My Son's First Doll
Updated: May 16
This was Raju's very 1st princess doll! And guess who bought it for him...Daddy! There is a very sweet story behind this. At 2 years old, Raju was obsessed with Princess Tiana. He kept asking for Princess Tiana and wanted to watch the movie over and over again. My husband wasn't comfortable with the idea of buying our son a doll. He thought it was a phase and we were listening to other people's advice. So we didn't buy him dolls. Oh how our journey would change, and for the better!
One day my husband took the kids to the Disney store to look around. And there she was, Princess Tiana in her signature green gown. Raju was so happy to see the actual doll for the first time. He starting jumping up and down screaming "Tiana!"My husband took the doll off the shelf so Raju could hold her. Raju was so excited that he couldn't stop giggling and smiling at the doll. This melted my husband's heart and everything changed in his mind. This toy that happens to be a doll, brought his son pure happiness. The what if's and social norms went out the door. He knew he had to get the doll for Raju and he did. Raju would not take his eyes off that doll all the way home. He was completely in love with his new toy. The picture above is Raju in our backyard right after getting Princess Tiana.
Remember your favorite toy growing up? Remember the excitement and happiness it brought you? Now imagine someone took it away and said you can't have it. Why? Because of the genitals you were born with. When we break it down like that, giving toys gender rules makes no sense.
"Don't let him play with dolls, you'll make him soft." "Your son is too feminine." "What will people think if he wears that in public?" "Coax him toward the boy toy section instead." This was the advice I would get from friends & family. Their advice didn't feel right. Especially when my son lit up at the sight of princesses. As a parent all you want is to see your child happy, genuinely happy. I couldn't ignore his happiness came from dolls and princesses.
I wanted to share some photos that I didn't have the courage to share when he was this age. We continued to honor his happiness at home but never shared on social media. Since my son could speak, he was extremely vocal for his love for princesses. We had great friends who supported us and loved him. Yet we weren't ready to share on social media. I wasn't ready to hear anyone ridicule my sweet child or my parenting choices. As my kid grew, so did his light. He was confident and happy about what he loved. He never worried what other people thought about him, he was just being himself. This is a goal even adults have yet to attain. Instead of "messing him up," he's filled with self love and doesn't know any different.
Let me make this clear. We are not perfect parents. We don't know everything, but we know what happens when a child is loved and accepted. They thrive! As parents, we are our children's first influence. It's up to us to instill inner strength by fully accepting our kids. How do you tell a child they are wrong for being themselves? When you don't stand up for their human rights. When violence and bullying is allowed in schools. When proper healthcare and mental health care are not given. It's no wonder the suicide rate for the LGBTQIA youth is extremely high. Until our society's mindset changes, our LGBTQIA youth are at risk for NO acceptable reason.
This post is so much more than about toys, it's about truly seeing your child without judgement. Our kids don't have to go through torture and loneliness. We can unlearn these social rules that harm our kids. As a parent, I feel a responsibility to share our journey for those who don't have a voice and for confused parents. So hear I am back tracking. I'm sharing pictures of a happy child who is allowed to be himself. Something as simple as acceptance will make a world of difference.