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Why can't she like Polly Pocket and other froo froo stuff? - Page 6

post #101 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jwebbal View Post
But this analogy doesn't work in this situation. What does work is, if I send my kid to day care, and express my wishes that I do not want my child engaging in war play, and ask you to discourage it (or even to remove war toys from the toy selection), do you comply? Or do you ask "what can't her child like guns and swords and other warplay stuff?"

I see the OP doing the latter, not the former, which is why I have issue with it.
I know you keep saying to stop mentioning the son, but IMO he's a crucial piece of the puzzle. Your above analogy is closer to the OP's than the one you quoted, but to be really accurate you'd have to go one step further and ask how a DCP would respond if you told her that she was to allow your daughter to play with weapons, but not your son.

That's crucial because it illustrates that the mom *doesn't* have a broad philosophical problem with the toys themselves; she just has a problem with girls playing with them.
post #102 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by limabean View Post
I know you keep saying to stop mentioning the son, but IMO he's a crucial piece of the puzzle. Your above analogy is closer to the OP's than the one you quoted, but to be really accurate you'd have to go one step further and ask how a DCP would respond if you told her that she was to allow your daughter to play with weapons, but not your son.

That's crucial because it illustrates that the mom *doesn't* have a broad philosophical problem with the toys themselves; she just has a problem with girls playing with them.
But the mom didn't actually say (did she?) that her son could play with the girly stuff and the girl was to be forbidden from it. The way I read it, she asked that the girl be given a little extra encouragement to get interested in the non-girly stuff, and some subtle steering away from the girly stuff. She probably figures the boy doesn't need that, because he's undoubtedly already being subtly steered away from girly stuff.
post #103 of 186
It sounds like the OP only brought up the son and the way the mother/client dresses to give us a better perspective on what she (the OP) is dealing with. I, for one, appreciate that background info. It is very telling, IMO, that the mother has no problem with the son dressing up, but can't stand for the daughter to do so. And, the mother dresses "like a man" herself...interesting info.

It only helps me judge the mother more, but hey...that's what this thread is for, right?

I think the mother/client is being ridiculous in her expectations, simply b/c she doesn't have those same expectations for her son. This is clearly not a "family policy". It seems to be a way of restricting the girl child. I think that's messed up and I wouldn't support that sort of parenting, either.

This reminds me of a woman I know. She hates the way her 3 yo dresses and how girly she is. She thinks her 6yo son is gay and loves it when he "dresses like a girl". I find it disturbing and think the woman needs more therapy.

If I knew the mother/client in question, I might suggest the same thing.
post #104 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by joensally View Post
Velochic - that's a horrible spot you find yourself in with the school. Have you brought them articles? Literature from whatever health authority exists where you are? Asked them to measure conduct issues before the introduction of this diet versus after (comparative analysis). Grades? Can't you just see the boing after the glycemic load hits, and all the sleepy post-lunch kids!? They could also look at PE performance pre and post (as a proxy for actually weighing the kids, which is problematic).
Sadly, it doesn't sound like any of this would work for velochic. She mentioned the Lunchables the other kids would be bringing in without the hot lunch program. If that's what the other kids are eating, I don't think the hot lunch is going to cause any noticeable downturn, yk? I mean...cheeseburger vs. Lunchable? Not much to choose from there. I'd guess, without actually having done a comparison, that the cheeseburger may be healthier.


Jwebbal - I get what you're saying about the "men's clothes" remark. But, I also note that it was the mom herself who brought up her own clothing style with respect to the discussion. Maybe she doesn't wear actual "men's clothes", but she obviously does make a point of not dressing in a "girly" fashion, and brought up that contrast to the OP on her own. I really don't think the OP is out of line to comment on something the mom herself brought up.

Also, with respect to this:
Quote:
See, and this is where the food analogy comes in. I don't feel bad that I don't allow my son a lot of the crap other people feed their children.
I don't see where the OP said she'd feel bad about feeding her children less crap than other kids eat. She said she feels bad when she has to tell two of the kids her care that they're excluded from something the other kids are enjoying. That's not the same thing at all. I don't feel bad at all about not having cookies and cupcakes in my home...but I'd still feel bad if I had to tell another child that he/she couldn't have one if they appeared at a party or something.

