A 10-Point Plan for Parenting (Without Being Overwhelmed)
The Need to Teach Gender Equality among Children
Gender equality issues are everywhere. When a boy decides to train under the Golden Dance & Cheer Academy, his parents will convince him to do something else that is manlier. Some of the parents’ actions towards their children raised a citizenry with a belief on hyper-masculinity in men and an overly emphasized femininity in women.
We cannot fully blame the parents also because it is the society that has invented this limiting viewpoints about gender to our children. The best time for a parent to make a positive contribution to a child’s idea of gender is at ages two to three, when this construct is almost already well-understood. Here are some of the things a parent can do to help his or her child develop a good idea on what gender is.
Guide your kids to know what Sexist advertising is like. The message in marketing is subtle that a person cannot notice that he or she is already influenced. Advertisement directed to kids are designed to be so fascinating for them. Once a child sees a toy commercial, they are hooked to the idea of owning one for themselves. The goodies in candy shops are colored in a way to attract children and are placed on reachable containers for the kids to get. Magazines project unrealistic gender expectations to their young readers leading them to believe that they are either not man enough or woman enough. Television ads show to the younger viewers that there are toys that only boys can play or only the girls can play. There is this belief learned by kids from the advertisements that a boy’s options for toys are army figurines, Legos, and trucks; a girl’s options are: dolls, make-up, and baking toys. Your kids ought to know that it is ok for them to play with any toy they want, and not follow what the advertisements try to convince them to do.
You have to do equal parenting. You can do some task reversal by allowing your husband to do some chores in the house, and for you to do the driving for the kids. In this way you are helping your kid to be free from the influences of gender stereotypes. It should not be the wife’s own responsibility to look after the kids, it is also the husband’s responsibility also.
Do your responsibility to prevent the integration of gender stereotypes to your child’s identity. If your child tells you about a gender stereotype he or she believes in, patiently inform him or her that it is not helpful to the society at all. If you hear your child exclaiming that only girls should join the Golden Dance & Cheer Academy, then inform him or her kindly that boys can have roles in dance plays too.