Remove Stigma Associated With Boys Playing with Dolls – Dr. Mulllings

Chairperson of the National Child Month Committee (NCMC), Dr. Pauline Mullings, has called for the stigma associated with boys playing with dolls to be removed, noting that the activity will help them to be more nurturing and therefore make them better fathers.
“It gives them an opportunity to experience what it feels like to grow, develop and assist in the upbringing of a child. I appeal to parents to allow boys to be a part of what we call dolly house, so that they can appreciate and accept their role as fathers. I think we will not have the problem we are having now,” she said at a recent JIS News Think Tank.
Dr. Mullings, who was speaking against the background of the theme for Child Month, which is ‘Fathers, your children need you’, said the suggestion does not mean running out to purchase dolls for boys, but to create an environment where they could be allowed to play with them.
“Do not tell them that because they are boys that they cannot play with dolls; do not tell them it is girl thing,” she urged parents, stating that there was nothing effeminate about boys playing with dolls.
While admitting that she could cite no empirical study, which proves that boys who play with dolls are better fathers, she said that from her experience as a guidance counsellor, such boys tended to be more nurturing toward their siblings.
“I have seen with my own eyes what it has done. My daughter has several dolls and she takes them to church and when it is playtime, both the boys and girls. everybody wants a doll to play with,” she said.
She noted further that the boys, in reference to her suggestion, have said that, “we should play with dolls because one day we are going to become fathers too and, they enjoy the role. You see them hugging the baby dolls and you see them with their bottles feeding them.”
Responding to the notion that having a pet could be similarly effective, Dr. Mullings said a number of fathers, who abandoned their children have had pets. “They could have some little puppy and a little cat, but it is not the same,” she argued. “I do not want to substitute pets for dolls, but what I want them [boys] to feel is something that looks like a baby in their arms,” she said.
Activities for Child Month include Action Day on May 18, which is the children’s equivalent of Labour Day. The national project will involve constructing a ramp for the building, which houses 3D Projects on Miramar Road, Morant Bay in St. Thomas.

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