As a parent, you have a lot of responsibilities to look after, starting with making sure that your children have all they need, to helping them to build their own life. But the most important responsibility of all, your biggest task as a parent, is to equip your child with the mental weapons they need to remain strong in the face of social pressure. You don’t want your child to be someone who will, as an adult, suffer from anxiety and depression because peer pressure stood in the way of their happiness. The most common type of social pressure relates to gender clichés and can touch your children, but you and your partner too. It’s brutal, it’s unfair, and it’s unjustified. But more importantly, gender clichés can limit someone’s potential and dreams. So, as a parent, your role is to promote gender equality without cliché and without fail every single day.
Promote It Through Joined Decisions
A family is about parents and their children. This is as simple as it gets, and your role to promote gender equality begins with your partner. For a start, it’s important to discuss career aspirations as you prepare to have children, or even if you have children. To take a common example, your housewife may want to go back to her professional career, even if you have children together. So it’s important to be able to talk openly together and to take the best decision for the well-being of the family and your couple without making any assumption about your other half’s aspirations. Another common mishap in communication happens when one of the parents decides which school the child should attend without discussing it first.
Don’t Be Afraid To Be A Stay-At-Home Dad
It may be difficult to imagine, but the best promotion that you could make for gender equality is to become a stay-at-home dad. Taking what is considered to be a woman’s place is the easiest way to break clichés, and reject them. Thankfully, for baby gear, function is genderless, so you can happily look for the best baby slings and wraps, for example, and enjoy the same carrying experience than a woman has. If you are comfortable with wraps, they allow you to develop a closer bond with your baby, which is important for dads.
Don’t Impose Genderist Views On Children
People tend to confuse the terms sex and gender. Most parents assume then that a child’s gender is based on his or her genitals. In truth, gender is the combination of three factors, being a person’s experience of their own body, a person’s identity or sense of self, and how a person chooses to express their gender. However, society presents a gender-binary view: On the one side, blue for boys, and on the other pink for girls. But this cultural binarity is at the core of gender discrimination critics. Women belong in the kitchen. Boys don’t cry. You know the words. It must end. Your child doesn’t deserve a genderist view of the world.
Offer Exciting Bedroom Décor
Maybe, the best way to bring the idea of freedom to your child is to stick away from the gender clichés when you are decorating their bedroom. It’s time to walk away from the traditional pink and blue bedrooms to embrace a gender-neutral approach. Start by creating a theme, whether it is an animal, a day on a boat, or even a garden. This will help you to bring new colors to the bedroom palette.
Let Them Pick The Toys They Like
If you have been in a toys shop recently, you have probably noticed the difference between the aisles for girls and the aisles for boys. In reality, toys should remain toys and not come with a gender label. Many groups, such as Let Toys Be Toys for instance, are trying to raise awareness among parents that little boys playing with dolls are by no mean abnormal. Indeed, the gender gap forces boy-specific toys to encourage aggression and competition, while girl-specific ones focus on communication and nurturing. So let your child develop at the same time a sense of competition and communication. What’s wrong with it?
Don’t Use Gender-Biased Language
We are all guilty of using discriminatory language without even knowing it. Whether you are simply saying that pink is for girls – and if you do, please stop. Men have been wearing pink shirts for years now – or talking about mankind instead of humanity, gender-biased language exists. It’s important to recognize it so that you can avoid it. Your child doesn’t need to grow up thinking that male nurses and female firefighters are fictional characters.
Build A Bond Without Genderist Limitations
Take example on this dad who lets his daughter paint his toenails in pink. His point is simple: He sees it as a way of bonding with his daughter. While she feels respected and valued for who she is, he establishes a trust relationship with her. So when she’s a teen and needs to discuss more private issues, she will feel like she can trust her father with her most intimate thoughts and worries. As a parent, it’s important to remember that the best way to help your child is to learn to enjoy spending time together without letting a genderist perception of the world come between you. In short, don’t tell your daughter you can’t play with her because it’s a girl’s game. You can play with her. You just don’t want to.
Break The Psychological Clichés
Last, but not least, there is a common belief that says that real men don’t show their emotions. This is a psychological burden for more and more men who feel unable to express their feelings. to put the idea into perspective, 76% of suicides are male suicides. The link between not showing or talking about your feelings and this dramatical conclusion is obvious. But people, whether they are men or women, go through hard times in life. No more of this boys don’t cry nonsense. Boys and girls cry when they feel sad. The strength of a human being is not measured in their tears but in their decisions.