Overall, if my kids were in a daycare and there was something about it that I didn't like, but none of the other parents had an issue with (or even preferred), I'd bite my tongue or go somewhere else. The other parents obviously have no issue with Polly Pockets or Disney (as evidenced by another little girl wearing a Cinderella shirt). The mom absolutely has the right to raise her kids the way she wants to raise them, but the OP also has the right to run her daycare in a way that works for herself and the majority of the kids in attendance.

Velochic: I see one major difference between your situation and that of the mom in the OP. Nobody is asking the mom in the OP to pay an extra fee so her daughter can play with Polly Pockets, yk? That aspect of your situation strikes me as outrageous.
post #105 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by Daffodil View Post
She probably figures the boy doesn't need that, because he's undoubtedly already being subtly steered away from girly stuff.
Why do you say that?
post #106 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ceili View Post
When you apply the common test of replacing gender with race (or sparkly dresses with darker skinned baby dolls in this case), the gender bias becomes glaringly obvious. It's not okay to demonize girly things, that sends the message that girly things (and thus girls) are bad.
No, it sends the message that being a girl doesn't have to mean wearing sparkly dresses. To really replace gender with race in this example, imagine a scenario where the DCP has black dolls that look like rappers and gang members, and white dolls that look like doctors and nurses. And that the black kids she takes care of usually play with the black dolls, and wear the rapper dress-up outfits, and the white kids usually play with the white dolls and pick the doctor outfits to dress up in, and the DCP feels fine about that. But the mom of a black kid wishes that the DCP would get rid of those black rapper and gang member dolls, and that she would encourage her kid to play with the doctor and nurse stuff, which leads the DCP to ask, why can't he just have fun dressing up like a rapper?
post #107 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by velochic View Post
To me, this is the underlying question... what is it to us to judge this woman and decide what is best for HER family?

We rally around the OP because she is "one of us". If it was the mother here complaining about the day care worker, we'd be rallying around her. I've never seen such a blatant display of double standards.
I don't think that this would be the case at all, in fact if so many of us were to have disagreed with the OP then we would have said so. If we were fortunate enough to have the mothers side of the story than this discussion would be more balanced, however she is not here and this is what we have to work with....in a space where we are allowed to share our opinions on such things. I actually havn't read any post's stating what is best for this womans family, only that most of us feel that she is gone a little over board.
I mean it seems kid of odd to me that she would allow her boy to explore his feminin side and not her girl.
post #108 of 186
When you say:

But this analogy doesn't work in this situation. What does work is, if I send my kid to day care, and express my wishes that I do not want my child engaging in war play, and ask you to discourage it (or even to remove war toys from the toy selection), do you comply? Or do you ask "what can't her child like guns and swords and other warplay stuff?"

this doesn't work, to me. Because that would imply the daycare worker would be able to control the play of all the children, even the ones whose parents have no problems with them playing cowboys or army or other combative games. If there are a bunch of children playing ______ & you don't approve of it she would have to forcibly remove your child even if he/she was having fun & not allow him/her to participate. That seems like a lot of hassle for the provider. Much better to place your child somewhere with policies in agreement with your principles.
Daycare should be safe & fun & loving but it's never going to be a perfect reflection of anyone's philosophy but that of the provider.
post #109 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by Daffodil:
She probably figures the boy doesn't need that, because he's undoubtedly already being subtly steered away from girly stuff.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Storm Bride View Post
Why do you say that?
Because Polly Pockets and Disney princesses are obviously female, and you don't see similar male figures, so that gives kids the message that being pretty is for girls, not boys. And because the boy probably doesn't see other boys playing with the girly stuff as much as he sees girls playing with it. And because it's entirely possible that the DCP expects boys to like "boy stuff" and girls to like "girl stuff," and that she subtly conveys that message to the kids she cares for, as will many of the other adults that boy encounters. And because the girls who dress up in sparkly stuff are likely to hear a gushing, "Oh, you're so pretty!" while boys in tiaras are more likely to get a giggle that implies, "It's funny to see you wearing stuff that's for girls." And so on and so forth . . .
post #110 of 186
Steering the boy away from girl things isn't parallel - what would be parallel is if she wanted the boy steered away from "boy toys" like trucks.
post #111 of 186
The DC-parent is asking for a little more support from the DC-provider in helping her daughter resist some influences she considers unhealthy. I think it's reasonable for DC-provider to expect toys DC-parent wants removed to be replaced at DC-parent's expense with other toys of similar quality, subject to the approval of both parties. I don't think it's reasonable for DC-parent to ask DC-provider to subject the child to different rules for play than the other children in the program are subject to.

