PPBB Community comment: “I wish I could control what my kids are learning in the classroom. My son comes home from kindergarten feeling like all he can play are superhero games.
I’ve been telling both he and his sister from their day ones that all colors are for everybody, all characters are for everybody, princesses are for everybody and superheroes are for everybody. We live that way.
But a few days in school and my boy yells “yuck” every time I ask him if he wants a pink heart sticker for crying out loud.
It’s depressing, really.” -Kelly F
PPBB Reply: A lot of what your son is doing right now is totally age appropriate and common for kids who are in the phase of establishing gender permanence. Kids his age categorize everything and the world is very “this or that” for them right now. Good/bad, pretty/ugly, mean/nice, funny/scary. This is why the preschool/kinder age has such big emotions as the huge world they are learning so much about every day doesn’t line up with their boxes and they feel shifted and out of sorts.
The categorization helps them feel a sense of control, because going out into the world every day without mom/dad right there can be scary and overwhelming so they compartmentalize everything and take their roles VERY seriously, which is why your son is overemphasizing that he is a B-O-Y right now and pink heart stickers make him wretch.
It is completely frustrating and also a great indication he is learning and absorbing everything around him, including our culture’s definition of gender roles. Just be patient and keep emphasizing little gender equity mantras. It will stick with him as he matures.
Some PPBB gender equal and media literacy mantras you can use are:
All toys are for all kids.
Each person is Full of Awesome in their special way.
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