Do not teach this to your children…
The scene is familiar and sometimes happens to me having a boy and I can tell you I make the same mistake: My son is playing in the dirt with his trucks, cars, yelling and being loud, and of course full of energy. He’s just a happy kid playing outside and probably myself or some family member make an exclamation: he is just a boy, boys are like that or boy are more hyper than girls etc… just to mention some comments.
It is a common phrase, and even my friends and family have joked about our own children in this way. The boy we’re talking about is noisy, active and loud. Maybe he’s or will be destructive or disorganized, but I am realizing I am having issues with this comments that I personally make myself.
We are promoting a traditional and obsolete gender label. I know many people swear or believe that boys are naturally different from girls, and that may be true. But the way we talk to, or comment about it is not well about how we treat our children and the prospects and expectations we are creating. When we expect boys to be noisy, loud and active, we are tutoring them to be exactly that.
We are creating behaviors and personality based on gender. Being active does not have a gender. There’s no sex in being shy or loud or delicate, there is not gender in being funny, smart, lazy or motivated. Anyone can have these characteristics anyway beside of the sex, and our culture assigns them one anyway.
They don’t need to make a behavior a male or female thing, and what is not even appropriate and I include myself, is to do it in front of kids, every kid is different. Although some boys are loud and rough, some are more reserved and sensitive, there are plenty of boys at both who prefer read than play outside, boys who talk quietly and don’t yell out in class or on the yard. We all know that there is not just one way of being a boy or a girl. But when we say things like, “He’s all boy,” we’re creating and celebrating a pyramid of qualities. We’re saying that this is the way to be a boy.
Girls are also reaching this message. They are learning that some type of behaviors are recognized with being a boy and may feel the need to distance themselves from those types of individuals. Anyway, kids are learning what adults think boys and girls should be and how they should act from these types of comments.
If we don’t want our children to be aggressive or destructive or bad-mannered, don’t defend these actions, teach them what’s right and what is not. Expect more from me also, and I will expect something different from others. Follow my blog for more tips and informative articles.