Chalk Paintings and Thoughts on Gender Stereotypes in the Parenting World…

Chalk paint has a unique texture and it’s texture varies when it’s dry vs when it’s wet. We made this chalk paint at home. We used a kitchen grater to grate sidewalk chalk of various colors. We also mixed in some colors to see what color we would end up with. We mixed this grated chalk with a few drops of water and painted with it on black construction paper. I absolutely enjoyed doing this with my boys. One of these paintings is mine. It’s easy to tell which one it is.

On that note, when I had twin boys, I was given a lot of advice from other parents raising boys on what to expect. Majority of parents told me that boys will be boys, meaning they will run and jump and make mayhem in the house, unlike girls who will sit quietly and work on craft projects. Generalized statements like these bother me because what if one or both of my boys or my daughter do not fit into such stereotypes? I made a firm decision as a parent to never make such statements (even in my head) because I sincerely do not want to add my own voice to all the prevailing gender stereotypes out there. I may not be able to eliminate gender stereotypes but I can make sure that they don’t influence the way I parent my kids. To that effect, even in my head, I never looked at some activities as belonging to boys vs girls or vice versa. Everything that I did with my daughter when she was younger, I do with my boys too. I have two energetic boys who are very athletic but I am happy to report that they really enjoy sitting down at the table to engage themselves in coloring, painting, craft projects, etc the same way they enjoy rough housing each other, chasing each other around the house, throwing ball in the backyard, etc. They don’t just enjoy it, they seem to need it too. I see them seeking such activities on their own now. Similarly, my daughter also enjoys playing basketball aggressively, the same way she enjoys baking at home. Goes to show how we limit ourselves and our children by subscribing to the popular opinions and stereotypes. I hope this post inspires atleast one other parent out there to not do this with their children 🙏🏼

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