Children should feel supported when they both lead and nurture, and this means pushing back against age-old expectations that women should be caring and men should be in charge.
Changing these stereotypes starts at home.
When parents have 50/50 partnerships, children grow up with more egalitarian views and can envision more possibilities for themselves.
Telling children “You can do anything” is not nearly as effective as showing them they can!
By making small changes that create more equal homes, we can raise a generation of women and men who can be anything they want to be.
Here’s this week’s tip on how dads can help support gender equality at home:
HELP YOUR DAUGHTER LEAD
Despite our best intentions, girls are often discouraged from being leaders.
As early as middle school, parents place a higher value on leadership for boys than for girls.
Girls are often labeled “bossy” or “know-it-all” when they speak up or take the lead, and they’re called on less in class and interrupted more than boys.
These factors take a toll on girls. Between elementary school and high school, girls’ self-esteem drops 3.5 times more than boys’.
By middle school, girls are less interested in leading than boys—a trend that continues into adulthood.
Celebrate your daughter’s efforts to lead.
Help her set goals and break them down into small, achievable steps.
Encourage her to reach outside of her comfort zone to build confidence. Just as she practices soccer or piano, she can practice small acts of assertiveness like ordering at restaurants or shaking hands when she meets new people.
Get your daughter into sports or other organized activities where she’ll learn to collaborate, speak up, mess up—and try again.