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As nine-year-old boys say they don’t like living up to the macho stereotype it begs the question do parents treat boys and girls differently?
When my daughter was born I was adamant she wouldn’t be limited by gender stereotyping (yes, I am a bit of a middle class w*nker, thanks for noticing.)
We dressed her in white, we dressed her in blue, we dressed her in yellow. Clothes with dogs and rockets on them. There was a light sprinkling of pink in the mix.
For Christmas we gave her dinosaurs and bug hunting kits. I chucked the plastic princess fancy dress kit in the bin (sorry Aunty Em).
And then we had a boy.
For the first few months he wore his sisters hand me downs but while I had been proud to dress my daughter in ‘boys’ stuff it felt weird putting a boy in ‘girls’ clothes.
I know it shouldn’t matter but it did. So we sorted through his big sisters hand me downs to sift out the stuff ‘a boy could wear’.
It didn’t stop there. My son hated swimming. I mean really hated it. Every time we took him to the pool and he screamed I found myself secretly willing him to ‘man up’ and stop clinging to my leg and crying.
He was six months old.
I’d like to put some of it down to sleep deprivation but honestly I’m not sure I can escape the fact that basically I am a massive sexist idiot.
Fortunately neither of my children takes a blind bit of notice of me unless I have biscuits so there’s no lasting damage done.
My son absolutely loves cars, boats, trains, planes and dinosaurs but then he also loves belting out tunes from Frozen whilst dressed like a beautiful ice princess.
My daughter likes pink princessy sh*t and killing zombie hordes.
And both of them now have a mum who at least tries to keep her inner sexist in check.