Break the gender stereotypes for your children, and watch them grow without imposing gender.
What is this article about?
- Acknowledge the gap
- Talk about it
- Walk the talk
- Know your rights
Earlier, parents used to usually raised their children with gender-related stereotypes that inculcated a flawed thought process and behavior in them for a lifetime. So, let’s learn from the mistakes of our elders and try to teach them about gender equality. Here are a few ways you can start without imposing gender.
Acknowledge the gap without imposing gender
Simply acting that everyone gets their fair share in this world and the world’s a rosy place will not help. You need to acknowledge that the gender gap exists and many people known to us have been a victim of it. Hiding this truth from your kids will not help them. On the contrary, telling them and giving them real-life examples will help them understand the situation better. In this way, you can take care of them without imposing gender.
Talk about it
After you tell them what gender inequality is, it is time to ask what do they feel or understand about it. Once you know their thought process on it, talk about how can they contribute to gender equality. If they disagree with you, have a discussion with them instead of debating or shutting them down. Make it a habit to talk about their feelings around it at least once a week.
Walk the talk
Simply talking about it will not lead the discussion anywhere. It is also important to make them a part of this movement. The easiest way to do this is to divide the house chores and duties equally. If you are cooking one day then ask your partner to wash the dishes or go grocery shopping. Make sure your kids are involved in these activities and do not shy away from helping you out in every possible way. Also, make sure you have the same rules without imposing gender on your daughters and sons.
Know your rights
Make sure you know your rights to equality and pass them on to your children. Let them know that if a teacher pulls him/her out of the playroom to point out they are playing with the wrong toy, let your child know that he/she has the right to play with dolls or cars or a fidget spinner.
Break the stereotypes in front of your children. If your son comes back from school with the complaint that his friends made fun of him for crying or wearing a “girly” colour, be their support. Don’t teach your children to bow down to bullies, instead teach them to stand up for themselves and carry their friends with them. Break down the stereotypes for them, such as ‘man up’, ‘boys will be boys’, ‘non-girly girl’ etc, by removing them from your vocabulary.
Introducing kids to the array of pronouns will let them choose their own identity. This will help them not only understand gender equality but will also allow them to discover and be comfortable with themselves. Once children understand their own identity, their confidence will rise manifolds and they will start respecting their friends, family, and classmates too.