Raising Your Child With The New Norm - Equality & Respect
Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash
Why is Gender Equality so trending these days?
Before we judge the acceptable and unacceptable behavior that is defined by our society. Let us first understand and think about the difference between the “Sex” & “Gender”.
Defining Sex v/s Gender -
Scientifically and Biologically, the sex of an individual is determined by the combination of XX and XY chromosomes which is a bit difficult to visualize and understand. Hence to simplify this further, our society has defined the term “Gender” that tells us how we should feel, act, and react based on sex. Exemplifying this 'gender' is more of the attributes that our society has built for us.
To speak about gender or sexual preferences - We have to agree to the fact that in all of us there are both masculine and feminine components. Certain characteristics were considered as masculine and feminine according to the cultural values of the past. But the lifestyle of people has changed now, whereby men and women are performing with equal standards. In present-day culture, women seem to have become more masculine in terms of independence and aggressiveness, while men have become more feminine, in terms of independence and intuitiveness. This gives rise to the question of whether our society is moving towards the Equalizing of the sexes?
Well, this concept of equality defines our economic prosperity. Societies that value women and men as equals are safer and healthier.
We’ve begun to raise our daughters more like son, but few dare to raise our sons more like our daughters - Gloria Steinem
To date, our cultural values are enforced to raise the girl child to be “girls” and the boy to be “boys”. The idea of girls doing “boys kinda things” and boys doing “girls kinda things” seems impermissible to many. If this continues, our generation of boys and girls will learn to be who society expects them to be instead of being themselves.
We need to empower and educate our little minds about Gender Equality and thus ensure a better future for all of us. And the first ground for the child’s development is his Family Background. The child would grow to learn this from his parents who could share the Equal Opportunity Parenting at home itself.
So let's look at a broader perspective and start investing our efforts by planting these healthy ideas in our child’s free mind from his young age by following any such small yet powerful ways-
- Give Assorted Flavour with Variety of Toys and Sports Learning
Buying things from the toys section ignoring the gender split. Allowing children to get exposed to a variety of activities, games, and sports without considering the boy/girl factor. We should not restrict our child’s extracurricular activities based on society’s norms. This will in turn make their participation active and will be able to pursue what makes them happy.
- Help Learning and Assigning the Chores Equally
Nurture your child’s involvement with different chores without gender discrimination, which in turn would be like raising a responsible person who can share an equal partnership in the future without being rigid in adhering to the conventional gender roles. Set the family team goals and targets that fosters the relationship bonds.
- Teach Their Kids To Embrace Diversity
Start harvesting the seeds of equality in a child's mind from the beginning by talking to them explaining the importance of gender roles. Everyone deserves to be happy and share equal birthrights. So it is ok for the father figure not to be afraid to be weak sometimes and for the mother to be strong at times. This helps get their parents' attention equally. Have thought-provoking conversations with your children and listen to them wholeheartedly.
- Admire Diverse Role Models
Start embracing role models from different gender, origin, race, and community to ensure that a child can understand that they can achieve anything without restricting themselves based on caste, gender, and ethnicity. Role models continue inspiring us with their success stories and not with their shape, size, or color factors. Try to be a role model for your child.
- Stop the Body Shame Game
We all have the subconscious mind that is frozen with the guidelines that society has framed based on how to dress, how to act, how to behave. All this makes us feel that we are constantly judged and measured against the standards of acceptance. So if parents at home set the example of fostering a positive lifestyle that is not defined by looks, or how to act then a child can gain confidence in himself by ignoring the unrealistic body standards.
We are fortunate enough that we are in the age whereby we can think and touch base such deep-rooted issues that are evolving since inception. But it is our responsibility to raise awareness and act accordingly so that we build a constructive platform for our coming generations that learns to respect ourselves and in turn can order the same respect that we all deserve in this society.
Yukta is a mother to a seven month adorable baby boy that keeps her busy. Serving as Senior Business Analyst by profession working full time in a leading MNC. She deals with human physocology serving as Graphologist, Drawing and Color Analyst. Yukta is also into making organic Skincare and Haircare products certified from the UK based School of Natural Skincare. She enjoys the challenges and keeps increasing her learning curve. She loves painting, baking, reading, cooking and crafting. Yukta loves watching series like Suits (in love with Gabriel Macht), Friends in her leisure time. At times energetic and rarely lazy.
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this post are the personal views of the author. They do not necessarily reflect the views of The Mom Store.