Sunday, February 5, 2012

What's Good for the Goose is Good for the Gander by Zara Foley

As parents, it's our job to guide our kids through life.  We have big dreams of them growing up to be good moms and dads, and to direct them during playtime is something we often do.  Girls usually play with "girl toys" and boys had their "boy toys."  Daughters invited their moms to have tea and Dad was outside playing "catch" with his son, teaching him how to be a good baseball player when he gets older.  As boys and girls get older, the difference in motor skills between males and females become clearer.  About the age of five, boys slightly accell girls in physical abilities.  They start to run faster, jump higher, and throw farther.  The beginning of early childhood is age two.  There are hardly differences between both sexes as far as physical development.  As these children are growing, so are their central nervous systems.  They become stronger, more stable as their bodies grow stronger.  But when children are old enough that physical differences take place, society tends to start the categorizing of boy-vs-girl items.  Parents should recognize that balls aren't just for boys, and that girls at this age are just as capable of being a good "catch" partner as a boy would be. There's also not anything wrong with boys having babydolls as well.  My children have always received toys that were made for both genders.  When my son was in early childhood, we pretended he was a daddy and both of my daughters have been in sports most directed towards males.  I can't help but to hope going outside the guidelines of gender stereotypes might lower the risk of stereotyping later in life.  It's not just a "woman's job" to do dishes, or change a diaper.  Some women prefer manual labor.  So if we let our kids play cars together and play house maybe they will grow up with their minds more open than ours are.  At this age, children aren't physically that far apart, despite what gender they are.   

1 comment:

  1. Unfortunately, gender stereotyping will never end. My husband and I have always shared household chores and outside chores. He helps me cook, clean and do laundry and I help him mow the yard. Therefore, our girls have grown up taking part in all of those duties. My husband taught the girls how to take care of simple things on their cars like changing a tire and checking the oil and other fluids. They have grown up to be adults that can take care of themselves.
    Susan Davis