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How Parents Can Help Avoid Gender Stereotypes Among Children

Children recognize gender from as early as 18 months and parents can help avoid stereotypes around it.

Most children as young as 18 months develop the ability to recognise stereotypical gender groups such as female and male.According to UNICEF (United Nations Children's Fund), children see gender inequality in their homes and communities every day through textbooks, in the media and among the adults who care for them. Hence we have Nandita Shah, Co-Founder of Akshara Centre and Charit Jaggi, Founder and Director, We The Young suggesting how Parents Can Help Avoid Gender Stereotypes.

The first step towards raising children who are away from gender stereotypes is to shun gender stereotypes yourself' says Ms Shah. Parents need to shun and be aware about the gender notions that they are themselves conditioned to. Children copy their parents , hence it is important for parents to work on themselves first.

Children regardless of their biological sex should be encouraged to be involved in activities of their choice.

'Children's toys and clothes are increasingly divided by gender as companies try to make profits by exploiting gender stereotype driven society' asserts Ms Shah .Parents should be conscious of using gender neutral terms since they emit possible social biases. The kind of toys and games children are exposed to should be made carefully since they can fall in the trap of gendered marketing.

'At a young age, children absorb information quickly as their brain is growing at a faster rate' affirms Mr Jaggi . Children should be exposed to non - stereotypical characters in books, movies and other forms of media to broaden their perspective.

It is important for children to learn how to develop social skills to communicate respectfully with their peers regardless of their gender. Children should be encouraged to mix up with gender diverse kids , to help develop their social skills and communicate effectively according to Mr Jaggi .

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