Are You Hurting Your Daughter's Future?
Posted by Morgan Benzian
Forbes recently ran a story titled "7 Ways You are Hurting Your Daughter's Future."
The list includes things like criticizing your own body or other women's in front of your child, only letting your male partner fix things around the house, buying gender-specific toys and complimenting your daughter's looks but no other qualities.
The article also refers to multiple studies that show that parents play an incrimental part in how their children perceive gender roles and that something as simple as suggesting that boys are better at one task, like sports or math, can automatically make a girl believe she's bad at a task and, therefore, can cause her to actually underperform.
It was a good article, if not a bit common sense. It definitely made me think about the kinds of toys my daughters play with, as well as the wave of Princess fever that has hit my house. I also realized I should probably set up more coed playdates and make a more conscientious effort to compliment my daughters' abilites and skills, not just their looks.
But here's the thing: this article isn't really just about girls. The same rules apply for boys, too. So maybe, in the end, this kind of girls vs. boys press coverage is actually hurting the cause. In my opinion, we are way too conscious of making sure our girls are raised to be strong and independent women and way less thoughful about how our actions influence boys' gender roles. Of course, this is coming from the mother of two girls, so I might not know exactly what I'm talking about over here, even though I like to act like it.
What do you think? Are we hurting our daughters and sons by prepetuating gender role stereotypes or do you go out of your way to blur the lines that divide?
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