Discussing gender equality with a curious six year old

Our world is rapidly changing and big issues of our time are becoming dinner time talk, talk show topics and casual exchanges at parties. Children too pick up random words and question them. Ben is 6 years old but she is quickly becoming interested in gender issues, particularly gender equality.

I was putting her to bed and reading her a story. The story involved something about a mum at the school gates and Sarah wasn’t too happy with the stereotype. The picture in the book had no men or dads and she was further offended by it.

This discussion came up before but I did not pay much attention to it. There was a retail store that contained the word “mother” in the title. She was not much too happy about it and said there should be “father” store too.

There have been more such moments but I think I won’t bore you with all the incidents. I for one am impressed to see Sarah is taking notice of such tiny things, questioning them and wants to communicate about them.

Well, I am impressed and surprised the way she picked up on this but I wonder why it didn’t come up sooner. I am a SAHD and I do the school runs. I just wonder why she never asked why she was the only one getting picked up by her dad when everyone else was picked up by their moms.

I have tried to talk to her about the house environment, how mommy goes to work and daddy is the primary care taker around the house but she never showed any interest as such.

But her recent curiosity tells me things are going to change. Her taking notice and questioning tells me she sees her house environment is a different from her friends and school mates. I for one am looking forward to have this discussion.

The issue is sensitive and needs to be handled with care. Since I am a blogger and everything, the concept of gender equality are not limited to just me. I do not believe in forcing my opinions on my kids, of course they are entitled to have one of their own and this is something I strongly encourage and believe in. Sooner or later, they have to know what the world is about. Not to be dramatic, but even I am not sure yet what the world is about.

Coming back on track, here is a share from one of my proud blogger moment. A friend of mine is an English teacher and he used my blog to talk to his students about language and gender equality. The discussion was a success. But there was one kid who called it “doss life”. Well, I am trying not to get offended by the ignorance of children. They’ll know better soon enough.

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