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Gifts for daughters dilemma

(52 Posts)
JumpJockey Fri 22-Nov-13 12:35:27

I have 2 dds, nearly 5 and nearly 3, both of whom have their birthdays close to Christmas so this is a very current issue...

I am doing my best to avoid excessive pinkness, girly toys, being princesses etc, despite best efforts of MIL to send pink sparkly party dresses at all opportunities. Now that they're old enough to ask for what they want, there is a lot of "I would like a princess dress up set and a handbag and some more dollies".

Is it unfair of me to give them these toys, because a) I don't think they're very good for them when we could give them lego or something more neutral, and b) they play with lots of this sort of thing at nursery/ school anyway, and c) MIL will doubtless send loads of this crap sort of thing? Is it mean to refuse the toys they specifically ask for because they're blimming awful?

Pistillate Fri 22-Nov-13 12:50:14

If you are not editing the toys from mil, then you are allowing them a bit of what they want. Banning it entirely is only going to make them want it more, and if you buy other things you are showing them that your idea of play is different... They will twig pretty quick.

In fact I think your situations not bad... You mil filling that gap allows you to only buy what you want for them, whilst they still have their wishes fulfilled.

JumpJockey Fri 22-Nov-13 14:27:31

A fair point! I just wonder whether we ought to be getting what they want, otherwise it seems like Mummy and Daddy are the meanies who don't listen to them. It's all a bit "my children will only have wooden toys even if they really like the flashing plastic stuff"!

HerrenaHarridan Fri 22-Nov-13 15:08:36

It's not mean at all.

You know they will still get the pink princess tat from someone else. They will have access to things that will help them express that side of themselves. You will however be providing them with the counter balance so they are never restricted to only pink princess crap.

IMO it's not about stopping them doing traditionally girlie things its about enabling their freedom of choice

JumpJockey Fri 22-Nov-13 15:34:23

I like that argument Helena! smile

whatdoesittake48 Fri 22-Nov-13 15:47:46

we used to have a rule that our children could have anything they liked (within our budget...) as long as it wasn't advertised on children's TV. This cut out loads of the crap usually aimed at them...and got us out of the cycle of buying the latest toy. They also had to use their imagination to work out what they really wanted.

Nowadays they just want money...or gadgets. it is very boring!

We use the same rule for food too - if it is aimed at children it isn't real food is a pretty good rule!

WoTmania Fri 22-Nov-13 20:28:06

As has been said they will get all the pink princess tat from MIL other people. By getting them other stuff you are giving them options. You may also find that while they want all of that at the moment those toys will soon lose their appeal and whatever you give them may well get played with and used more in the long run.

It's about giving them choice and variety not limiting them to pink and frilly.

birdybear Fri 22-Nov-13 20:37:07

why can't girls have pink tat if that is what they want?

SplitHeadGirl Fri 22-Nov-13 21:04:15

I've got my DD the Doc McStuffins is very sparkly mind you!!

TBH I have to agree with Birdy...I don't really care too much that my three year old loves princesses...I have faith that she, with two feminist parents, will learn well and be strong and powerful as she grows up.

WoTmania Fri 22-Nov-13 22:26:17

But they will get pink tat - probably from almost everybody else. So why not give them other stuff as well. I find it quite depressing when boys get lots if useful interesting toys and girls get....dolls.
What's wrong with variety?

SplitHeadGirl Fri 22-Nov-13 22:43:21

Do boys get interesting stuff?? My son, tractors, cars, cars, lorries and more cars......

He loves it, don't get me wrong, but interesting it is NOT!!

My daughters get jigsaws, playdoh, dress up, DVDs, doctor sets, lego...

APartridgeAmongThePigeons Sat 23-Nov-13 01:21:44

Grandparents are there to buy your children crap. Feed them crap. Let them stay up late.

Parents have to make an effort. You wouldn't just feed them cake if it were all they asked fo, right? And you wouldn't feel guilty about it either would you?

So why feel guilty about buying them educational or gender neutral toys? If they are pink devotees, what about getting them goldiblox?

madwomanintheatt1c Sat 23-Nov-13 01:53:11

What are you buying Ds, then, split? Shopping for little kids is easy. So much choice! How come your Ds only gets vehicles? I think mine only got car themed stuff once (except the remote control year, when they all got helicopters as well as those teeny tiny cars - we had to get three so they had one each - it was the girls that asked for them and we didn't want Ds to feel left out).

Ds is getting a pen knife and lego tower bridge. The dd's (respectively) are getting money for an international trip (and a rucksack to take everything in) and books (easy to please). Thankfully the pink days are past, which happens to all girls if you wait a year or two. grin their days of wall to wall pinkery and bling haven't affected their views on equality or their maturing tastes in the slightest.

