Dramatic Play...

Do you remember when you played with your dolls as a kid? When you and your friends played rock-paper-scissors to determine who would be Barbie and who would be Ken? Although it may seem silly now, you and your friend sat in your own imaginary world and had the time of your lives as the both of you created an entire dialogue between the dolls without judgment. What about the time when you would go into your mom’s closet and put on her heels? Or put on the oxford shirt and necktie from your dad’s after-work pile of clothes? How essential do you think those situations were to your development?

In some scenarios, the young girl dresses as her mother who she has idolized since birth and the son tries his hardest to act and appear just like his dad; however, we can’t deny or continue to ignore the negative outlook people have when we’re presented with the idea of role reversal when kids decide to play “dress up.” Far too many times I’ve overheard or witnessed a mother wondering, “Is my child gay?” or a father filled with rage as he becomes a Luscious Lyon to a young Jamaal, all because their son decided to put on his mother’s heels and jewelry. Yet, strangely enough – or not strange enough – when a daughter decides to be her father, it’s Snapchat worthy.

Dramatic play is when a child can pretend to be something, or someone, totally different from themselves and create situations and actions that correlate directly with the roles they’ve picked to explore. A child engaging in dramatic play is a hands-on way of them learning about the world and their surroundings, i.e. developing important complex social and higher order thinking skills, cultivating social and emotional intelligence, etc. I definitely understand how this post may be a bit more educational than any ever before, but this is only addressing another sector of how hatred isn’t something you’re born with – it’s something you’re taught.

“My child ain’t playing with that? I ain’t raising no punk (or tomboy)!”

Do you actually think that a young child can self-identify with an object? At that stage, they’re still learning colors & how to spell their name, so what is your honest issue? The continuous cycle of hatred due to sexual orientations and identities can begin to be broken at home. Constantly telling a kid “no,” or blocking them from exploring themselves and worldly scenarios at such a delicate age can lead to them either forming that same bit of hate you exude for specific ideals or they can also resent you for the rest of their lives. Yes, your son may be putting on his mother’s heels and your daughter may like to sag to be “cool” like her father a bit too much, but let a kid be a kid. I’m also pretty sure we all could learn a thing to two from their free spirits.