And therein lies the problem with the sort of old-school political correctness that tries to say that girls will always be engaged by the same things as boys if you just give them the right options: it’s just not true. I’m convinced that my daughter is going to be an engineer of some kind – she is a math whiz and does visual-spatial reasoning problems far more naturally than I can. She loves mysteries and suspense books about knights and castles — and yet, as a kid, she wanted to play with dolls in the castles instead of building impersonally with them. She loved the idea of the new Lego Friends toys – although, she quickly added, it’s too bad that she’s too old to really take advantage of them now.
We do our girls no favors by trying to pretend that they aren’t different from boys – don’t we talk about embracing our “female strengths”? How can we encourage our girls to embrace who they are – who God made them to be! – without acknowledging, encouraging and celebrating that they learn differently, lead differently and yes, play differently. Those things that appeal to girls, do so because, I believe, that is the way God made them – made us!
Yes, everyone is an individual (as my little tomboy math-brain girl knows) but that’s just the point: respecting how we are each made and designed, rather than trying to put us in a box, will always lead us to God’s best for us, and for our kids.
I’m sort of hoping that some of the daughters of the upset moms will start asking for Lego Friends, and give the moms a chance to see that for themselves.
Helping people thrive in life and relationships is Shaunti Feldhahn’s driving passion, supported by her research projects and writing. After starting out with a Harvard graduate degree and experience on Wall Street, her life took an unexpected shift into relationship research. She now is a popular speaker around the world and the author of best-selling books about men, women, and relationships. (Including For Women Only, For Men Only, and the groundbreaking The Good News About Marriage).
Her newest book, The Kindness Challenge, demonstrates that kindness is the answer to almost every life problem, and is sparking a much-needed movement of kindness across the country. Visit www.shaunti.com for more.