This weekend, I will spend some time posting a reading list the books in which gave me lots of food for thought and inspiration. If anyone else has other recommendations, please contribute!
"Girls should be nice."
I recently talked to a friend who has a little girl who goes to school with my girls. We were chatting about transitions between schools and how difficult they are and the mom mentioned her daughter was struggling. Things went really well for her in preschool the last few years but in a new school, with new friends, new teachers, she had an adjustment period. It had been brought to her attention, in an unpleasant and abrupt way that her daughter's behavior was a concern. She was up and about, rowdy, and in general, difficult to manage.
Now, we all know as mothers it is difficult to hear that our angels are in fact, devils. But we have all been alive sufficiently long enough to know this does happen. What nags at me, however, is : is the teacher reacting this way because the child is really a problem, or because she is a girl?
We do know that girls and boys are treated differently in schools. Everything from frequency of getting called on to amount of time allowed to answer questions. This was especially true in the past, before we started to about it, and certainly played a role in the quiescent behaviors we then saw in girls. We had to be nice, quiet, well-behaved. As grown women, those things are expected of us as well. If you are rambunctious- heaven forbid - what are you??? A boy? Putting this type of stereotype onto 5, 6, and 7 year olds was an early form of programming of what is acceptable behavior for women.
This teacher has been teaching for 100 years. I know nothing about her ability, personality, etc. All I know is that hopefully my neighbor's daughter hopefully is a little hellion. The alternative scares me.