If we get in while they’re still babies, our kids will be better equipped to think outside the (gender stereotypes) box!
It may seem like all of this is only relevant once your kids are talking but gender stereotypes are imposed on your child from the time of their birth – and babies start understanding the world from the very start.
Here are three areas where you can start challenging gender stereotypes for your baby:
What does your baby's environment say?
- Room decorations. For example, mix up the colours and patterns on blankets and curtains, and have art of both ballerinas and trucks.
- Toys and games. Shop in both the 'boys aisle' and the 'girls aisle'
- Clothes. Wardrobes that span the rainbow have way more options for kids than the old girls = pink, boys= blue
What are you expecting in your baby's future?
- When you chat with your partner or friends about the future you want for your kids, have you ever caught yourself saying 'because that's what boys/girls do' or 'because boys/girls are pretty good at...'?
- Maybe it’s subtler than that: are you imagining your daughters in caring roles or your sons being outdoorsy – but not the other way around?
The biggest question to ask ourselves as parents is ‘Am I leaving room for my child to make their own choices?’
This is tricky, but part of challenging gender stereotypes is reflecting on our own hopes, dreams and expectations of our children. This includes both for them as children and as future adults.