Friday, October 21, 2011
Boys and Girls & The Gender Issue
Posted by: Sharmila Rajah, 21-Oct-2011
It’s becoming more apparent with each day. Ayanna at Shamindra’s age was very different from how Shamindra is now. Ayanna was less physically explorative while Shamindra, not only has he begun crawling and cruising much earlier, but he is just all over the place. He is in every nook and cranny, climbing over stools, up the stairs and onto chairs.
As experts say boys' gross motor skills (running, jumping, balancing) tend to develop slightly faster, while girls' fine motor skills (holding a pencil, writing) improve first. Often girls show an interest in art (painting, colouring, crafts) before boys for this reason.
Boys on average tend to be more risk-takers - the pleasure center of the brain actually lights up more for boys when they take risks.
All about gender
Our kids develop expectations about gender based on their early observations at home. As much as we can we try to encourage Ayanna to be as sporty (as she is girly). She watches her dad in the kitchen cooking and is aware that the kitchen is not just the domain of mums and grandmas.
Experts urge parents to allow children the chance to discover what feels right – to encourage interests that fall outside traditional gender roles.
At four, Ayanna seems to have adopted some stereotypical attitudes in her efforts to distinguish gender roles. We continue to encourage her to see beyond traditional labels as we do the same with Shamindra. He is exposed first-hand or through books to a variety of emotions and has been given non-gender specific toys.
Gender is very much an evolving concept throughout childhood and especially at 4.
How do you develop an understanding of gender amongst your kids in your household?