Imparting to Kids the Importance of Gender Equality
You can see that issues on gender equality exist in many areas of the society. For instance a boy who wants to join the Golden Dance & Cheer Academy is discouraged because it is too girly for him. Because of the limitations set by some parents on their children’s activities, their sons and daughters are raised to have a limited idea also on what a man and a woman has to be.
The children live in a world that has clouded his or her idea of what gender is. Kids have more or less a good idea about their gender when they reach two or three years of age, in that stage parents have the capability to mold them into someone who has an unbiased view on gender. The following are suggestions for parents who want to make a positive impact on their child’s concept of gender.
Guide your kids to know what Sexist advertising is like. You can never directly observe the impact of an advertisement because it seems to present simplistic ideas, when they are actually not. Advertisement directed to kids are designed to be so fascinating for them. The advertisements make the kids feel that they need the toy. The goodies in candy shops are colored in a way to attract children and are placed on reachable containers for the kids to get. The magazines for kids have content that promote negative feelings in kids about the expectations on their gender. 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. What you can do as a parent is to tell your kids that the advertisement is not fair to both boys and girls.
Demonstrate equal parenting in the household. The husband can help in doing the household chores and the wife can do the driving. 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. Going back to the Golden Dance & Cheer Academy illustration, suppose your kid says that he cannot join it because only girls can be there, you as a parent can present to him male dances who can be a good example for him.