Do you treat your granddaughters differently than your grandsons?
This might seem like a silly question, but most people do treat girls differently from boys, despite all that we know about labelling gender roles and stereotyping.
All grandparents want the best for their grandchildren regardless of their gender, but are we limiting them by putting our social values on them?
Boys in Blue and Girls in Pink?
As innocent as this statement is, it reveals a lot about how we want our grandchildren to behave.
We associate strength and power with blue, and gentleness and caring with pink.
We know our grandsons will grow to become doctors, engineers and mechanics.
But, what roles do we want our granddaughters to fulfil? Of course, we want them to be mothers and wives, but are we doing enough to make sure they can be whatever they want to be?
A career is a must for all women
All girls should have a career. They should strive to be independent and to fulfill their dreams.
Girls and women need to gain confidence and be empowered.
They need to be able to articulate their concerns, their ideas and make a valuable contribution to the world.
Girls who want to be astrophysicists
Confident young girls want to do everything their brothers want to do. They want to be astronauts, fire fighters, ambulance drivers, doctors, engineers and even astrophysicists.
And, why shouldn’t they.
When women enter a field of industry they change it. Sometimes these changes are difficult to process and challenge the status quo, but the changes are all for the greater good in long run.
How can you help your granddaughter achieve her dream?
Helping your granddaughter become a strong, independent woman may not be as difficult as you think.
When you are spending time with your granddaughter encourage her to try new things.
Build up her confidence and ask her to help you with chores other than cleaning and cooking. She might be able to help you with a hammer and nails, or even a saw if she is old enough.
Your granddaughter could help you check the oil in the car or dig a hole ready to plant a tree.
You may find that all you have to do is not tell her she can’t do certain things. If she says she wants to do a job which is traditionally done by men, encourage her and tell her what a great job she would.