If the OP has marketed her DC service as one which does not rely on the play centered around (commercial) "characters" -- meaning, all the parents who send their kids there knew that when they signed up -- she could gently remind her customers of that aspect of her service with a request/suggestion that kids' clothing and accessories steer clear of prominent use of such commercial characters, since it's not just the toys that serve as marketing tools.

I think there's room for compromise on the part of both parties here, and that neither party is being unreasonable.
post #112 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by Daffodil View Post
Because Polly Pockets and Disney princesses are obviously female, and you don't see similar male figures, so that gives kids the message that being pretty is for girls, not boys.
Okay - I can't argue that one (although I've never thought Polly Pocket was particularly "pretty"). I grew up in the 80s, so I've seen lots and lots of "pretty boys" and didn't really think of this aspect of it.

Quote:
And because the boy probably doesn't see other boys playing with the girly stuff as much as he sees girls playing with it. And because it's entirely possible that the DCP expects boys to like "boy stuff" and girls to like "girl stuff," and that she subtly conveys that message to the kids she cares for, as will many of the other adults that boy encounters. And because the girls who dress up in sparkly stuff are likely to hear a gushing, "Oh, you're so pretty!" while boys in tiaras are more likely to get a giggle that implies, "It's funny to see you wearing stuff that's for girls." And so on and so forth . . .
This is all jumping to conclusions, which is why I questioned your assertion that he's "undoubtedly" being subtly steered away from girly stuff. While it's possible that the OP conveys messages about her expectations regarding gender preferences, I haven't seen any evidence of it in this thread. The little boy wears/wore the sparkly shoes, and that's all I've seen. I know that when ds1 puts on one of dd's tiaras (she loves tiaras), I say something like "you look so cute", which is exactly what I'd say to dd.

While it's definitely possible that the little boy is receiving subtle steering in the direction of "boy" toys, I think that "undoubtedly" is drastically overstating it.
post #113 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by Daffodil View Post
Because Polly Pockets and Disney princesses are obviously female, and you don't see similar male figures, so that gives kids the message that being pretty is for girls, not boys. And because the boy probably doesn't see other boys playing with the girly stuff as much as he sees girls playing with it. And because it's entirely possible that the DCP expects boys to like "boy stuff" and girls to like "girl stuff," and that she subtly conveys that message to the kids she cares for, as will many of the other adults that boy encounters. And because the girls who dress up in sparkly stuff are likely to hear a gushing, "Oh, you're so pretty!" while boys in tiaras are more likely to get a giggle that implies, "It's funny to see you wearing stuff that's for girls." And so on and so forth . . .
When I worked in dc we had Polly Pocket type dolls and the boys LOVED them. In my class the boys spent more time playing with them than the girls. I did have parents who wanted me to steer their boys away from the dolls, but I said no because I will not tell children what they can and cannot like.
post #114 of 186
Thread Starter 
O.K, the ONLY totally girly toys I have in this house, are..

1. A set of Polly Pockets (the kind with the rubber clothes) The boys happen to LOVE these toys too. But you must be at least three.... because I don't trust the one year olds not to eat them.

2. TWO pairs of plastic shiny shoes. (which her little brother wears all the time)

3. One pink dress. It's actually a nightgown.

4. A shiny purple backpack. The boys also love this backpack.

5. two princess washcloths.

THEN, I have Baby dolls, a doll crib, a doll high chair, All are played with equally by both boys and girls.

THEN I have a set of pony things, a set of bugs, a set of Zoo animals and a set of ocean animals. We use these during theme weeks.

The rest of the toys are cars, trucks, climbers, "guys" (Fisher Price little people) and all the "guy stuff" (cars, a bus, tractors the farm etc) I did not call them "guys" the kids call them "guys". There is a "guy bucket" with all the assortment of guys.

