It is important to have open discussions about sexual orientation and gender biases with your child. Teach your child to be inclusive and tolerant of others. Children learn about gender through conversations. So, I urge you to talk about gender roles and stereotypes. Remember, your child pays attention to what your attitudes are and listens to how you use language. How you respond matters.
Try and avoid using gendered language. You can do this by,
- Substituting boy and girl for labels like child, friend, adult or person.
- Choose generic phrases, like “That person wants to be a teacher” or “Some boys and some girls want to be nurses.”
- Have an open conversation with your child about gender stereotypes. Discuss how words can have an impact. Also, encourage your children to practice removing gender labels from their language.
- Removing gendered language reduces the pressure your child might feel to conform to gender roles. Let your daughter play with trucks. Let your son play dress up. Let them be unique. Encourage them to own their individuality.