Friday, January 28, 2011

To be or not to be - the Stereotype

I have never been overly bothered that my son is not into sports and games like other boys and instead into drawing and coloring. As long as he is enjoying himself, why should I care! Having said that, I do wish he’s more aggressive or athletic like other boys in his basketball class. My son does have a good time shooting the ball into the basket, but that’s about it!! His lackadaisical approach in each class is probably his own way of telling me “This is really not my thing!!” Of course, I don’t want be pushy….at the same, letting go is easier said than done!!

A wonderful classic dealing with the issue of not fitting into the stereotype is “The Story of Ferdinand” by Munro Leaf and drawings by Robert Lawson. Even Sandra Bullock is shown reading this book to her kids in the movie “The Blindside”! A touching tale of a little bull named Ferdinand who’s different from the rest of the bulls in the farm. While the other little bulls are busy fighting and butting their heads against each other, Ferdinand spends all day under his favorite cork tree to smell the flowers. His mother worries that he may be lonesome, but soon finds out that he’s not being aloof but is simply happy doing what he’s doing. Being an understanding mother, she simply lets him choose his path to happiness. When he grows up, he is accidentally selected for a bull fight, a job to die for, in case of any ordinary bull. But Ferdinand couldn’t care less. On the day of the bull fight, as the crowds cheer and the Matadors fear at the sight of Ferdinand, what does he do? He runs to the middle of the ring and instead of sticking his fierce-looking horns out, he sits down to smell the flowers worn by the lovely ladies in the crowd! Predictably, he’s sent home which is a blessing in disguise as Ferdinand is now free to do what he loves to do! This book is more of a lesson for moms like me to become the understanding mothers we wish to be to our little Ferdinands!


  1. Divya,
    I was also scared when I read Ferdinand is selected for bull fight!!! But FERDINAND is lucky . He is allowed to let go.So that is mother's feelings.

  2. Good lesson to pushy mothers/parents.
    Follow closely the interest of the child and allow him to persue it than asking him to do what you want him to do. The real parenting is there in nurturing in what he is good at.
    World is a big canvas!

  3. Yes...I have an example of understanding parents like you to emulate!!