Parents less likely to take daughters outside to play

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!

5 thoughts on “Parents less likely to take daughters outside to play

  1. Just want to add here that there is no inherent reason why the average amount time spent outdoors by boys is the correct amount, while girls are being short-changed. Not all differences automatically mean advantage: boys. Maybe boys should spend more time inside doing arts and crafts, if we’re going to be dealing in shoulds and oughtas.

    I say this as a father of two girls who worries constantly about disempowering messages in their midst. If I come home to see that my girls have done a bunch of cool creative projects with mom, I do not worry that they haven’t been outside enough. I’m happy they’ve enjoyed doing something awesome.

    That said, I take them to the park a lot.

    • hi becomingaguitarist,

      its about balance, but girls really, really need to learn how to experience their bodies, that their bodies are for doing things, not decoration…if they don’t, they may be creative but they’re likely to be obsessed with dieting and have eating disorders. The more they spend time outside, the more creative, healthy, and productive they will be.


  2. I’m not sure about the Time’s report. Not from what I’ve seen of parenting, and parents, in Friday Harbor, where I live.

    I think your post is far more interesting and I like your line Kids are changing, even their taste buds are constantly changing. And your comment on ‘pidgenholing’ is right on.

    • Hi triedtestedandtrue mommy,

      that is so great…i am going to try harder…i tend to be quiet, introverted, like to read…i know i often try to get my daughters to do quiet stuff because its just easier and more comfortable for me…but when i do get myself outside, I am always psyched..I live in California for god’s sake!


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