aggressive boyThe call today that gender specific toys be banned as it leads to domestic violence dismisses all understandings we have about the complexity of our lives and the importance of a family’s love.

There is no doubt that the experiences we have as a child are important to our actions and values as adults. A child growing up in a loving and respectful home will importantly bring that positive experience into a happy adulthood. If that child was a boy and enjoyed playing with trucks then there is no reason or evidence that playing with such a toy would erase the very importance positive influence of his family.

The issue of gender toys comes when it is accompanied with family values that reinforce boys are aggressive and controlling and nurture that type of behavior from their sons. Playing with a gender specific truck or toy gun then takes on a different role.

The key is ensuring the messages you give to your child about themselves and gender are underpinned by love and mutual respect for all.