When did the clothes become pink or blue for our babies?

#Unstereotype please….please,  is what our girls have been screaming for centuries. But only few seem to be listening. Looking around, we can clearly see the divide in our homes and outside, in our advertising, apparel stores, toy shops, movies , books …..sadly everywhere is where we can see this very dumb notion of Pink & Blue Brains. Given below are some images that prove the above point. These aren’t primitive days images but 21st century pictures of our baby girls and boys stereotypes keeping the societal idea of Pink & Blue Brains alive.

When did the clothes become pink or blue for our babies? Don’t know for sure but these are the images we see when we google clothes for baby boys and baby girls. Stereotypes run deep because our world and media is constantly urging us to be gender correct. And if you don’t agree, take a pink romper and a pink pacifier as a gift for a friend’s new born baby boy . The looks you’ll get will make you feel really stupid…gender stupid!

Girls magazines v/s Boys magazines  show a sad contrast too, adventures and exploring the future seem to be just for boys and looking pretty and glamorous is primarily a girls thing. We need to stop googling boys and girls toys if we want our girls to be strong career women , girl bosses, take more interest in Maths & Science and boys to become a more empathetic, sensitive and interested in equal responsibility sharing gender. Because when we google toys there are pink and purple dressing tables, castles, kitchen sets, dolls and doll houses all over the screen for girls toys. All search engines are the same, they very efficiently show stem toys, super heroes, robots and hot wheels for boys toys.

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A lot is changing with companies like Barbie and Lego which are taking out new inspiring toys for both genders ….but let’s keep praying they can somehow stray away from girl toys and boy toys altogether. What we need to change is also our parenting mindset and look for gender neutral clothes, toys and books for our children. The change will come with the change in the collective consciousness of parents all over the world. Because when we parents start refusing to buy gender limiting toys , clothes and books , the kids merchandise industry will be forced to become gender neutral. And it’s then when the world will stop believing in Blue & Pink Brains making our girls strong who can take equal pay for granted and our boys more nurturing, not afraid of showing their emotions and feeling less pressure to be the sole bread winners.

Let’s Stop just buying dressing tables and kitchen sets toys for our young  girls !

Let’s Make our boys play with cooking sets and dolls too and our girls with hot wheels and action heroes!

Let’s Ban the pink merchandise, ask for more colours and inspiring toys for our girls.

Let’s make them pick the t-shirts that say “Legendary” & “Warrior” instead of “Pretty ” &  ‘Princess”!

Let’s Help Google ..search pages of images that look different & not Blue and Pink ever again!

Let’s Break the stereotypes , Let’s unstereotype!

Lets’s Shun the notion of PINK & BLUE Brains!

Screen Shot 2018-04-29 at 8.40.23 PMCheck out : https://barbie.mattel.com/en-us/about/role-models.html

Screen Shot 2018-04-29 at 8.42.37 PMCheck out : https://www.lego.com/en-gb/dcsuperherogirls

Screen Shot 2018-04-29 at 8.49.33 PMCheck out : https://www.amazon.in/Good-Night-Stories-Rebel-Girls/dp/014198600X

Screen Shot 2018-04-29 at 8.48.54 PMCheck out : https://www.amazon.com/Strong-New-Pretty-Celebration-Themselves/dp/0761189130

 

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An Ode to Grandparents!

Met another awesome grandmother yesterday and what a delightful conversation we had. A conversation that forced me to introspect. Regretfully I realised I had missed including grandparents stories in a place that’s called AWESOME POWER OF LOVE.  My blog which is my “pouring my heart out space” is guilty for sure as it hasn’t seen even one post dedicated to grand parents.

Grandparent’s expression of love for their grandchildren is the biggest testament of  Pure Love. When my kids grandparents, your kids grandparents ….all the grandparents in the world are talking about their bundles of joy, they light up and the twinkle in their eyes says all that can be said about this amazing power of love.Let’s ask forgiveness from all the grandparents because in this very busy life of ours …where we are forever running, we sometimes take their love for granted.

Blessed are those who have seen and felt this universal grandparental love. I have and my kids have and thank God for that. Isn’t it beautiful to have two more sets of wonderful people loving your kids unconditionally and making them the centre of their universe?

The grandmother I met yesterday warmed my heart and had so many tales to tell about her life…..how she lived through all the ups and downs and how her life was full of miracles. Miracles that guided her well ….to raise a family alone, a family that makes her proud everyday. She said many people have urged her to write about her experiences in a book and I encouraged her too …asking her why not? I told her, “Your kids especially your grand children will love to read them and find strength in your words …why not aunty …do it …do it ….you have to, you should”.

If Aunty ends up writing and if you & I can encourage our parents to write their life stories down for our children. What a wonderful world will it be ….full of chronicles of  grandparents unconditional love and their life stories binding families together. Being a part of something bigger , something more important than you and me , being a part of a whole…. will guide our kids in their difficult times, reminding them forever and ever that they are loved,they are so loved!

Childhood Obsessions are good!

