I hate the term “Boys will be boys”. There, I said it. Bring on the comments, people!
By using it, I feel we’re not only being lazy parents, but we’re also not giving boys the credit that they’re due. We’re chalking dirty, smelly, rude, loud or sexist/violent behaviour up to gender, rather than up to parenting and/or bad choices on the part of the kids. Not to mention, we’re denying them the notion that they are growing up in a world of limitless possibilities and that they can be/do anything they put their minds to.
I’ve heard it so many times and by so many different people, that I’m at risk of losing my optimism for the upcoming generation.
I don’t have boys of my own, so maybe some of you will say it’s easy for me to say, but I really believe in nurture over nature. If I had a son, I’d raise him to view both genders equally, to be respectful of girls (just as girls should be respectful of boys), to be as caring, empathetic, nurturing, as he is inclined to be. Conversely, I would also (and do!) encourage my daughters to explore any stereotypical “boy” interests that fancy them.
If we want to raise girls to believe they can do/be/achieve anything, we have to raise boys the same way.
What’s a gender stereotype that irks you?