In 1981, LEGO came out with a stunning ad. In it, a cute little red headed girl is proudly holding up her brick masterpiece. The copy reads "What it is is beautiful." Compared to the ads geared toward children today, this ad made over 30 years ago is moving. The little girl was portrayed as what she was, a kid.
Kids are often put in a box where a lot of their decisions are made for them from so many generalizations. Girls are bossy. Boys are tough. Girls like pink. Boys play sports. I want my kids to grow up in a different world. I want them to have the final say in who they choose to be.
My seven year old son has such a gentle spirit. He picks up helpless insects with the gentlest care and has always loved holding babies. He reads to his little sisters and takes such pride in caring for our dog Murray. I don't want my son to ever think being a caregiver is a weak role. I want him to see that sometimes, gentle is the strongest, bravest thing he can be. I want to nurture his caring spirit. He will likely grow up to a father and a husband. He may grow up to be a teacher or a nurse. I want to nurture the caregiver in him. Because who knows whose caregiver he might grow up to be.
My two daughters are tough and fierce. My four year old can ride circles around most boys her age on her bike (with no training wheels, mind you). My two year old is the most opinionated child I've ever encountered. Even when it's hard, I want to nurture those qualities. I don't ever want them to be seen as "bossy". They may grow up to be professional athletes or business owners or mothers who manage a household. I want to nurture the boss in them. Because who knows whose boss they might grow up to be.