Have you ever stopped to think if you are educating your children in gender equality? Educating children for equality It is not about helping them do the housework and making their bed or clearing the table. We refer to channeling the messages that reach them through stories, advertising, news or songs.
Do you think we should review the conclusions that children are drawing from the media and the behaviors they see in their environment?
Here we leave you some of those different ways they have of knowing the world and interpreting reality.
1- Give them freedom to choose toys
Notice that when you arrive at a large toy store, the space is divided into two well-defined parts, the one for the girls 'toys is pink and the one for the boys' toys is blue. In the girls' there are babies, bottles, diapers, clothes, washing machines, kitchenettes, mops or princess costumes. In the children's area there are video games, weapons, cars, trucks, construction games, tools, dinosaurs ...
We have to think that in addition to entertaining children, toys are educational resources for learning social interaction strategies and are part of their preparation for adult life.
It is important that, although your daughter likes taking care of babies, she can also observe that in real life men take care of babies. And if your child wants a doll, do not deny it. You can also choose non-sexist and non-violent toys such as experiment games, board games or robotics kits.
2- Do not care if your children are a minority in their extracurricular activities
We mostly encourage the presence of girls in activities such as ballet and boys in activities such as soccer. Many parents discourage their sons if they express a desire to join the dance or their daughters if they want to join the soccer team. We must support the interests of our children and make them see that there are no after-school for girls and after-school for boys.
3- Let's encourage girls to get closer to technology and STEM areas
Women are a minority in computer science schools (11%) and in other technology careers. In engineering, they do not reach 24% representation. Encourage your daughters to learn programming because the future is built with code. Show them references of women who work in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Encourage them to play video games too.
4- Non-sexist and coeducational books for children
In traditional tales, princesses wait to be rescued by princes and do not make decisions. Disney has already started to change this in its latest films, but if you see that you are telling a story in which gender stereotypes are present, do not hesitate to intervene and clarify to your children those situations that are not egalitarian or that present an outdated society .
Choose readings that encourage diversity, equal opportunity, and stewardship.
5- Children also cry
It is important that you educate your male children in the expression of feelings and emotions. There are phrases that are socially inherited such as "Children do not cry" or "Do not cry like a girl". Educate them in dialogue and teach them to see that we are all equal and have the right to express what we feel.
6- Be careful with the messages of the songs
The reggaeton lyrics that our children listen to also do not help to spread a message of gender equality. The songs incite the submission of the woman and the power of the man over her. In them clear subliminal and not so subliminal sexual messages are transmitted that, luckily, many minors do not capture. Also the role of women in video clips of this type of music responds to sexist roles.
Listen to the music that your children put on and when you detect verses in which the woman is objectified, discuss them with them and explain that this is not a positive behavior and make them develop their analytical skills and critical thinking.
Definitely, with small gestures and explanations we can change things, flee from stereotypes, show other educational references and make children feel that they have the same opportunities. The main agent of change as always, is education, and in this case, education for equality that will make our children build a more free and just society.
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