Tuesday, August 6, 2013
I was reminded yesterday how important it is not to make gender assumptions, especially with children. A sweet 8 year old girl came in for her first day at Summer Care at You're Invited and my immediate response to her was "oh we have several girls your age to play with." As I listened to her talk and watched her body language I thought that perhaps she wouldn't want to play just with girls and I quickly added, "yes, lots of girls or boys your age to play with." (trying to recover from my lack of sensitivity) Later in the day I watched this girl compete in an intense, competitive tetherball match with a boy a few years older and saw other boys lined up to play the winner. They were all having a great time. I reminded myself not to make assumptions about people based on their gender, that we can easily make children feel bad, sorry, guilty, confused, etc about their natural predilections when we decide what they will like based on our assumptions and stereotypes.