“My kids love dinosaurs! Ok I am being modest ….they are obsessed, really  really obsessed”, they know all the dinosaur types and names, God why can’t I remember how many are there in all?, said a Mom who loved dinosaurs too, a long time ago!

“My daughter has an obsession for cars and has many toy cars. She doesn’t break them ever. Instead she loves to collect them and park them in various places in the house, some times those places are under our feet and a whole lot of household members are tripping on them always”, said another mom who is amazed at her daughter’s knowledge about different kinds of cars!

Child Development experts call obsessions like these a “Deep Intense Interest”. We educationists don’t know exactly what sparks these interests and parents often can’t think of  the exact moment or event that kicked off this interest — but almost more than 30% of all children have one at some point, between the ages of two and six and for some the interest lasts further into childhood. Studies in this field have shown that the most common interests  that children show at early age is in vehicles like planes, trains, cars and the next most popular interest is in dinosaurs.

For many of these children, these obsessions are their first taste of mastery. They love being an expert. To have a deeper understanding of something their parent doesn’t know enough about, is awesome for them.  It makes them feel like a boss and very powerful. Kelli Chen, a known peadiatric psychiatric occupational therapist is of the opinion that these deep interests and obsessions are a big confidence booster for children. They have huge benefits and help a lot in children’s cognitive development. Many studies in this area point out that these sustained obsessive interests help them to develop persistence skills and result in increased knowledge,  a longer attention span and much deeper information-processing skills. In nutshell they make intense learners  pretty smart and bright.  Decades of research suggest that older children with these so called obsessions and intense interests tend to be of above-average intelligence.

So let your kids develop intense interests and don’t worry about their obsessions. Encourage their need to know more and learn more and more about their favourite topic. Help stimulate their brains by getting them books on the topic and surround their environment with things that can help them in sustaining these obsessions to learn for a long long time.

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Wish rape culture dies a sudden death ….and never raises its head ever again!

I couldn’t sleep yesterday after reading  a  heart rendering article by Mitali Saran “Statutory warning: Countries with such low levels of humanity could die”. She talked about humanity dying and our country being very very sick. Feelings of regret overtook me as I had purposefully avoided reading the detailed news on Kathua and Unnao rape cases . The girls were far too young, reasons cited by the accused too frivolous and religious twist was too much to take. I kept tossing and turning the whole night , my mind staring right into my conscience and my country’s conscience …..trying to find reasons  why all is not ok with our society and how diseased we have become as a nation. Growing rape culture is a new low for us Indians …..bringing our country shame like no other.

How can people stand with the rapists who were a part of the government and police force ? What kind of place do such people come from ? …..Where they are maybe taught to think if a girl has a different God than their’s , she can be raped right inside their own place of worship and tortured and murdered…and it doesn’t matter if she is in a diaper, skirt or a burkha.

What makes people rapists  is what I kept wondering the whole night and my understanding once again found our way of parenting guilty to at least some extent. The 60 year old retired government official, the four police officers and the juvenile who gang raped in Kathua ……..am wondering ……come from what kind of homes. Only one thing sticks is that they were surely brought up in homes which didn’t teach them to respect women!

Wish they did? Wish we all can bring up our boys better! Wish all homes treated  their girls and boys alike!

Wish humanity wasn’t  lost in dividing the society on religious lines and political games!

Wish we could stop calling a rape …a Dalit or Hindu or Muslim girl’s rape ….instead talk and shame the men who rape …..by flashing their pictures in the  media instead of the girls who went through hell!

Wish rape culture dies a sudden death ….and never raises its head ever again!

Wish this horrifying word is struck out from all the dictionaries of the world!

Wish we don’t ever have to hang our heads in shame again!

Wish there are no terrible parents around …because they and their badly behaved children are making our country sick ….very very sick!

 

Step By Step school’s heart is beating for all it’s kids! 

What is happening to India’s Media ? ..TRP’s are what is ruling our world today. Another incorrect reporting,another case sensationalised all for making news stick for the wrong reasons. This time the unfortunate incident at one of the best schools in NCR triggers yet again the insensitivity of the news making machinery which is in pathetic state in our country. May it be the Mumbai terrorist attack, tragic end of a Bollywood icon or an unfortunate case of food poisoning in a school. Our TRP crazy media gets it wrong every time!

Step By Step is a coveted institution and has been standing proud for last ten years doing what it does best …providing quality education and care to it’s children. A school which has been right at the top making children and parents proud of been a part of its legacy. What the school has given my children and thousands other is unshakeable confidence and we stand by the school and the parents whose kids have been been affected with the unfortunate recent case of food poisoning. Many parents like us  are suspecting the incident to have been instigated to tarnish the school’s image ….it seems like foul play. But does the media care?????News reporting isn’t simply stating the incidents anymore, it has become a mechanism of passing judgement and tarnishing the images of people and institutions in its stride. And this time the victim is a school who has not just been supportive always but also has very high standards of safety and security. Pen is surely mightier than the sword … but shouldn’t the pen be used with caution …with a lot of  caution.

We parents are all with you Step By Step!

Count us in for any support that we can give to counter this!

Praying for all the kids who got affected, We are sure Step By Step school’s heart is beating for you all!