It astounds me how quickly the world divides girl “things” and boy “things”. This includes everything from girl toys and boy toys to books. While I could (and might) write an entire article about the ridiculousness of separating children’s toys by gender, I want to focus on the importance of reading books about heroes and heroines. Regardless of whether you have a son or daughter.
Books provide the opportunity to get to know all types of people. They provide the opportunity to experience the life and circumstances of the main character. And by doing so, we not only learn the lessons they learn, we develop compassion and empathy for the character. That translates to the real world in developing empathy for those who are different than us.
I wholeheartedly agree with the Emilie Buchwald quote, “Children are made readers on the laps of their parents.” An important piece of reading is gaining an understanding of the “other.” For children, this can mean other places and other people (among many things). I intentionally buy and read books to my sons that feature a diverse group of main characters.
Children don’t naturally separate themselves into boys and girls. It is a learned behavior. My first grader is just beginning to see this play out in school. My preschooler is blissfully unaware. As much as I wish I could prevent them from learning the behavior, I know they will be surrounded by it outside our home. Instead, I choose to focus on what I can control: ensuring they understand that in our family, we do not treat boys and girls differently. Teaching them to respect and care for people of different genders and backgrounds.
There are many tools available to teach them this. The foundation is by seeing their father and I exhibit the behavior. That will stand high above the rest and has been a consistent in their lives since they were newborns.
I will also continue to have books in our home that showcase the amazing qualities, triumphs, and struggles of heroes and heroines.
Here are more ways to become a part of The Good Men Project community:
Request to join our private Facebook Group for Writers—it’s like our virtual newsroom where you connect with editors and other writers about issues and ideas.
Click here to become a Premium Member of The Good Men Project Community. Have access to these benefits:
- Get access to an exclusive “Members Only” Group on Facebook
- Join our Social Interest Groups—weekly calls about topics of interest in today’s world
- View the website with no ads
- Get free access to classes, workshops, and exclusive events
- Be invited to an exclusive weekly “Call with the Publisher” with other Premium Members
- Commenting badge.
Are you stuck on what to write? Sign up for our Writing Prompts emails, you’ll get ideas directly from our editors every Monday and Thursday. If you already have a final draft, then click below to send your post through our submission system.
If you are already working with an editor at GMP, please be sure to name that person. If you are not currently working with a GMP editor, one will be assigned to you.
Are you a first-time contributor to The Good Men Project? Submit here:
Have you contributed before and have a Submittable account? Use our Quick Submit link here:
Do you have previously published work that you would like to syndicate on The Good Men Project? Click here: