Talk honestly and simply about the ways in which you make choices about your own body.
Allow them to own their own body. I explain to my girls that it is my job as their parent to help them make choices that keep them safe and healthy but that as they get older they will be able to make more and more choices for themselves.
Never force your child to give kisses or cuddles that they don’t want to give. As long as they are generally polite, nobody should be forced to show physical signs of affection if they don’t want to. This includes children.
Offer a variety of toys and dressing up clothes.
Remove any gendered labels and packaging before your child sees it. Eventually they will start to notice gender divisions in toys and you can point out how silly they are.
Think about the compliments we give to our children.
My little girls ARE pretty, and beautiful, and sometimes even cute. They are also brave, clever, friendly, funny, and all the other wonderful things that make up their personalities.
Watch the gendered and heteronormative assumptions.
It can be as simple as saying “someone” instead of “a man” when talking about who/if they might marry.
Words: Alicia Duffy