What I have a problem with, is that so many Moms have such a problem with girl toys. It almost sounds like many of you wish your girls were boys. You want them to only play with boy toys, or generic toys.

I mentioned that she wears mens clothes because she does. She even buys them in the mens dept. I am not yet aware of a shop that sells gender nuetral clothing. She also wears scrubs a lot, because she works in a dentist's office. But, at that moment, she wasn't wearing scrubs. She was wearing men's clothes. Why would that be offensive? She happens to not LIKE women's clothes.

Suggesting that letting a little girl wear pink shoes, is like letting boys play with guns is just stupid.

Saying that NOT telling the other parents to stop sending their kids in Dora shirts and panties, is the same as forcing a parent to pay FOUR freaking dollars a day for a lunch that she isn't going to eat is also stupid.

I will not yank toys from her hand. I will NOT enforce a daycare uniform either. If I had a parent who was THAT difficult, I wouldn't have that child in my home.

I will also NOT have only boy toys in my home. Boys are wonderful, but so are girls. Girls deserve to be treated with the same respect as boys. I want them all to have a mind of their own. My own dd didn't turn out at ALL like I expected, but, I wouldn't dream of telling her she can't take dance classes or play the clarinet, just because it wasn't masculine enough.

Maybe if these parents cared about her thoughts, she woudln't obsess over these things. Even a simple, "I know, you really like that" would be nice. But all she hears is "it doesn't really matter what you like, it only matters what I SAY you will like" <-- Mom doesn't litterally say that of course.
post #115 of 186
I think the mother needs to find a new daycare for her child, one that meets her expectations. A Montessori one would be good, there are few girlie things there.
post #116 of 186
Thread Starter 
O.K.

This is TOTALLY changing the subject.

But, this came up for me in May....

I have nine kids. Seven families. Four are full time.

One family I have had for seven years. They are full time.

Another family was awaiting a spot into a special co-op preschool. So they were not only part time, but also temporary.

The full time boy is called "Zach" The part time girl is called "Allie". Allie has two moms. Zach has a mom and a dad... Zach's parents are deeply religious and strongly believe it is a sin to be homosexual.

Allie and Zach are best friends.

One day I asked all of the parents to bring any books related to the alphabet. Several of the kids brought ABC books.

But, Allie brought a book called "Sarah has two Mommies" (not the real title, I can't remember it) Allie brought it on her own. Her Mom said "I swear, I didn't pick this one, I tried to tell her to bring Chicka Chicka boom boom".

So. What should I do? This would NOT be O.K with Zach's parents. It might even upset a few other parents. BUT, it was important to Allie.

What would have been the right thing to do? And why?
post #117 of 186
maybe a mission statement for your daycare would be a good idea. you seem to attract alot of parents who care very much about their kids and what they learn. this to me, is a sign of good loving parenting (we can yak all we want about specific ideas but really isn't that better than not giving a flip about what kids see/hear?) but also a need for clear boundaries. very involved parents tend to care very much about what ideas are implied.

perhaps you can write a statement available to all parents new and old explaining your philosophy on play and how you will address certian issues that come up.
an example of what i might write would be:

toys: i have a selection of toys and encourage children to explore them all. i will not remove a toy from a child unless he/ she is being dangerous or using it to taunt another child.

gender: it is natural to explore gender roles and i support a child's need to do this. my function is to allow children to explore and a parents function is to inform children of what their family views as accptable.

sexuality: i will answer all questions about sex in an age appropriate manner. if a child asks where babies come from i will say that a man and a woman make them then refer them to parents for more info. if they ask about people are in same gender relationships i will simply say some people like this and again, refer them to their parents for info on weather this is ok or not. i will not, however tolerate expressions of hate from children towards others on any basis.

my son's daycare did something like this and i found it useful. you could fill in w/ your own ideas about food, discapline and such so it's all in a "handbook" of sorts.