Op, don't sweat it. And ask for a copy of Cinderella ate my daughter in your stocking.

madwomanintheatt1c Sat 23-Nov-13 01:57:40

On the goldiblox thing - as it's so trendy at the mo, it's making me a bit uneasy. I'm all for female engineers (dd1 is likely to end up as one, for a start, and my kids love to create Rube Goldberg machines out of anything they find laying around - it was last year's craze) but I'm finding the idea of yet more stuff targeted in a totally gendered way CRAZY!!!

Why do girls need goldiblox stuff? Why do you have to have special twee engineering stuff because it's for girls?


SoonToBeSix Sat 23-Nov-13 02:08:04

Yes it is mean, would you feel the same if you had a ds who wanted a pink pram?

ChippingInLovesAutumn Sat 23-Nov-13 03:08:31

Yes it is mean not to get them what they want (if you can afford it) - would you like it if your DH bought you a hoover because it was what he thought you needed and not the iPad you wanted?

You really can go the other way when trying to be gender neutral in your parenting.

WoTmania Sat 23-Nov-13 09:41:39

soontobesix - actually, I have boughht my sons pushchairs and dolls and made a sling for them because no one else does (not in pink though, I avoid things in gendered colours).
But with DD I buy her other stuff because everyone else buys the pink tat so she also gets a choice of things to play with.
I'm helped by the fact that I have dc of both sexes though as regardless of who it has been given to they all have access. In the case of the OP she has two girls so unles she provides other toys that's all they will get

ChunkyPickle Sat 23-Nov-13 12:06:05

I actually think that all 3 year-olds love that stuff - DS certainly loves everything sparkly, bracelets, necklaces a bag to carry it all in, he just gets given cars because he's a boy (which he also loves, but likes a change every now and then)

Girls just get the pink stuff pushed so much more, and at 3 they're easily swayed.

I agree with everyone else - you provide the toys you want to give them variety, and let MIL provide the pink and sparkly.

APartridgeAmongThePigeons Sat 23-Nov-13 21:44:22

You know I felt the same way madwoman, it felt quite patronising that they were making "engineering toys for girls" when they're were already engineering toys for children. But actually on thinking it through I realised there were very few "engineering toys for children" and actually just "engineering toys for boys".

By that i mean, in the boy aisle. With only boys on the cover. And when characters are involved only male ones. With boys on the television adverts.

So I was using the typical male is default thinking iyswim.

We have a toys r us advert in states at moment they show an aisle full if girls at the Barbie section and an aisle full of boys in the lego section angry

So whats wrong with marketing something at girls, for them, if its not some bullshit Lego friends thing where you Dont actually build anything?

APartridgeAmongThePigeons Sat 23-Nov-13 21:54:25

Also I don't think the advertising is "twee" at all. Pretty fuckin awesome actually grin

APartridgeAmongThePigeons Sat 23-Nov-13 22:06:29

zatyaballerina Sat 23-Nov-13 23:26:23

We've always bought dd a mix of boys/girls/neutral and allow her to choose her preferences. I really don't see how a pink princess dress hurts any more than a dinosaur or a gun. If they are deprived of something they want, it'll make them want it so much more. If your children are asking for a doll or dress up clothes, why would you refuse that in favour of something you want them to have? That sounds mean and strangely controlling tbh.

If there's some reason why you're desperate for them to have something 'gender neutral', you could get them what they want and what you want them to have, if they play will your preferred option, great, if not, so what?

madwomanintheatt1c Sun 24-Nov-13 00:30:27

Right, but the problem isn't marketing more engineering toys for girls (complete with girly packaging) it's making the existing packaging gender neutral.

I had exactly the same issue last year trying to buy Ds a rock tumbler. They are marketed exclusively for girls, with girls making jewellery on the boxes, and free dangly earring hooks inside the pack.

I've seen the Rube Goldberg ads - they are fine. And my kids make Rube Goldberg machines all the time. I think theya re pretty awesome. But the actual engineering toys? Damn me they are twee.

Goldie the girl inventor?
Not just Goldie the inventor?
We have to make a point about her being a girl because that's like, sooooo, unusual?
That's reinforcing the stereotype by illuminating the fact that 'an inventor' is male, but a 'girl inventor' is female. Nuts.

TheRaniOfYawn Sun 24-Nov-13 06:03:08

The second GoldieBlox book has been causing a bit of a stir among my friends. Goldie makes friends with a princess and they design a float for a parade with lots of sparkly stressing up in frilly frocks.

I found that both my children loved pink sparkly stuff between the ages of around 2 and 5. One is a girl, the other a boy.

sashh Sun 24-Nov-13 09:34:18

I think buy them what they ask for.

You are discriminating (well that's a big word, but something like that in a small way) because they are girls.

If you had boys asking for pink you would probably be thrilled, so why shouldn't girls have pink tat?

I wasn't allowed mechano as a child because it was a boys' toy. I was allowed dolls, and I played with them, I also made them clothes.

I also played with mechano when noone was looking.

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