I find it funny that every single time an issue is on my mind, I end up coming across an article of some sort on the topic. I recently noticed that Go-2-baby is fascinated with Caillou. She walks around the house saying his name, gets excited when she sees a photo of him and even sings along loudly during the theme song. My toddler officially has a favorite cartoon, or at least one she recognizes.
Being that her birthday is about 2.5 months away, now is a perfect time to discover her character of choice. Initially, my thoughts were to do a Disney Princess or Hello Kitty Party, but her amusement of Caillou has changed those plans completely. At first, I felt that it may come across strange if I hosted a Caillou themed birthday party for a little girl. After all, Caillou is a boy and some may argue that a party themed after the cartoon would be quite "boyish," for lack of better terms.
So tonight, I just so happened to be scrolling down my Facebook timeline and came across a link shared by a friend of mine. The headline immediately caught my attention because it read, Toys R Us agrees to drop 'boys' and 'girls toy labelling The story itself is dated back in April, however the website appears to be the home of a parent led organization working to end the gender labeling on toys for children.
While I think that there are some toys that skew closer to one gender as opposed to the other, I applaud the effort of these parents who are trying to make it so that children are free to like whatever type of toy or character they please without being forced to follow gender rules at an early age. I think parents are less concerned with girls playing with trucks and tool sets than they are when a little boy wants to play with a dollhouse or dress up like a princess.
I've been surfing the web for the past few days gathering ideas on how to make this Caillou and friends themed party as gender neutral as possible. I know that I wouldn't be doing the same thing if Go-2-baby was a little boy who was fascinated with Angelina Ballerina or something similar. I guess it make sense, for little girls we want them to grow up feeling that they can do anything a boy or man can do, but we tend to raise our boys to be masculine or else.
I'm really leaning towards making this Caillou party work for Go-2-baby, although there's a part of me that still feels like maybe she should have a party more fit for a little girl. Just seeing that article makes me feel like I'm doing the right thing by working with something she likes for her party. After all, whose birthday will we be celebrating? Last year, we did Sesame Street with a focus on Abby Cadabby as opposed to Elmo or Big Bird. This year its all about the character who she seems to draw closer to, and for us that happens to be a little bald boy who goes by the name of Caillou.
Do you draw gender lines when it comes to purchasing or even allowing your children to play with toys or watch certain cartoons or movies? I'm curious to know how young parents really start to draw these lines with their children. I obviously wouldn't dress my daughter in boys clothing, or vice versa if I had a son, but are toys and cartoons the same as clothing? I'd love to hear from my readers on this one?