Your daughter isn’t bossy, and your son isn’t prissy.

These are two incredibly thought provoking articles on gender stereotypes and their consequences at all ages and stages.

Your daughter isn’t bossy, she has executive leadership skills: Lessons from Sheryl Sandberg
“When little girls lead, they’re called bossy and, over time, children internalize these messages. Women who lead are disliked and often referred to as being “aggressive”, but this isn’t the fault of women or men, it’s the message that’s interpreted by a collective society over a long period. “

Men are stuck in gender roles, data suggest
“There is an enduring stigma for boys whose behavior is seen as feminine…If a little girl is running around on the baseball team with her mitt, people think, ‘That’s a strong girl…When my 6-year-old is running around in a dress, people think there’s something wrong with him.”

When does a boy who likes the color pink stop wearing his favorite shirt because it’s criticized by others?

This book is a terrific resource for opening conversations about gender stereotypes with children in the classroom.

When does a girl start accepting that what she needs to take a back seat during the group project or she’ll be disliked?

What do we truly dream of for our students in the classroom environments we create? What stereotypes are they absorbing and labels are they beginning to own about themselves that we – as the adults who set the tone for what is safe and accepted – are either dismantling or knowingly/unknowingly purporting?

As we seek to create 21st century schools and classrooms that allow children to flourish as creative, collaborative, critically thinking individuals we need to remember that gender stereotypes, in either direction, impact EVERYONE.

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