Kids are those amazing creatures that absorb everything, that learn constantly, using their 5 senses, they don’t have prejudices or preconceptions.
A big hurdle is that a large part of the time we are not even conscious that the message is being sent, and (also unconsciously) being received by our kids.
➡The books we read them are mostly male focused (57% vs 31%) with 3 males for every female character and the latter are missing completely in a fifth of them
➡When we listen to nursery rhymes it is always mum who calls the doctor (which in cartoons is always male), mum is the one that goes for a swim with the ducklings
➡They get different toys, that enhance different skills, we speak to them differently (more to girls than to boys), we dress them in different clothes despite having the same body at that stage… And it adds up. Toys, comments, tv shows, books, songs, clothes…and then we call it nature. The problem is that because most of those things look ridiculously small, we don’t give them much importance, but they are massive when you put them together, they have a multiplying effect and they are part of a consistent message.
Experts agree that the most important things are:
role modelling , basically “practice as you preach” and get them in touch with a diverse range of people so they see that one size of “womanhood” or “manhood” doesn’t fit all.
critical thinking, challenge the things that we assume are “normal” and get into the habit of asking “why” when spotting stereotypical things.
When you are a parent at the end of the day you just want your kids to be good people and happy.