ETA: Heather Has Two Mommies is a CLASSIC! I like it
post #118 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by nextcommercial View Post
What I have a problem with, is that so many Moms have such a problem with girl toys. It almost sounds like many of you wish your girls were boys. You want them to only play with boy toys, or generic toys.
What I have a problem with is that so many people classify toys as "girl toys" or "boy toys." And that most of the so-called "girl toys" are all about looking pretty, not about actually doing anything interesting.
post #119 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by Daffodil View Post
What I have a problem with is that so many people classify toys as "girl toys" or "boy toys." And that most of the so-called "girl toys" are all about looking pretty,...
...or shopping or housework or cooking...
post #120 of 186
Wow, holy wow....
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jwebbal View Post
And I am talking about a 3 yo boy covetting, desiring, things I don't want him to have, guns and swords, etc. They are forbidden to him. You can call me controlling, but I don't take that label, just as much as making sure that my son doesn't eat crap is not controlling either.
I won't call you controlling, yet... BUT, as an educator and mentor, I'll suggest you may be allowing some paradigms to really limit you.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jwebbal View Post
And I do think the toys in the day care provider's home are bordering on crass commercialism. I would not support my son being subjected to this stuff, say if it were pirates of the caribeean, transformers, or even thomas the train (I abhor that stuff, and it is not in our home even when my son LOVED it). I don't like product tie-ins of any sort.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jwebbal View Post
<snip>
I would never buy my daughter a barbie doll (nor my son either) and if a day care provider didn't respect that it is simply not a value in our family that we purchase or play with those sorts of toys, then yes I would be offended. I don't support my son wanting, or playing with products that are obviously gender oriented, or crass commerical products. I get upset at my partner when she buys him disney crap, or at grandma when she bought him thomas stuff. I think it limits imagination, and I find it stifling. I much prefer gender neutral toys (and to me legos and blocks are gender neutral) myself for my son. I don't view it as controlling at all.
I hear you referring to what your preferences are, but not much acknowledgement of what your son's preferences are. Again, I totally hear you on war-play, and anything else that models violence, sexuality (exploitation, etc) and consumerism.

Something that has helped me to reconcile my own misgivings re; product placement and brand names: look for the teachability in each thing that crosses into my child's experience. Discard what can't be used effectively and constructively. Pirates. Dd watched it with her dad. I was frustrated beyond belief that she saw this... she will be 3 in Nov. Now she picks up sticks and points them at me saying she'll kill me. Teachable moment? Hell yeah. "Dd, pirates were dangerous bad men that hurt a lot of people. Killing is wrong, and we are gentle and loving... Did you know Mommy worked on boats? Want to see some pictures? I was a fisher-woman, and I followed whales. Wanna see?" Princesses. She is innundated by Princesses. Teachability... yep! "Dd, Princesses ought to be gracious, educated, compassionate, and inspiring. They need to learn and grow and be virtuous so that they may grow to be Queens and take care of their land and the people who live there... Would you like to see a book about a Queen in Egypt?" Just wait for years to come when I break out the encyclopedias to show her the truth about things like Pirates and Princesses. Tranformers are part of my childhood; all the boy cousins had 'em and I deeply loved them and wished for them and never had any... I went to the movie; it was a blast. If dd wanted to play with a Transformer, at someone else's home? I'd let her, telling her about how cool I thought they were when I was little... also, teachability!... good hand-eye and dexterity play. But will I buy her the Transformers bed sheets and back pack? No way!
Quote:
As for the son playing with this stuff, well, in our home I support opposite gender identified toys to a higher degree. He is given more toys that are not traditional boy things, and if we were a girl, the same would happen for her.<snip>
So reverse sexism doesn't bother you in the slightest? What about looking at it from this perspective: Is it ok to withold certain toys (dresses or dollies, etc from a boy, for example) to "keep him from 'turning' gay"? Why is it ok to condition a girl to be (what you perceive as) 'gender nuetral'? All the points of view come from a place of deep paradigm... that gender-association from one level or another is something that we all have some control over. Whether it's parents thinking they can prevent homosexuality or parents thinking they can prevent cheuvanism, a child will invariably grow to be an adult with his own value set that may range miles from his parents'.

BTW, in reference to "men's clothes"... What if she really was indeed wearing men's clothes? Is it at all possible that your perception and subsequent dislike of this comment stems from your own (possibly) negative experiences?

