How to raise ‘macho’ boys and ‘pretty’ girls…
Today, we will be looking at Mommy X’s story which also happens to be a true story.
One day, Mommy X’s 1-year son was given a toy car. The little boy was very captivated by his new toy. Actually, he was way more captivated than his older sister had ever been with cars. Mommy noticed the difference in interest and couldn’t help thinking, ‘This is really a man’
Fast forward to some days later, this same little, young man picked up his sister’s toy pot and spoon. He then started moving the spoon round in circles, mimicking the stirring of a pot of a stew. Again, mommy noticed but this time around she was a little alarmed and made a mental note to go out and look for more ‘macho’ toys for her little man.
Okay, don’t flip out, I’m not here to suggest that we encourage our boys to play with dolls and our girls, fire trucks. However, we have to be careful that we don’t box our children into society’s gender stereotypes which does nothing in making them better people.
What do I mean by this? There are so many women today who have husbands who will simply never enter into the kitchen to help with a meal. I’m talking about husbands who are comfortable ‘crossing’ their legs while their heavily pregnant wives bend down sweeping. Or the ones who will hide away while their wives run after three children. To make matters worse, these men can’t do the work and may also insist that their wives get no help whatsoever because they have been built for domestic affairs.
Looking at such scenarios in all fairness, it’s not necessarily that these men always set out to be wicked to their wives. Perhaps that’s just the way they have been brought up. Their mothers did ‘it’ with such joy and so, they cannot understand why their own wives should complain.
Then, there are also the women who will sit down in the dark, waiting for their very tired husbands to return back home from work at 9pm and then get busy changing the light bulb which went bad in the afternoon. I’m referring to women who have ‘healthy’ bank accounts but will do nothing in contributing to the upkeep of their home. Yes, whether business is ‘good’ or ‘bad’, their husbands must pay for every single thing in the household, even down to the toiletries and what have you. They also cannot handle matters outside their comfort, domestic zone. For example, the electric guys or plumber show up at their doorstep and their first instinct is to call or wait for their husbands. Or they make an impromptu stop at the vulcanizer and have no idea what the recommended tire pressure is. So, they leave the job all to the vulcanizer who puts in too much air.
So, yes, I am not recommending that boys begin playing with dolls and girls, fire trucks. What I am saying is that we raise wholesome children who have a balanced outlook on life and sympathy for the opposite gender. Yes, let your boys understand that even though XYZ may be described as their primary role in life, it nevertheless doesn’t make them less of a man if they lend a helping hand on the ‘other’ side. For crying out loud, if they do enjoy this ‘other’ side, taking the lead wouldn’t turn them into women. Aren’t there macho men who love to cook and visit the market?
The same goes for the ladies. We shouldn’t be known for just painting our nails, looking pretty and raising children. We have been made for more impact than that. Mind you, this is not to throw a shade at those who have chosen to walk the ‘stay-at-home’ mom path because even within the four walls of their homes, social and religious circles, women have been known to take ‘charge’, making real, deliberate differences and impact. So, yes, you don’t need an office desk to make an impact.
I will end by saying that the best way to achieve all that has been said is by you and your spouse ‘walking’ the ‘talk’ for your children to see and imitate. Let them see that the running of the home is a joint business and through your achievements beyond the home, let them see that they can be anything they want to be. Also deliberately letting them get engaged in some of these other ‘opposite-gender’ roles that will broaden their mind set is a ‘must’.
Truth be told, it is only when these children discover the right balance, irrespective of their gender, that they would truly be found worthy of the titles ‘gentlemen’ and ‘ladies’
Image courtesy of sattva at FreeDigitalPhotos.net