I was out shopping with my granddaughter, something I have not done for a while with a little girl, and it stuck me like a big slap in the face, how little girls are trained, conditioned from such an early age about being the princess, being the mum. And yet all my little chickee wanted was a t-shirt with Marshal from paw patrol on it. They had the pink girl puppy on a t shirt, but not the rest of the characters.
What happens when you notice something is that your brain becomes sensitive to seeing this phenomena even more. I started to notice how tuff and manly the boys clothes looked. Slogan such as adventure, strongman, superhero was all over the boys, and the girls had Dream and Drama Queen on theirs.
Conditioning our children into a role that they are expected to play starts so early. I am pleased to say that my kids have turned out great, but I also never pushed expectations on them. I let them play with the toys they wanted to, and dress in the clothes they felt comfortable in. I would let them choose. My youngest as a little kid loved dolls and spend 6 months wearing his sisters orange ballet tutu. I encouraged my kids to have a good cry if they needed to. Not to hold in their emotions but to talk about what might be frustrating them and I would never tell my boys to man up.
There has been so much in the media lately about gender equality because of the same sex marriage vote, and that is a step in the right direction, but gender conditioning is rarely talked about. There is still a fear that your son or daughter might end up gay. Who someone ends up being is inside them and no amount of role playing will stop what is truly in their heart. Conditional love is not love.
Playing a role that a child feels uncomfortable is where the real damage lies. Making your little princess believe she is a little princess and is entitled to an easy life is not going to help her when she has to become an adult, and will only make her expect prince charming to come and sweep her off her feet. Training boys to not express themselves and who they are is not going to grow them into considerate, gentle partners and men.
Now I’m not saying that little girls shouldn’t dress up as a princess, or that boys should all be made to play with dolls, what I am saying is don’t expect them to. listen to your kids, listen to what it is that they like to do. let them play and learn in a way that they wish to. don’t put the burden of your expectations of what you expect them to be on them.
It is time that we stopped trying to live up to the expectations of others and opened our eyes up to the gender conditioning being done to our children. Take the time to truly listen to your children, and nurture what they are interested in. show them that the world is more than what it seems to be on the surface. And let them be who they want to be, show the emotions they want to show and teach them to be their own person.