Quote:
Originally Posted by velochic View Post
<snip>
So yeah, I think that people who don't live our lives haven't a clue about why we do the things we do, but usually we have good reasons for it. I'd probably say that Nextcommercial is a loving, caring person and THAT is what is most important to these parents. But why do you have to take the bad with the good just because someone else is judging you and saying "you're unreasonable and we don't do it like that so tough titties." This school of dd's is the only one of it's kind. So, what are we doing since they told US "tough titties!"... we're paying that $4 a day and still sending a sack lunch. But it would be really nice if someone would stop long enough to say, "Hey, they must have a good reason... let's listen to them before we judge them."
Wow, that is just so not ok. It sounded like you guys were really happy with this school, too, and this one thing is a HUGE thing to have to swallow.

But food is a huge issue. And I think in weighing out the pro's & cons of a place where our children will be educated and cared for, food is a major issue. One I don't think the issue at hand can be fairly compared to...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ceili View Post
<snip>
This woman is saying I don't want my daughter to play dress up, but it's okay for my son. Wouldn't we be up in arms if she was saying I don't want my daughter to get dirty, but it's okay for my son or I don't want my daughter to play ball, but it's okay for my son. I think the fact that many of us dislike commercialized toys, especially highly exaggerated overly feminine princess toys, is clouding the gender bias here.
Exactly... there is this thing with boys... it's covert, and most folks are totally unaware that they do it... and it's part of our genetic make-up, it's part of our anthropological progression... Did you know that people are (I think the number was)80% more likely to engage a boy child in conversation than a girl child? This enhances the leadership qualities we expect in men: "Hi boy. What are you doing? What are you playing with? Is that fun?" Whereas girl children usually are conditioned to do the engaging, cultivating the emotional maintenance that is expected from women in our society. Did you know that certain behaviors are hardwired into boys and girls? Of a large number of children 12mo-4yo observed in a cross-cultural study that involved them having equal access to the exact same gender neutral toys (like blocks), the clear majority played in a gender specific manner. The girls wrapped the blocks up and mothered them, the boys made the blocks into automobiles and planes, crashing them together, etc.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jwebbal View Post
The question wasn't about one being allowed, and the other not. The question is "why can't she like polly pocket and other froo froo stuff"

And I will keep repeating, I wouldn't want my daughter playing with that crap either.

<snip>
That is the question... and I'm curious, honestly, what the hubbub is. WHY can't she like what she likes? Liking doesn't mean having, at home, on a regular basis...

Why are some parents so vehemently opposed to "character" items, (I know why I dislike Bratz, and why I don't love Barbie stuff...) like the Disney Princesses, and Polly Pocket? What is behind the fear of or dislike of "crass commercialism"?

These items come from merchandising around entertainment. Entertainment. Movies, books, shows, music that talented people create for our entertainment. Is it merchandising you take issue with? Is it because it puts pressure on parents to (gasp) stand firm and 'be the bad guy' when they say no to a kid's all-abiding desire for some of the crap that's mass-produced?

Parents instill in their own children their firm moral core and then have to defend it. The world at large will not do that for us. I'm not advocating for the Princesses, they have a marketing machine for that. I'm saying that fanatic disapproval of this brand or that, this character or that is just as bad as fanatic pursual of these items. You're giving it just as much energy, either way, and that's just excessive. How do we teach tolerance by modelling intolerance?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Daffodil View Post
I think Velochic is probably right that people would be more likely to agree with the mom if she were the OP. Because the mom would undoubtedly do a better job of conveying her point of view and making it sound reasonable. For instance, where the OP said the mom wanted her to discourage her daughter from playing with the girly stuff, the mom might have said that she had noticed the DCP tended to automatically steer the girls toward certain toys, and that she had asked her to try not to do that. (I'm NOT saying I think the OP actually does that.)

It sounds like this mother's attitude is a lot like mine. I don't have an opinion about whether her requests to the DCP are appropriate, but I do feel like she's probably being misrepresented on this thread. For instance, I seriously doubt she wants the DCP to grab girly toys out of her daughter's hand. There are plenty of subtle, gentle ways to try to get a kid more interested in certain toys than in others, and I imagine that's the kind of approach the mom is looking for.

