Just Let Them Play: 6 Things I Learned About Boys, Dolls, and Nurturing

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When my preschool son told me that “boys don’t cry” three years ago, my heart sank. I remember thinking to myself, “We live in a progressive town, we talk endlessly about feelings at home, and I’m a therapist for goodness sake — how did this happen?”

Then came a light bulb moment: If kids learned through play, where are the toys that encourage boys to express feelings? They didn’t exist, and their absence was sending the message to many boys that this type of play or this way of being wasn’t for them.

Fast-forward: I created Wonder Crew, dolls inspired by boys, to help expand the definition of masculinity. I wanted to send a new message to boys, one that said yes, you can be kind, caring, nurturing, emotional, and adventurous, strong, creative and more — a message that that moved beyond gender stereotypes and encouraged all aspects of their identity.

Here’s what I learned about boys, dolls, and nurturing:

1. It’s about semantics.

Words are powerful. Of…

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