Recently parents have started to realized the importance of suitable toys for kids and there has been a recent shift from typical girlish toys towars toys that empower girls. This is definitely a praiseworthy concept but the real idea sometimes gets lost in details.
While it is true that there is always need for more gender neutral toys for best development of child but many parents take it to extreme. They sometimes are so obsessed with gender neutral toys that they fail to notice a ‘girl’s toy’ that might be perfectly suitable for her.
The important question that parents needs to ask themselves when finding toys for their daughters is not how to empower her, but more importantly what type of empowerment you want to help your daughter with.
First of all, almost all parents want their daughters to grow into adults with high self-confidence and self-esteem. In order to develop this confidence in children, parents need to look for those toys which give your daughter a sense of achievement and accomplishment.
The important factors here are the level of difficulty and suitability to the child’s abilities and not gender neutrality. For example, parents might come across a perfectly suitable jigsaw puzzle but might disregard it because it had a picture of a princess which might not be a gender neutral image.
This totally misses the main idea. If you want your daughter to grow in self confidence, get a toy that challenges your child in play.
Again, what toys will you think if you want your daughter to be sporty and confident. Here again, you need not limit your focus to only gender neutral toys. The main focus of a parent should be to support and encourage the child.
You can do this by playing with them or taking them to sports practice and classes. Being their for your child and supporting her constantly is a lot more important that fussing too much over ensuring that the color of the ball that your daughter plays with is not pink.
If there is only one ball and that is pink, go with it. Playing is more important than the color of the ball.
Another aspect might be that you want your daughter to be confident in academics. For this you can get them toys which develop their interest in learning. For example, you might buy a chess set, STEM toys, or a science kit.
First try to find what your daughter has deep interest in and then find ways to support and encourage her passion with suitable toys. The key is to support your daughter. A confident child is more likely to apply herself in learning than the one lacking confidence.
The main point to note is that you do not need to stress on your daughter to only play with typical boy toys to give them a feeling of empowerment. The empowerment concept is not this simple. It is also related to what your objective is to empower them about.
So it is perfectly fine, if your daughter spends some time playing with her doll and spends the rest of the time playing with a science kit. More importantly she must be confident and happy. Do not narrow down your definition of empowerment. Try to empower your daughter to become the person she is passionate about becoming. Do not determine for her what she should become.