Parenting Beyond Pink & Blue

Parenting Beyond Pink & Blue

How to Raise your Kids Free of Gender Stereotypes

Book - 2014
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Outlines psychology-based strategies for focusing on a child's unique strengths rather than on gender expectations, counseling parents on how to avoid cultural inclinations that limit a child's potential.
Publisher: Berkeley : Ten Speed Press, c2014
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9781607745020
Characteristics: xi, 225 p. ; 21 cm


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Jan 07, 2017

A simple and straightforward book for anyone to read. Chapters are laid out nicely and summarized at the end so you have a clear understanding of the main points. A bit redundant at times. A great book to read if you are new to the "gender stereotypes exist?" game, or you are well aware of what is happening.

Also read "Cinderella Ate My Daughter" if you liked this one.

ksoles Feb 05, 2015

Despite living in the progressive 21st century, gender stereotypes bombard us daily. And most of us remain unaware of their insidiousness: we talk tougher and play rougher with our sons than with our daughters; we call boys "buddy" and girls "darling"; we compliment girls on their appearance and boys on their physical skills. Reading "Parenting Beyond Pink and Blue: How to Raise Your Kids Free of Gender Stereotypes" by developmental psychologist Christia Spears Brown points out these latent biases and gets readers thinking about how to protect children from their negative effects.

As a scientist, Brown focuses on meta-analyses, which prove that the similarities between kids far outweigh the differences. Yes, girls' first words generally come a little earlier and boys generally exhibit less impulse control but, Brown asserts, "For most traits and abilities, boys differ from other boys and girls differ from other girls more than the two groups differ from each other." Only after a childhood of pigeonholing do women and men's brains conform and reflect bigger differences than there actually need to be. Conversely, gender-blind parenting "is about enabling your children to maintain as many cognitive, social, and emotional abilities as possible."

Without preaching, Brown cites many studies that prove the negative impact of gender stereotyping. Girls have a more negative body image after playing with Barbie; boys do academically worse in school when they think they need to act tough and independent; almost five thousand additional girls a year would have scored high enough in Calculus to earn AP credit had they indicated their gender at the end of the test instead of the beginning.

Finally, the book offers advice on implementing small but powerful changes that can help kids become well-rounded successes including buying gender neutral toys, having co-ed parties/playdates, complimenting all kids on hard work and effort and monitoring/censoring media exposure. Simple tips yielding profound results make Brown's book worthwhile reading for all parents, educators and caregivers.


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