Time Magazine is reporting that new research shows “preschool girls are 16% less likely than boys their age to be taken outside by their parents to play.”
This is a fascinating article and you should read it. It speaks a lot to parents expectations of their children. I really think that parents still have drastically different expectations for their daughters than sons.
How to change that? Try to be aware of how your expectations are gendered, even if you think they’re not. Try to be more open. For moms, that may mean going out of your comfort zone. Sign your daughter up for a class where someone else will challenge her in a way that maybe you can’t, in a way that she isn’t used to. Get excited about whatever that class/ skill is. Parenting is so challenging but be careful not reinforce stereotypical “feminine” qualities that are useful to you because they make your kid easy to parent. Get your daughter used to healthy risk taking, speaking out, using her body, and most importantly, trying new things. Be careful not to pigeonhole your kids: the smart one, the athletic one, the artsy one etc. Kids are changing, even their taste buds are constantly changing. Obviously, parents want to hep kids establish a strong identity but pigeonholing is limiting.
Take your daughters out to play today!