Breaking gender stereotypes – the new age kids!
Mrs. Sharmila Bhaskar gave a peck on her son’s cheek – “Boys don’t cry Ravi, common wipe off your tears now.” Mother of a happy & proud 5 year old, tried pacifying her son when he fell off the chair. We often see little girls play with their Barbie dolls & their doll houses. And doesn’t just stop with the dolls. There is no dearth of options for kids these days. From Barbie make up set, doctor set & kitchen set… you have it all. On the contrary you find the little boys zooming with their cars. They are proud owners of their Audi & Ferrari. But why this gender stereotype?
In this 21st century where women refrain from taking a backseat, are moving leaps & bounds to set an example for their peers, why this gender bias? We talk about equality. We talk about abolishing child discrimination. But deep down in our heart, our culture, our family decree we incline towards an invisible prejudice that is prevalent in almost every household.
The question arises – How can we make a difference?
Let’s begin with the toys
A change happens in phases. A seed sown can’t blossom into a fruit over night. Can it? Toys ( a child’s best friends) keeps your little one engaged through the day & hence becomes a part of it’s unbringing. Do not restrict your angel to play with a battery operated hot wheels car. Encourage your son to play with your daughter’s Barbie hospital set if he is enthralled about it. Siblings learn to share, and that’s a great skill we need to inculcate in our children sooner or later.
Let them live their passion
Only a child knows what he or she likes. You cannot decide. You can only introduce a child to a sport or to an art. If your child is intrigued by a particular sport or a hobby, you should let him live his passion. Mary Kom, the 5 time world champion has been the idol for many Indian women for years making India prouder than ever. Beating all odds of the society, Heena Sidhu became India’s first pistol shooter last year to reassure that women can break all societal pressures to live their dream. Sanjeev Kapoor, Sanjeev Brar & Vikas Khanna are few chefs who have put India in the Global Culinary Map.
Let us be the change
Children learn from what they see & hear. Daughters often hear – “It’s time you learn how to cook” or “What will your in-laws say if you throw these tantrums after wedding”. Yes, it is important to cultivate the right value system. We might sound like hypocrites, but teach the same values to all the children. Both should not waste food. Both need to clean their wardrobe. Both should take their plate to the sink. Well, the list doesn’t end here. An inward introspection suggests ways to improvise your approach towards nurturing your children without gender bias.