

He doesn't have any reasonable explanation for his reluctance, first he said he didn't see the point of it. I then asked if I had a girl would he see the point of it then and he said girls are supposed to play with dolls.

It is weird, he has no real reason he just doesn't seem to like it. It is not even as if he would be bothered if our son was gay, he is very supportive of gay rights.

I pointed out that my son has a baby brother and was just playing out his real life and he seemed happier with that. That explanation seemed to make a difference to him, I am not sure why.

He wont discuss it further, I suspect because he can't really back up his argument and he knows I have bought the doll so it is somewhat irrelevant.

sonlypuppyfat Fri 29-Nov-13 18:39:33

Cakeandwine I understood all the words you said but put together you lost me!

OddFodd Fri 29-Nov-13 18:51:13

You're coming across as very homophobic and ignorant sonly, whether or not that's your intention. If you have an unreasonable reaction to something (like shivering if you see a child with a doll), don't you question yourself why that might be rather than shrugging your shoulders and saying that's just the way you are?

sonlypuppyfat Fri 29-Nov-13 19:29:41

I maybe ignorant but I am not homophobic I've already said lots and lots of times it makes no sense that I'm not keen on boys with dolls my own DS never chose to play with then at nursery or playgroups but I never steered him away from them. My own friends bought dolls for their boys and I wouldn't dream of saying anything but the whole point of this thread was what I thought of boys and dolls and I'm not keen I wouldn't say it in RL

BertieBowtiesAreCool Fri 29-Nov-13 19:37:10

I have seen a great flow chart on facebook a few times now. It goes like this:

How to tell if a toy is for boys or girls?

Q: Do you operate the toy with your genitalia?

Yes: This toy is not for children.
No: This toy is for girls and boys.


ShoeWhore Fri 29-Nov-13 19:49:48

grin Bertie

I'd just like to point out that my gay friends have no children (unless you count their dogs smile )

Quite a high percentage of my straight male friends have children and babies though. Some of them have even cuddled them, fed them, and <whispers> pushed them in a buggy. What a shocker.

ShoeWhore Fri 29-Nov-13 19:50:53

Of course it would be lovely if my gay friends did have children. (for the avoidance of doubt) I'm just quoting some very carefully researched statistics.

GuffSmuggler Fri 29-Nov-13 21:03:05

bertie grin I love that!

BertieBowtiesAreCool Fri 29-Nov-13 21:09:48

It makes me laugh every time I see it, and I've seen it shared about four or five times now. smile

learnasyougo Fri 29-Nov-13 21:15:19

dolls are just pretend people. Why is it okay for a boy to have pretend animals but not pretend people?

emsyj Fri 29-Nov-13 21:21:06

William's Doll is worth a look.

ErrolTheDragon Fri 29-Nov-13 21:58:59

Thanks Bertie - I was trying to remember how that one went. grin

ErrolTheDragon Fri 29-Nov-13 22:02:58

Googling 'dolls for boys' proves that we're right - eg amazon

Wigeon Fri 29-Nov-13 22:06:40

OP - can you ask him, in all seriousness, to explain to you why he doesn't think your DS should have a doll? Because I can think of several answers he might have, and a billion reasons why each of those answers aren't reasonable. If he articulated exactly why he doesn't think a doll is an appropriate toy for a boy then you might have something specific to work with.

Incidentally, does he actually share any of the care of your DS? Eg does he feed him, take him out, bath him, cuddle him if he's hurt, do bedtime / read bedtime stories, drop him off at nursery / childminder? Or do you pretty much do all of that?

MissBetseyTrotwood Fri 29-Nov-13 22:14:12

Agree with the poster who mentioned Action Man.

Did your DH help care for your DS as a baby? Change nappies? Cuddle? Feed? Why can't your LO do the same for his baby?

One of my DSs (5 now) still breast feeds his cuddly animals at night before bed because his 'mummy milk' makes them 'sleepy'.

MissBetseyTrotwood Fri 29-Nov-13 22:14:30

Ah, just saw last post, x posted there!

ThingsThatGoBumpInTheNight Fri 29-Nov-13 22:26:47

I just asked p if ds would play with the buggy I brought him with his genitals - (I hope I've worded that right, it sounded better spoken then written lol) and if not then the toy could be for either a boy or a girl.

He got the message wink

Dontlookbehindyou Sat 30-Nov-13 09:13:41

I've shared it numerous times on Facebook after people saw photos of ds taking his doll for a walk in the park with her pink buggy.
Someone even commented "I didn't know you had a girl I thought it was a boy!"
He is a boy, he just likes pink, he likes dolls etc
At his dance class they play with ribbons, round their wrists and wave them around the teacher insists ds should have a "boy" one even when he's stood in front of her with his hands out crying ad saying "pink!! Please!!" I've started getting a pink one for myself and swapping them.

