Gender biases are something we all dislike practicing or being a victim of it yet we do not do much to prevent its presence and invasion into our daily life. Most of us have been conditioned this way since our childhood. However, we would not like history to be repeated when it comes to our kids. Let the tendency to develop gender-based biases not grow in your kid. Ensure that you follow the tips provided by Ignite Pad every day to help minimize such biases.
Begin gauging your own biases
The best way to counteract biases is to stop doing it yourself. Trace your habits of practicing gender-based biases and avoid repeating them. Cut all the stereotyping from your language, attitude, and behavior. Stop saying to your kid that only men can be strong or women can be emotional. Ensure that you do not ask your girl to dress up a certain way or your boy to not cry based on the stereotypes that we are made to believe and follow. You may unknowingly pass on the same to your kid. Instead, look for images that defy the conventional norms like that of a female pilot or male nurse. Use it as wallpaper on your kid’s computer. Also, stop generalizing boys and girls on certain habits or work.
Make your home bias-free
Children are exposed to the gender divide right from the time they start understanding the world around them. There are separate girls’ restrooms and boy's restrooms in schools even in pre-schools although at home everyone (both male and female members) use the same washroom. Such things give them the chance to develop a tendency to divide things based on gender. Parents and guardians should ensure that there is a healthier understanding of the gender differences and no family practice must narrow down their sense of gender roles. If your daughter helps you in the household chores so must your son. If your son runs errands make sure your daughter does so, too. Fathers must also enter the kitchen to cook something for their kids; mothers must not always be seen cooking, by the kids. If the father reads the newspaper in the morning the mothers must follow suit.
Think of more such things that will help widen your child’s idea about gender roles and practice them at home. We cannot change society at once but we can take those small steps within the family towards the change.
Activities to expand their horizons
Make your kids watch shows that portray unconventional gender roles. Make them read such books where a female ends up being a hero and a male is the caregiver of the family as reading books is important for kids. Expose both female child and male child to a variety of activities. Never force a girl to show interest in ballet if all she wants to do is play football. Similarly, support your boy if he wishes to take up classical dance forms like Kathak and Bharatnatyam. Facilitate kids in interacting with people from all genders and developing friendships across genders.
Counsel for better understanding
Kids are often exposed to biases and stereotypes daily that can negatively shape their views about gender. They also need to be told occasionally, how to identify bias in things around them and others. Teach them how to talk positively and constructively to people about biases. They must also be told how not to get influenced by stereotypes.
Explain to your kids how being biased is harmful especially based on gender. Teach kids a few strategies to deal with or respond appropriately to biases and stereotypes. This is important for their all-round development.
Ask them about how they feel regarding the gender stereotypes, for instance, check how a boy feels when he watches commercials showing girls should look good by wearing make-up or applying some cream. Ask your girl how she feels watching commercials for motorbikes always featuring men and never a woman. Commercials for dish scrubbers, dishwashers, washing machines, and detergents are always endorsed by women, rarely a man. Check with your child what their take on the same is. Counsel them or talk to them in a manner that makes them understand this sensitive yet important concept of gender biases so that they grow up to be a person with a healthier mindset.
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