What exactly is a stereotype? It’s a fixed idea or image regarding a particular thing or person. When it comes to stereotypical gender roles, it all boils down to preconceived notions and ideas about being male or female. Children very frequently mimic adults, especially their parents, and gender roles are heavily influenced by what they see their moms and dads do. Children are also heavily influenced by teachers, older siblings, and the media, too.
Something as simple as you always cooking dinner or always doing laundry could influence your child to think that is what women do and those are a woman’s job. If you child always sees dad mowing the lawn, they can come to think that is a man’s job. It is important that children understand that boys and girls, men and women, can all excel at different tasks and careers.
It’s also important that children feel like they have the freedom and permission to follow their hearts and interests, despite what society might deem is appropriate. Here’s what you can do as a mom to prevent your child from developing stereotypical gender roles.
Encourage Play With A Broad Spectrum Of Toys
Make sure you give your child a broad spectrum of different toys to play with, such as baby dolls, trucks, dinosaurs, blocks, stuffed animals….you get the picture.
Provide Your Child With Examples Of Non-Stereotypical Gender Roles
Provide your child with examples of books, puzzles, TV shows, games, and media that don’t conform to stereotypical gender roles. For example, a book that features a male nurse and a female police officer.
Let Your Child Pick His Or Her Interests
Permit your child to pick sports or other activities that interests him or her. For example, if your daughter wants to play baseball and your son wants to ride horses, let them!
Switch Up The Gender Roles At Home
At home, switch up gender roles. For example, dad can do the cooking one night and you can get out there and mow the lawn to let your child see real life examples of activities that don’t conform to stereotypical gender roles.
Encourage Friendship & Play Dates With Boys & Girls
Encourage your child to make friend with both boys and girls, and encourage them to have playdates with both boys and girls too.