It annoys me because the whole class is geared towards expressing themselves but they gender stereotype, also boycotting kindereggs until they stop with the pink and blue eggs.
I'm known as the mad feminist at dance class but I'm totally not genderising kids annoys me.

Nix01 Sat 30-Nov-13 10:05:08

I know. We've had the serious convo and he's just adamant. In his Defence he's a great dad and very hands on (he even baths them every night). He's not sexist, chauvinist or even a homophobe so I don't know where this comes from, I can only guess his own fucked up childhood sad

"He's not sexist, chauvinist or even a homophobe"

Maybe you just have not had reason to examine this more closely until now.

But who wants the doll, and who wrote it on his list? YOU? Or him?

Because if it is just a question of YOU being adamant he has a doll, as opposed to your dh being adamant he doesnt, then this is a different issue of what you both are trying to project onto your son.

My son used to play with a doll in nursery. He loved lots of the toys in nursery, and we did not bother buying them all for home. It made nursery special that he could play with different toys there.

Nix01 Sat 30-Nov-13 10:22:40

I think you might have misunderstood. Dos saw it, I put it on his wish list and dm was going to buy it. In any event, dm has not purchased it.

Lweji Sat 30-Nov-13 10:26:17

You tell him that if he feels like that then he can move out.

What if your son turns out to be gay, will he return him too? Or transexual?

In any case, I'd be telling him that I would not allow the doll to be returned. DS likes it and that's it.

Shockers Sat 30-Nov-13 10:32:32

The favourite childhood toy of DS (now 13) was a Bella rag doll (Tweenies).

He's at rugby training at the moment.

Oh... he also loved to wear his sister's clothes and dress-up 'clacky shoes' (especially the ones with fluff and jewels on the front).

Now he prefers a Hollister hoody, chinos and Converse pumps.

He would brush and plait my hair as we watched old musicals on DVD.

These days he does that with his older sister who has special needs.

I love how well rounded he is.

I'd buy at least 2 dolls for your ds if your dh is going to be such an arse about it. Fill the room with dolls and buggies!

LeBearPolar Sat 30-Nov-13 10:40:04

"He's not sexist, chauvinist or even a homophobe"

Either this is true or your OP is true (that he doesn't want DS to have a doll). But I'm afraid they can't both be true.

Lweji Sat 30-Nov-13 10:42:55

Also to say that I bought DS a doll, complete with crib. It cried and giggled and had a bottle. DS enjoyed it while it made noises, but then got tired.
He still likes cars and footballs and anything with wheels.

A doll won't "spoil" your son, and if he turns out to be gay or whatever, then there's no amount of boy toys that will prevent it.

hermioneweasley Sat 30-Nov-13 10:44:49

Show him this flow chart

I have known grown men break down and cry when they describe how they were forced to "man up" and lose touch with traditionally "feminine" skills and values like caring, nurturing and listening. Please don't let that be your DS in 30 years time because his father is a sexist cock.

Reading your OP again I realize I have no clue what is going on:

"My 3 year old son has wanted a doll for ages. My mum saw one wearing blue (so a boy baby) on his wish list and she's bought it for him.

She also stupidly told DH that if it arrives here it will be returned and I should never have put it on the list etc etc."

ANd then you say:

"I think you might have misunderstood. Dos saw it, I put it on his wish list and dm was going to buy it. In any event, dm has not purchased it.F

She saw it on his wish list and bought it for him? Or she wrote it on his wish list and did not buy it?

Who is Dos? The dog?

TheDoctrineOfWho Sat 30-Nov-13 11:02:02

I think OP's DH is possibly more scared of his son being girly than of his son being gay.

I'd put this down to sexism before homophobia - as many have pointed out, straight men are statistically more likely to have children than gay men.

TheDoctrineOfWho Sat 30-Nov-13 11:05:50

OP, don't be too quick to blame his childhood. There are lots if strong societal messages eg gendered toy aisles that are in tune with his position. Better to work on the basis that he is allowing an unconscious prejudice to deny his child something and wouldn't it be fairer if he could rise above that?

Lavenderhoney Sat 30-Nov-13 11:11:33

Is your ds allowed to have friends who are girls and what does your dh expect to happen when your ds plays at their house?

Does he have to take his own toys or do you physically remove / stop him touching anything pink and deemed for females only by the toy police?

Your dh sounds a bit weird about it, if I saw him pushing a buggy or hugging his ds I wouldn't think he was a woman.

insancerre Sat 30-Nov-13 11:12:37

How sad. The fact that this little boy wants a doll, shows he has a caring personality that should be encouraged.
Not trodden all over.

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