We found a book the other day, that featured a Dad, cooking dinner and doing the childcare.
So far, no big surprise, millions of men do this everyday. But not in the land of stories. We read a LOT of children’s books and this year, we have found only two with working Mums in them.
Dads at home
Families are all different from each other and house management looks very different now, to what it looked like in the 1950s. Many people now work from home, dividing up household tasks with more equality and responsibility for childcare. So it shouldn’t be so unusual and such a surprise to see a Dad in the kitchen in a book. But it still is.
Books can role model diversity in gender roles, showing children how households can be managed between equal partners. If children don’t see equality not at home, they know it’s possible and that it’s something to aim for.
What’s on your shelves?
Have a look at your child’s bookshelf. What are the female characters doing? Are they always Mum, are they always doing the childcare and the housework? Are they always in a caring and sensitive role OR being rescued? Look at the pictures, are they always small and shapely with long eyelashes? Try swapping some of the shes for hes when you’re reading.
What about the male characters, are they always going out to work? Are they always rescuing or expected to be brave, or making funny mistakes when parenting? Are they big and muscular and chiselled? Try and swap some of the hes for shes.
Get some new books!
If swapping those pronouns gets confusing, you could order one of our Everybody In boxes, which has 20 different titles that shows plenty of diversity in gender roles.