Age two to six

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - Family -

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.

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