Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

Elementary School Kids Elementary School Kids

Is It Important to You to Teach Your Children Traditional Gender Roles?

Posted by on Apr. 26, 2013 at 2:31 PM
  • 44 Replies

Mom Raises Her Daughters to Be ‘Little Mommies’ & Boys to Be ‘Good Providers’

by Ericka Sóuter

little girlI've always bristled at the notion of old-fashioned gender roles. It's just not something that my family focused on growing up. My grandfather loved to cook. My dad was a far superior cleaner than my mom. And all the women in my family had jobs and careers. I think seeing everyone contribute to all aspects of family life made me feel as though I was never relegated to a certain role or way of life. I could be and do anything I wanted to do with my life thanks to my family's example. So I was a bit disheartened when I read a recent comment from a mom who is intent on teaching her daughters to be "little mommies" and sons to be "good providers."

She wrote:

I'm raising my daughters to be good home makers, good moms, and good wives.

I'm raising the boys to be good providers, good dads, and good husbands.

That's how I think it should be and it saddens me every time I read or hear otherwise. My most important goal in life is to be a good wife and mom. I think there would be better people and less divorces in the world if everyone did as my family does.

Of course every parent has the right to raise their kid the way they see fit. And if it works for her family, great. However, what if one or two of her children don't want to be a wife, a mother, a husband, or a father. I have several friends -- both male and female -- who don't want to have children. And some don't even want to get married.

Her parenting philosophy seems to limit the potential of both boys and girls. What happens if we encourage our child's primary hope and dream to be having a spouse and children and that never comes to fruition? I think that is an especially scary situation for a girl. I see so many women link their self-esteem to having a man. To some, being single means they have failed and that's just not right. This is not to say we shouldn't teach our daughters how to maintain a home and be a good partner, but should that be the biggest priority in this day and age?

I for one would want my daughter to focus on being able to take care of herself. Yes, that means cooking and housework as needed. But I would hope that her dreams reach way beyond domesticity. And the same goes for my boys. I want him to create his own goals and dreams and not fill beholden to some antiquated notion of what society says he should be. In fact, I know a couple of former business execs who, after having children, decided to be stay-at-home dads. While that choice isn't traditional, it's still one that works for their families.

So I would caution this mom to widen her view of what a boy and girl are supposed to grow up to be. Regardless of your gender, you should be encouraged to be a nurturer, learn how to clean, and be a good provider. Why put limits on what your child should ultimately grow up to be?

Do you think we should just teach our girls to be good homemakers and our boys to be good providers?

Is it important to you to teach your children traditional gender roles?

by on Apr. 26, 2013 at 2:31 PM
Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Replies (1-10):
dballa
by on Apr. 26, 2013 at 3:10 PM
2 moms liked this

I think we should teach our children to be well rounded.  I've heard too many cases where the mom has stayed home all her life and raised the kids and done "woman's" work.  The father died and the mom was lost.  She had no skills and had a hard time trying to make ends meet.  I'm talking women in their 50's and 60's not younger.  They didn't have big life insurance policies to fall back on.  I think if you want to be a homemaker, more power to you but one should have a back up plan for unforseen circumstances such as death.  Same thing for teaching boys to be doing "man" things.  What if something happens to mom and he's left to raise the kids?? 

Bottom line though, each family is going to do what they think is right.  If they have to deal with something unexpected, hopefully they will be able to adapt and overcome whatever is "thrown" at them.

So I guess my answer would be no, it's not important for me.  I want her to know them but not only them.

maxswolfsuit
by Max on Apr. 26, 2013 at 8:57 PM

I don't think it's important at all. 

My husband and I don't  follow the stereotypes.  Why should I expect my kids to?

TroyboysMom
by on Apr. 26, 2013 at 9:06 PM
1 mom liked this

No, I don't. I teach my son to be a good person; to be responsible, respectful, caring, kind, and honest. 

DaisyRae
by Member on Apr. 26, 2013 at 9:24 PM
1 mom liked this

I think its important to focus on raising great children, children who are respectful, responsible, hard working, honest, and helpful in whatever area they can help in. Who cares if your son is more of a gardener and your daughter loves to work on cars? Are they hardworking? Respectful? Decent people? That is what is important

mommytoeandb
by Bronze Member on Apr. 26, 2013 at 9:40 PM
In general, no. I think they both are capable of doing the same things. Both kids are taught equally.
Posted on CafeMom Mobile
lilblu399
by Member on Apr. 26, 2013 at 9:46 PM
A good mommy is someone who takes care of her family to the best of her ability, if that means she has to leave the home and do a 9-5, so be it. If dad feels the best way to provide is to stay home to cook and clean, that's okay with me.
Kris_PBG
by on Apr. 27, 2013 at 1:53 AM
Gender roles are archaic and limiting.

They are not important in our house.
momofjkkc
by on Apr. 27, 2013 at 4:42 AM
In my house we do have a more traditional gender role household. But its not on purpose. The boys take out the trash, and walk the dog, but they do have chores like emptying the.dishwasher, cleaning their room and bathroom (bathrooms are the only thing I DO NOT DO!). My dh does the providing. Since I am a sahm I do the cooking, cleaning, laundry, schedules,school stuff....
momofjkkc
by on Apr. 27, 2013 at 4:48 AM
I forgot to add...
My husbands mom taught him and all his brothers to clean, do laundry ,and cook atleast 1dish. She told them the reason was, just in case they.marry a lazy woman they can take care of themselves.
Same for his sisters. Their dad taught them to fix plumbing (hes a plumber by profession) electric, cars, and other "man" stuff. Just incase their husband was too stupid.



Quoting momofjkkc:

In my house we do have a more traditional gender role household. But its not on purpose. The boys take out the trash, and walk the dog, but they do have chores like emptying the.dishwasher, cleaning their room and bathroom (bathrooms are the only thing I DO NOT DO!). My dh does the providing. Since I am a sahm I do the cooking, cleaning, laundry, schedules,school stuff....

LHummel
by on Apr. 27, 2013 at 5:04 AM

No. I was raised to "go to college" my mother always worked from when I can remember. I have chosen to be a SAHM for now. My sister is a career woman who wants her husband to be the stay at home dad. I hope my girls choose whatever makes them happy and what works for them. 

Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

close Join now to connect to
other members!
Connect with Facebook or Sign Up Using Email

Already Joined? LOG IN