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I let my older son, who is nearly 4 now, ‘play’ with my dolls, supervised, and have since he was 2. He talks to them, gives them high fives, and shakes their hands. He picks them up gently to give to me if he knocks them over, or bumps the table I put them on when I’m working with them, causing them to tumble to the floor. He knows he has to be gentle with them, and that he is NOT to touch them unless mommy is there to ‘help’ him. I would NEVER let him play with one un-supervised, though! His toys have a tendency to get damaged, broken…or fed to our puppy. That, and he’s had times where he was mad at mommy and a doll was in reach that he has intentionally knocked it down, or thrown it to the floor. So…supervised play only.

My younger son…needs to grow up more first. He’s 16months old, and has a serious tendency to snatch my doll wigs and chew on them if he can find a way to get to them. If I have eyes out to work on a face-up, I also have to be careful of where I put them, as he tries to eat them. So he is FAR too little to be allowed to do more than look. As he gets older, and is more well behaved with toys in general, or more able to understand to be gentle and NOT try to eat them, he’ll be allowed to interact the same as his brother is.

If I don’t let them, and they want to, when they get older, I’m sure that my dolls will become ‘mommy’s toys we can’t have’ and as such be the ONE thing in the house they are DETERMINED to play with when no one is around to catch them. My sister and I did it over a little porcelain cat my mom had…wound up breaking it, and trying to hide it by gluing a piece of paper into the broken section (we were little!). So rather than risk my boys, who are far more like my sisters and I than their daddy about such things, playing with them, or trying to, when no one is around to catch them, and breaking them, they are allowed to play, supervised, so long as they can be gentle. It takes the ‘forbidden’ out of it, which, for most children, takes the ‘WANT’ out of it, too. As they get older, they’ll either keep their interest enough to each get a doll or 2 of their own, or they’ll decide that dolls are too girly for them, and lose interest completely. But either way, they’ll know that if they WANT to play with the dolls, all they have to do is ask, and be gentle, and they’ll be allowed, with no need to sneak around, or steal a doll to play with it.

 

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Source minifeedoll