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:
DON’T TELL YOUR SON TO “MAN-UP!”
As important as it is to teach your daughter to lead, it is equally important to teach your son to respect his feelings and care for others.
Boys are bombarded with stories of men who are strong, stoic and in charge, but rarely vulnerable or nurturing.
Boys often emulate these oversimplified characters, and it negatively impacts their well-being.
Parents can counteract the impact of these stereotypes by staying emotionally close to their sons. Fathers in particular can model a more complete picture of manhood.
Teach your son to value intelligence and thoughtfulness over toughness.
Encourage him to respect his own feelings and have empathy for others.
Avoid language like “man-up,” or “be a man,” which can be as damaging to boys as words like “bossy,” and “know-it-all,” can be for girls.