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Children imitate everything that adults do, they assume the roles they see at home, at school or on the street, and reproduce them faithfully. In the same way, they internalize the values that these roles acquire in society. The challenge is to offer the little ones new models of relationship between genders. This is not to say that boys have to play with dolls and girls with cars to avoid the traditional duality of "this is for boys" and "this is for girls."
Toys must be used by both sexes interchangeably. The fact that some toys are for girls and another for boys is the fault of the adults. We explain why children's toys do not have sex.
Children must be encouraged to break down these barriers and stimulate their curiosity for the unknown, the new. Fostering new psychological, manual, physical and intellectual capacities will not only favor the coexistence between the sexes, but will also enrich girls and boys as people.
Our society is in a process of change, and toys represent the society of 20 years ago, but not today. It is not true that the woman is currently locked up at home and has no other professional occupation. It is not true that men do not change diapers or feed.
The fact that the media, advertising or children's stories continue to give an image of the past is something we can do little or nothing to do, just not buy or not watch. But for the toys we buy today, we are fully responsible.
It is not true that girls are less agile than boys and it is highly debatable that they are less strong. In fact, to jump rope requires complex and diverse skills, as much or more than to play soccer. What happens is that, when a girl tries to play soccer for the first time, they argue that she does it wrong because 'she is a girl'; on the contrary, when a child plays for the first time, they will tell him that he is new and clumsy.
You can fight against these qualifiers and try to improve yourself, but against the fact of 'being a girl' you cannot do anything, except be aware that this is not a real limitation to carry out any type of activity, but a cultural stereotype. Nor can we forget that if girls suffer the consequences of stereotypes that shorten and limit their potential, boys suffer the demands imposed by society on 'males', which on many occasions can be suffocating and create complexes.
It is logical that for girls it is easier to play 'child's games' than the other way around, since there is a generalized attitude, immersed in all cultural and social aspects, of devaluing those tasks, values and capacities assigned to women. We will have to review our role as parents and educators, the explicit and implicit values, and from a critical analysis work to achieve a true change in attitudes.
Although the messages of discrimination by sex do not depend only on us, we will have to facilitate and promote that toys and games do not reproduce discriminatory traditional roles and that they can be used in the same way by girls and boys. The keys to success require that this empowerment begins very early and that all the people involved in the education of children are consistent with this.
Above all, toys must be stimulating and varied, and adults must provide those that provide positive values, since with playful activity we stimulate education in values. It is advisable to select toys that convey equality, solidarity, etc., but without forgetting that when the child plays, they reproduce and imitate situations or lived stories.
Must differentiate between the potential of play in the development of the child and the potential of play to support teaching. Today all scholars consider that toys offer possibilities that make them an essential educational element for child development. Play and toys contribute to the integral development of the child in all areas of the personality: intellectual, physical, social and emotional or affective. It stimulates the development and coordination of the body, develops mental structures, is a means of expression and socialization, and favors affective balance. In addition, it is an excellent resource to initiate or consolidate learning inside and outside the classroom. It is an adult topic that there are toys for boys and toys for girls.
When we leave the little ones playing in an environment without conditions, as in the case of the Play Centers, we verify that there is an indiscriminate use of toys. It is time for adults to become aware that toys do not have sex, that it is us, and not children, who mark them with sexist stereotypes. The game is free and spontaneous and that is how we have to understand it.
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