Join our free webinar.
Register Now

Avoid calling “Doll” for Children

Avoid calling “Doll” for Children
Let the girls play with dolls but don’t grow them to be like dolls. It’s not uncommon to hear parents and caregivers refer to children as “dolls” or “little dolls.” While it may seem like a harmless nickname, using this language can have negative consequences for children. Encourage your daughter to express her needs to adults.

First, using the term “doll” to refer to a child reinforces the idea that children, particularly girls, are objects to be played with or displayed. It treats them as if they are not autonomous beings with their thoughts, feelings, and desires. This can lead the children to internalize the belief that their value lies in their appearance and how they are perceived by others.
As a child I used to be expressive but as time passed, I was asked to keep my mouth shut. In Indian culture it is commonly observed that a girl child is taught to keep herself silent and is not allowed to express herself. Moreover, parents like to call their daughters “dolls” as a nickname with the names like Gudiya or doll.
Additionally, calling children “dolls” can also perpetuate gender stereotypes. The term often refers to girls and reinforces the idea that girls should be delicate, fragile, and passive. It can limit children’s sense of self and their potential. It’s important to encourage girls to explore their interests, talents, and passions and to support them in pursuing their goals, rather than confining them to narrow stereotypes based on their gender.

Instead of using terms like “doll” to refer to children, it is important to use language that acknowledges their individuality and agency. This can include using their name or referring to them as “he” or “she” instead of “it.” Additionally, it’s important to use language that is inclusive and respectful of all children, regardless of their gender, race, or ability.

In conclusion, it’s important to be mindful of the language we use when referring to children. Using terms like “doll” can reinforce harmful stereotypes and limit children’s sense of self. Instead, we should use language that acknowledges their individuality and agency and treats them with respect.

Suchetta Mishra