Nature or Nurture

- This morning our Monday paper isn't in the driveway so I sat down with a cup of coffee and looked at the ads from the Sunday paper. To me, it is very apparent that either parents buy toys that are very differentiated by sex or the kids want toys that are very different. Nert has an arsenal of giant Nerf firing rifles this year. Nerf@N-Strike Stampede even has what looks like a magazine to hold more ammo. What little boy could resist the Jung Zhu Battle Arena or the Special Forces headquarters? Throw in the WWE Money in the Bank Ring with miniature ladder (action figures sold separately) or the Iron Man series of rock'em sock'em products. The Star Wars action figures are designed to storm other people's forts not to hold a tea party.

- And what does the little princess line look like this year? Yes dear one's that time worn "Easy Bake" oven is back. There is a myriad of Play-Doh items to shape things out of. The dolls are kind of neat as you can have them do all sorts of realistic things little mommies want from their children. There are a lot of what I call "Play and share" things on the girls side of the ads.

Yes, there are some outside play items but the boys bikes are designed to look like stunt bikes or dirt racers. The girls bikes come in pastel colors and have fluttery things hanging from the handlebars. The small electric riders are either the Barbie Jammin Jeep or the Polaris Outlaw Ride On. Guess which one has two little smiling girls and which has one boy looking like he just jumped over a major hurdle?

Even the Nintendo, X-Box and Wii have games that differentiate. For the boys, Aragon's Quest, Sports Champions and Dragon Quest. The other side has Dance Central, Poki Park and Super Mario Brothers. In the ad its self, there is one Boy throwing punches at the screen and in the Girls ad, two kids there watching one imitating dancing on the screen.

Are boys and girls by their nature really that different by Nurture or does the toys determine the competitiveness of our children? Do we buy a little lap dog for girls and a Lab to fetch sticks for the boys?

I grew up wanting to be the boss and lead people and Barbara grew up to be the best teacher she could be. I'll bet I had more guns than she had dolls. Barbara did have a brother and sisters near her age and my little brother was 5 years younger.

Yes, this is like the chicken and the egg question. Is the way our kids grow up a natural result of their nature or do we nurture the child to achieve the end result?


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