What do you think about dolls? Whether it’s by design or happenchance, dolls have a powerful influence on our children. Cultural morals and values are passed on, for good or for ill, through the dolls that make their way to children’s rooms. We can control some of the lessons learned by being wise in the dolls we buy. However, the most powerful teaching tool is often overlooked… you and me.
Do you “play dolls” with your kids? I had to force myself to slow down and make time to “play dolls” with my daughter. My “baby girl” is a teenager now, and in retrospect I wish I had done it more often! Playing dolls gave us many joyful memories and powerful teachable moments. My sweet girl wasn’t aware I was teaching her how to dress and how not to dress as we chose outfits for our dolls. It never occurred to her I was role playing God’s heart by having my doll be kind to “Cindy doll” when “Mandy doll” was mean to her. Dolls can ask questions about Jesus and have dialogues about spiritual things at times when such discussions might be hard to have ‘face to face’. A lot of life lessons can be absorbed as we “live life” through doll play.
FYI: Some life lessons are best kept out of the doll-playing arena. A Spanish toymaker has developed a breast-feeding doll named Bebe Gloton (or Gluttonous Baby). I’m sorry, but this is over the top. Young girls can pretend to nurse the baby by wearing a halter top designed with removable daisies for breast feeding (imitating a nursing bra). “Gluttonous Baby” cries incessantly until it is put to the breast . Once its mouth is on the nipple it makes loud sucking sounds… are you kidding?!
Don’t get me wrong, I’m a big supporter of breast-feeding but our little girls are already exposed to far too many opportunities to glorify adolescent pregnancy. They don’t need nursing baby dolls to seal the deal.
I’m passionate about helping parents teach their kids who God really is and why it matters. None of us do it perfectly, but as we learn to weave His truth and character in every area of life (even “play”) we begin to lay a foundation for our children that will not crumble in life’s storms.