We live in a divided world- one for boys and the other for girls.
A girl’s world is different – It’s a pink castle with pink walls and pretty Barbie dolls. She has utensils to cook in and vegetables to chop.
A boys world is a contrast – its blue with cycles and bikes. It has Superman’s and Batman’s and the ugly Hulk!
In our times, when we were young, these demarcations weren’t as distinct. Neither was anyone shamed nor reprimanded for stepping into the other world.
These stereotypes go a long way in molding how your kids learn and behave when they grow up. It also has a far-reaching impact on their choice of career later on in life and the way their overall personality shapes up. We bring you traps to avoid for yourself and your kids – let kids be kids. They have the right to grow up in a free world and be themselves rather than us conditioning them into becoming they might not be. Read on for some interesting pointers…
#1 Stop prettying up girls and roughing up boys!
The change has to emanate from you. It is time you stop endorsing that girls are supposed to doll up and boys are meant to be rough, tough and rugged.
Teach them both to dress smartly. Do not go overboard with cosmetics with little girls. Let both of them have their share of getting tough. Do not try and raise feminine girls who cannot take bruises and falls.
#2 Boys do cry!
Who says boys do not cry and it is okay for girls too? Watch what you teach your kids.
#3 Girls can be rowdy too!
The idea that boys are rowdy and girls are quiet and gentle is stereotyped, to say the least. Girls like to jump around too and yes there are shy little boys. It is okay for both of them to be that way.
#4 Toys are toys
A ball is for a boy and dolls are for girls – who cares?! Break this mindset and let kids be kids. Let them play with whatever they are happy with. Psychologists feel if you shame your boy who likes to play with dolls, you may be hindering his natural nurturing instincts. It is more of marketing gimmicks by corporates that have gone overboard – we did not have these boundaries so distinctly etched when we were young. So why should our kids live in this divided world of boys and girls?
#5 Colours have no gender
Blue is for boys and pink is for girls. We do not have blue barbies and pink balls. Since when is the world of colors got divided for boys and girls.
#6 Skills have no gender either
You enroll your son for a football lesson and your daughter in piano classes. Ditch the trap and let equal opportunities be available to both of them. Are you pseudo conditioning them into something they are not? Ask yourself!
#7 Aggressive or leadership qualities?
Sheryl Sandberg in her book “Lean in” rightly points that if girls take a lead, they are tagged as “aggressive”. A boy with a similar behavior is called a leader! How trues is that. Truth is – leadership is gender neutral too! Nurture the qualities and instincts in your kids. Accept them as they are and yes, encourage them to lead!
If you want your daughters to grow up to be strong and independent, keep them away from fairy tales for sure. One, Prince Charming does not exist in real world. Two, no one is coming to take away anyone. All are here to stay! Read to them books of powerful and strong women who built their own destiny than rely on some guy to change their fate.
#9 Boys can swear and girls do not!
Girls can swear too! Boys can be polite too! It is not about boys or girls, just being mannered and civilized.
#10 Let rules be equal for both
Why should boys have the extra time out playing? Frame rules for kids at home that applies equally to both boys and girls.