And I totally get why the mom is less bothered by her son wearing girly stuff. I doubt she really cares if either of her kids occasionally puts on a tiara or a tutu. What she probably wants to avoid is having her kids get the message that a) it's important to look pretty, and b) looking pretty means wearing tacky pink sparkly stuff. No matter how much pink sparkly stuff her boy wears as a toddler, the fact is he's just not very likely to get that message growing up in this society. Whereas it may be an uphill battle to keep her daughter from absorbing it. She probably just wants to keep the indoctrination to a minimum.
I think this is so well-put... you really got me thinking and looking at my own position here.

I want to offer something: nextcommercial, what do you think would happen if you did up a letter to all the parents that read something like- "Dear parents, In today's world there is a lot of controversy surrounding consumerism and social-conditioning in regards to gender-expectations and stereotypes. In response to recent concerns raised about these very issues, and how they play out here, and as a way to lessen some of the effects of that controversy here in our daycare, I will be removing certain toys and materials from the daycare, and I'd like to suggest that children's attire be limited to character-free clothes. This is out of respect for those who are trying to lessen the impact of these controversial products and characters on their children. This is not a mandatory policy, but more a request for mutual respect and understanding. I hope it will be agreeable to you all. If you have questions or concerns, please call me!"

Since you've already outlined that there is very little of this kind of commercial stuff going on in your daycare, then maybe it wouldn't be too huge a thing to just go get some plain washcloths, and retire Polly early. The kids will only miss these items for a minute before there is a new passion to focus on, client-mom's dd included. Then, after the dust settles, for new-comers, you can clearly define that it's a personal choice but you hope parents are mindful of the 'community' in your daycare... or something.
Quote:
Originally Posted by marybethorama View Post
I see a big difference between food issues and which dress up clothes and toys the little girl plays with.
Me too... and the only thing I really take issue with as far as this discussion goes, is the hypocracy of the gender-bias thing, and the double-standards that keep popping up on so many levels...
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Originally Posted by Daffodil View Post
But the mom didn't actually say (did she?) that her son could play with the girly stuff and the girl was to be forbidden from it. The way I read it, she asked that the girl be given a little extra encouragement to get interested in the non-girly stuff, and some subtle steering away from the girly stuff. She probably figures the boy doesn't need that, because he's undoubtedly already being subtly steered away from girly stuff.
This assumes so much.
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Originally Posted by Daffodil View Post
<snip>...it sends the message that being a girl doesn't have to mean wearing sparkly dresses.
And being evolved, intelligent, open-minded, and great doesn't mean a girl has to be devoid of adornment, or dressed in only uni-sex, muted neutrals.
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To really replace gender with race in this example, imagine a scenario where the DCP has black dolls that look like rappers and gang members, and white dolls that look like doctors and nurses. And that the black kids she takes care of usually play with the black dolls, and wear the rapper dress-up outfits, and the white kids usually play with the white dolls and pick the doctor outfits to dress up in, and the DCP feels fine about that. But the mom of a black kid wishes that the DCP would get rid of those black rapper and gang member dolls, and that she would encourage her kid to play with the doctor and nurse stuff, which leads the DCP to ask, why can't he just have fun dressing up like a rapper?
This is so wrong and covertly racist on so many levels. As a chubby, white Canadian-born U.S. resident in very-white-Oregon with a child of mixed decent and a healthy affection for hip-hop and Urban-American History, I just gotta say, "Guurrrrl... that is SO over the top."

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Originally Posted by WNB View Post
The DC-parent is asking for a little more support from the DC-provider in helping her daughter resist some influences she considers unhealthy. I think it's reasonable for DC-provider to expect toys DC-parent wants removed to be replaced at DC-parent's expense with other toys of similar quality, subject to the approval of both parties. I don't think it's reasonable for DC-parent to ask DC-provider to subject the child to different rules for play than the other children in the program are subject to.

If the OP has marketed her DC service as one which does not rely on the play centered around (commercial) "characters" -- meaning, all the parents who send their kids there knew that when they signed up -- she could gently remind her customers of that aspect of her service with a request/suggestion that kids' clothing and accessories steer clear of prominent use of such commercial characters, since it's not just the toys that serve as marketing tools.

I think there's room for compromise on the part of both parties here, and that neither party is being unreasonable.
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