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‘To the stranger who insulted my child…’

Sad child sitting in shopping trolleyTo the stranger who felt compelled to tell me that my “son shouldn’t be playing with a doll, especially in public” I defended my daughter’s gender and told you to mind your own business then. But that wasn’t enough for me.

I also have this to say to you …

You approached me in a supermarket where I was ducking in to get the things I needed to make dinner for my family. I was minding my own business, laughing and playing with my child deciding what fruit we were going to buy and you interrupted me. You interrupted me and felt the need to give me some parenting advice that I simply did not ask for. If you were to tell me how beautiful my child was and what a great looking doll they were holding, then I would happily welcome your interruption but that wasn’t what you said.

You interrupted me to insult my child. She is not my son. She was wearing a black top and red pants and she is a girl. And as I write this, that isn’t the whole point.

If my daughter was a boy, which you rudely assumed. Why did you feel the need to tell me what she can or cannot play with? If she was wearing a pink outfit and brought a truck to the shops would you have said something then too?

Do you think I care what your opinion is and did you hope I would snatch that doll out of her hand and throw it away? Has the department stores confused you by sectioning off what the toy companies deem “boys” and “girls” toys?

Did you also know that a boy or girl can play with any toy they wish and wear any colour they want and did you know not a single person on this planet should ever be made to feel they must conform to what is considered normal by our broader society?

I feel sorry for you. I feel sorry that you have been made to believe that boys must wear blue and play with trucks and girls must wear princess dresses and play with dolls.

Were you also curious why I was even out of the house and not in the kitchen cooking for my family?

I would hope not. I think the world has come an extremely long way since the dawn of time and I’m comforted to know that you are just the minority.

So I ask of you this. Next time you see someone with their children in the shops laughing and enjoying their time together, remember that children are innocent. They don’t know or care what type of toy they are playing with. They only care that they simply have a toy to play with at all.

My daughter loves to see the wind move the leaves on the trees outside and gets so excited when she sees a bird from the window taking a dip in the bird bath. She races her monster trucks up the hallway and she carries her baby doll and stuffed animals around when she watches Toy Story and My Little Pony. She wears black and pink and blue and white and she is a happy and beautiful little girl.

Whatever she grows up to be and whatever she loves now and later I welcome because she is happy and that is all that matters to me!

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7 comments so far -

  1. That is the most well written response! Well done. I strongly and completely agree with everything you wrote and I too would have felt the same as you and do feel the same regarding stereotyping children. Children and as they grow into adults should never feel compelled to conform to what society believes they should be. Happiness is all we wish for.

  2. Igore strangers. I have 3 kids. My son had a doll and dressed as a fairy with nail polish when he was young because thats what he saw his cousins doing. Now he wouldnt entertain the idea as boys dont do that. Both my girls played with trains and the youngest still has tonka dumps for the sand pit. It doesnt stop me from wondering how i got 2 such prissy girly girls. Theyre obsessed with makeup dolls and frilly bling, not me at all.
    My kids are loud out of control and argumentative with adults if your a stranger looking in , i ignore the glares all the time. They will be amazing adults and are winning school awards all the time for being such amazing caring people.
    Just ignore and feel sorry for those who missed out on being shown traditional australian child raising. Your child wont.

  3. It takes a village to raise a child…

    Without community values, a child misses out on normal community values. Our innocent children would be controlled by the government.

    Think about it – the values of school are absorbed 9hrs, against 4 hrs from you!
    (6hrs school a day + 3hrs after school care = 9hrs) against your values – his parents (4 hrs before bedtime). Breakfast is pretty ‘values-free’.

    I don’t trust government. Sorry, it’s just a fact.

    Teachers are paid by government and fed educational materials and easy-to-use lesson plans with prepared materials from various government-authorised lobby-groups.

    I don’t want lobby groups to teach my children wright from wrong.

    You (and I) may disagree with the content of what this neighbour said. I defend his right to say it.

    I will believe in freedom and free speech. Teachers should teach, not indoctrinate.

    • Opps,
      As long as the stranger did it politely and respectfully. There is no excuse for rudeness or for undermining a parent.

      • Well see it was rude
        Their “advice” had nothing to do with parenting
        It was all about judging a mother cos her daughter wasnt dressed as this person deems girls should
        Or the fact this person assumed the child was male and had an issue with the doll
        Nothing to do with parenting, just some busy body sticking nose in with their gender stereotypeing bull
        There is nothing polite or respectful about thag

        • It takes a village to raise a child, true, but not to have spiteful comments. I have a lot of good experience with that raising village when strangers or neighbours genuinely care about safety and well being of my kids, engage in great social interactions with them or make nice remarks and comments or even jokes.
          I had exact thought, what if the pinkish girl were there with a wooden screwdriver or truck, isn’t she allowed to play with it?

          On the other hand I got also comment that my kids are “naughty” cause they are playing at the playground quite noisily, running, shouting and laughing. Well, bring more naughtiness then.

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