Since time immemorial, we have been conditioned as kids that dolls are “girl toys”, and thus boys shouldn’t play with them. Maybe you have also been dissuading your son from playing with Barbie dolls, which, in turn, can condition them into thinking that dolls are only meant to be played by girls.
The time for this kind of conditioning has passed, however, and parents should instead encourage their kids, regardless of gender, to play with toys they want to play with. A study conducted by the University of Western Sydney actually discovered that baby boys prefer playing with dolls rather than toy cars, saying that the babies held a longer gaze at dolls than at a toy car.
Their cognitive and motor skills are among the abilities that they can develop in playing a doll, since they find it easier to practice these on other things before applying it to themselves. Skills such as dressing and undressing, feeding, bathing, and even potty training can be developed while your kid is playing with a doll.
Most importantly, dolls can teach a thing or two to your kids about caring for other people. In the way they hold and caress a doll, they develop the feeling of loving other people. This Christmas, if you have a son or a nephew, why don’t you give him a doll for a change?