Thursday, 3 July 2014

How do you raise girls?

The girls Love to dress up, they have many costumes including a chef, police, builder and princess outfits. Without costumes they play at being pirates, shop keepers, mummies and babies, teachers, fire fighters and a wide variety of different animals. in their toy box they have ponies, Barbies, dollies, cars, train tracks, Lego, dolls houses and rocket ships. On the TV some of their favourites programmes are Tree Fu Tom, Mike the Knight, Peppa Pig, Topsy and Tim and Sofia the First. The husband and I are very keen for the girls to explore toys and find out what they enjoy on their own terms with out being confined to gender stereotypes. We encourage their imaginative play and sometime even get involved and play with them. In our house there is no such thing as gender specific roles.

While in the car earlier in the week, Baby Girl asked if girls were allowed to be Firein Fighters (I just love how she says it!) As I opened my mouth to answer Millie chimed in with 'no, girls can't be Firein Fighters, that's just for boys'. My jaw hit the floor! I was so shocked I didn't quite know what to say. The husband and I have been so careful to ensure that gender stereotypes don't enter our home, but it seems that society has gone ahead regardless and taught my 2 and 3 year olds that women can't do certain things. 

I cant help but feel so sad that my daughters are being raised in a world where its acceptable to think its OK for one gender to be restricted. We had a big discussion about the things girls are allowed to do and the roles they play in society, but I'm just not sure she believed me. So how do you do it? How do you ensure your daughters believe they can do anything and be anyone if they just work hard enough?

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