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  • My boys are growing up in a world where I don't think they've ever questioned whether or not a woman could be a doctor or whether or not a man could be a dancer.

  • They're not assigning roles to gender because that's their reality.

  • But unfortunately, outdated stereotypes are still very much alive today.

  • So, we as parents need to be raising kids that are aware and mindful, that just because they are not hearing these sort of things on a regular basis, that they are very real.

  • One day when my boys were younger, we went to a popular fast food restaurant and the person working the drive-through asks me, "Is that for a boy, or is it for a girl?”

  • We were quiet in the car and my boys are like, "Why does that matter?”

  • So we get to the window, and they give us these kid meals, and it turns out the reason that they were asking is because there are two very specific toy options.

  • One of which is for boys, one of which is for girls.

  • And my boys did not want that toy that was for the boy.

  • We had to park the car and go inside to make them give me the toy for a girl.

  • These conversations are important because what they see from me and from their mother and from society, that is going to shape their view of gender roles.

  • In our home, I take on a lot of responsibilities that previous generations would have scoffed at.

  • The idea of a man doing laundry, and dropping off the kids at practice, and going on field trips, and changing diapers.

  • And conversely, my wife, she'll fix the dryer, she'll put in a ceiling fan.

  • Frankly, she's better at that than I am, so why wouldn't she do that.

  • For our boys to grow up seeing that in action, and know that it's not staged, that it's our reality; that's going to open them up to so many other possibilities.

  • I'm not saying, "Oh, you can't ever talk to your girls about bunnies if they loves bunnies. You can only talk to them about science."

  • Meet them where they are, and same with boys.

  • By no means do I want to imply that it's wrong for kids to embrace things that they enjoy just because it falls on one side or the other; just that it shouldn't be mandated by us.

  • Kids can be anything: girls can be strong. Boys can be strong.

  • Girls can be sensitive. Boys can be sensitive.

  • And everybody loves glitter.

  • To see kids grow up embracing that, it makes for such a brighter future, a healthier environment for everyone.

My boys are growing up in a world where I don't think they've ever questioned whether or not a woman could be a doctor or whether or not a man could be a dancer.

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How Parents Influence Kids' Gender Roles

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    Angel Hsu posted on 2019/11/08
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