Gender Stereotyping

It’s hard to believe that Little Miss OMG is nearly two! So whilst most bloggers are reviewing their year or looking ahead to 2017 and all it holds. I’m thinking about gender stereotypes. (Probably why I’ll never be a top ten blogger.)

Little Miss OMG a few days old.

I’ll admit, when I found out I was going to have a daughter I was terrified. With three boys in the house already, I knew what to do with them. But a girl, that’s a different kettle of fish altogether. Or so I thought!

It turns out babies are pretty much the same. They eat, sleep, poop and need cuddles. Regardless of their gender. Shocking I know! Now.

The only difference really is you have to wipe down and not any which way you like!

The biggest change has been in me!

Since Little Miss OMG burst onto the scene in an explosion of pink, I’ve found myself rethinking my parenting and hopes and dreams for all my children.

I’ll be the first to admit I was a bit old fashioned in the way I brought the boys up. Not in the, women do housework and raise children while men hunt and gather, type of way.

More in the, if the boys hurt themselves I’d dust them down, wipe their tears, tell them not to cry in front of their friends and send them back into the fray. Even at their young ages I’d often tell them they need to go to college to get a good job. Etc etc.

With Little Miss OMG I’ve been thinking about raising her without gender stereotypes.

If she wants to play with cars and tractors, why shouldn’t she? If she wants to play hurling, rugby and soccer, then she should?

It got me thinking. (I try not to do it too often, it gives me headaches.)

Maybe she isn’t the strong type. Maybe she will be quiet and sensitive. (I doubt it! She brought a whole aisle to a standstill in Tesco the other day over a 6 pack of yoghurts.) Which also made me rethink how I treat the boys.

Here I am banging on about not stereotyping girls and I am doing it with the boys! How hypocritical is that!

I’ve therefore made a change in my thinking.

I will no longer tell the boys to “Be a man” “It’s only a sprain, come on” instead I will treat them all the same.

Maybe they aren’t into books and reading. Don’t want to be office managers or lawyers. Perhaps they want to be their own boss, travel, make cabinets or bake cakes for a living.
Whatever it is I’ll be there to support and help them.

  • If that means giving them a hug because they are upset that’s what I’ll do.
  • If it means they want to play badminton instead of hurling then so be it.
  • If it means teaching them to bake cakes instead of how to change the oil in their car, (p.s. I can’t change the oil, but we can watch a YouTube video together) that’s what we’ll do.
  • And if Little Miss OMG wants to play with dolls and prams and wear pretty dresses, then she will.

Stereotyping works both ways and in an effort to ensure equality for our girls we should remember not to do it at the expense of our boys.

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