Age two to six
At this age, children:
Learn their gender identities (that they’re a boy or a girl).
Learn stereotypes about activities, traits, toys, and skills associated with each gender.
Begin gender-typed play (girls “clean the kitchen,” boys “mow the lawn”).
Need to hear your input in specific, not abstract, terms.
What you can do
Point out people from real life or TV that show there’s more than one way to “do” gender. Try a show such as Doc McStuffins and say, “I notice that Doc’s mum works full-time to support the family and that her dad stays home and takes care of the kids.”
Comment positively on shows that equally value boys and girls.
Watch Odd Squad together and say, “Otto and Olive are equal parton ners and rely each other to solve cases.”
Find shows that aren’t hyper-pink or superblue. Or, at least, balance out your kid’s preferences with shows which uses a variety of hues, both on the stage sets and in the characters. The show also exposes some of the technical aspects of stage production, which teaches children that shows are created by people and are only limited by imagination.