20 Answers

We’ve always been very careful to teach our kids that boys and girls can do the same things and enjoy the same toys, colours, characters, games etc. Our kids have always been very open-minded and happy to play with toys considered appropriate for the opposite sex.

However since they’ve been at kindy and school the level of peer pressure they face from other kids is really quite extreme, and I feel they are slowly being worn down, which makes me so sad. They are constantly being told pink is only for girls, boys like cars and spiderman, girls like jewellery and princesses……

Does anyone have any tips for dealing with this barrage from other kids and countering the sexism kids are being taught so early? I really feel as though the stereotyping and gender conditioning isn’t challenged anywhere near enough by teachers and schools etc too. Would love to hear others’ experiences and thoughts on how to deal with gender stereotyping

Posted anonymously, 28th November 2014

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  • Struggles with peers will always be an issue. As they get older and more confident, they’ll be able to speak their mind and commit to what they believe

  • I ask my kids “Why? Do you think that makes sense? Does that make you happy?” and those sorts of questions seem to help build resistance.

  • Keep doing what you’re doing. I always buy nice pink linen or cotton shirts for your husband and wear yourself plenty of blue :) Also home can be the safe place where they can do and be what they want, things what they might not to feel free to do or wear at school.

  • Just keep reinforcing your thoughts, cheers.

  • Just teach them your family values and back them up when you need to.

  • you cannot change others – just be true to your own values and beliefs, and your kids will be grounded

  • It is sad isn’t it? They tell kids they can do and be anything they want, yet they’re faced with this prejudice at such a young age. All you can do is keep reinforcing your/their views at home, unfortunately you can’t control what they face at school, but you can provide the strength they might need to stay strong in their choices

  • When my kids start talking about girl and boy colour I simply remind them it’s just a colour and that there is no such thing. I can’t do much more than that, just continually reiterate our views on the matter.

  • I just teach my son to be all that he can be, irrespective of what others say.

  • I’ve been having this discussion quite a bit the last week or so. My first grand baby is due, we don’t know the sex,,and I’m knitting a purple jumper for it. Hubby says what if it’s a boy? I say it’ll be wearing a purple jumper. Hubby says only hippy feral way out there weirdos put purple on a boy. Also, why can’t males attend baby showers? It’s ridiculous a baby’s dad can’t be there to check out bubs stuff

  • I just stick to my guns and let my girls wear what they want and play with what they want. My daughter loves to play in mud with a dump truck as much as she likes to dress as a fairy

  • my boy is going through a my little pony phase, making kissing noises and stuff, I haven’t had much experience sorry

  • Just keep on continuing with telling them that both genders CAN play the same games, with the same toys, etc…

    Our children love all things boys & girls, we only have one daughter and 3 boys, but they never say something is too girly or too boyish! We have bought them up to be individuals, not sheep!

  • my daughter loves ninja turltes and was told by some kids at school that it was only for boys when she had a drink bottle of them. we told her that they were being silly and she is smart for knowing how cool the TMNT were and that the others are missing out on lots of fun because they are being so silly. it fixed it. we just reinforce her individuality at home.

  • well i have 2 girls and a boy. my hubby has bought things for the girls like a hot wheels track but they prefer barbie lol! i had to tell him to stop buying toys for himself and saying it was for the girls lol. we have a boy now and so hubby can indulge in buying boy toys again. i let my son play with what he likes and he does gravitate towards his cars. my children are lucky that they have two parents that they can watch modelling our gender roles.

    i think that it is so important to raise a good human being and so i focus more on teaching my children manners, morals and values and confidence and therefore i won’t tell my son, that he is wrong because he choose to play with a doll but i find that he likes the typical boy things and is completely different to the girls anyway.

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