I wanted to not have gender stereotypes for my kids. Girls can play with trucks and boys can play dolls. And for the most part that’s all good. My daughter rough houses with the best of the boys in the neighborhood and plays trucks and tools just as easily as she plays kitchen. She might dress like a princess one day and a tom boy the next. My son loves to help with my dollhouses and also like to play kitchen with my daughter. And yes I am not extreme,as in not giving my children names to match their gender, but I never wanted to say oh that’s for boys or that’s for girls. So my kids are pretty open minded. They have their differences but something that has been sticking out to me, is friends. My son went to pre-k and goes to school, talks to everyone, plays with the boys on our road and is nice to other kids at camp and sports. Most times he doesn’t get names, he’s just happy to be playing with another group of kids. He never talked to me about best friends or anything like that. My daughter on the other hand is obsessed with friends. She knows one girl from Sunday school in her pre-k and gives me a daily breakdown on whether today that girl has agreed to be her best friend. I encourage her to play with other kids,and sometimes she does, but she clings to the fact that she wants this girl to sit next to her and be her best friend and the kid has made some other friends. Finally she came home and told me she made friends with this boy, but she’s been talking about him non-stop ever since. She also goes on and on about how the boy down the road who is her age is her best friend. It’s cute but I sometimes worry. Is it a gender thing? Obviously men don’t communicate as freely as women, and women like to have a good strong supportive group of friends, but does it start out at an early age? It  is the strangest thing. It bothers me a little, because I want her to just play and have fun, to make friends and to not be so hung up on relying on one other kid as her anchor for fun and friendship. Maybe I am just reading into this, but I am just hoping this is not the start of her caring more about who is her friend and less about having fun and just being herself. I know all about that, having been a teenage girl once. Thoughts?


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