Saturday, April 12, 2008

Kids & Play: So Much for the Conditioning Theory

Long ago, I was an education major at the University of Richmond. I remember hearing about a theory about how children's behavior is conditioned by their environment. It talked about how male/female behavior was a result of those around them enforcing male/female stereotypical behavior.

I have two boys, and I'm here to tell you that theory is absolutely, no doubt in my mind, WRONG. This is never more evident than when it comes to playing. My boys are boys all the way to the core. They are jumping off the furniture, bouncing off cushions, wrestling, running, running (oh did I say running?). I get tired just watching them. Our family room is covered in trucks, cars, and super heroes. We even slipped in a few stuffed animals and a kitchen to make sure we were offering them alternatives and although they love the kitchen, they are slamming the doors, throwing play food (much to my dismay and scolding), and having picnics. My older son is the gentler, calmer soul but he's the one with the matchbox collection to die for. My younger is busily keeping up with his big brother and going beyond. I've gained many a grey hair [OK, I had a bunch before but you know ;)] from this little one's dare devil feats and he's only TWO!!! If he continues on this course, look out Evil Knievel.

Even from birth, little men are from Mars and baby girls are from Venus.

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Christy said...

It's SO true! When my son was just under a year old, I walked outside with him just as a car went by. He pointed and shouted, "Car!" It was probably his 5th word (not long after followed by "truck") and it came long before "Mama." It also preceded the addition of any of the 500 or so cars that now grace our home. I was a big believer of nurture over nature, but my son continues to challenge the notion every single day.

Anonymous said...

Good is good, but better carries it.

The University of Salamanca