Today at Shorty's soccer match, the hubs overheard some stellar parent yelling at his 5-year-old little boy that he was "running like a girl."
What was happening at that moment was wrong on so many levels.
First, rather than offer his child encouragement, this father thought it better to shout what he considered to be insults at his little boy. I'm all for acknowledging our children's shortcomings, but admonishing them to do the best they can and try their hardest is a far cry from belittling them.
Second, if you do see a problem with the way your child is running (or doing anything, really), please offer him constructive advice. To scream at your child that he is running "like a girl" actually communicates nothing to him about what he is actually doing wrong. That 5 year old had no idea what his father was talking about. Was he going slowly? Was he pigeon toed? Were his arms waving above his head? All he really knew was that his father was disappointed in him. Words were made to communicate. Please choose them carefully so that they can.
Third, although the expression "like a girl" didn't communicate anything to the little boy about his own performance, it spoke volumes about the performance of girls everywhere. It clearly indicated that girls are inferior and that they don't run correctly. It communicated an attitude about the value and place of girls in our society. It trained that boy to view girls as less.
I wanted to show this father this video and to say to him, "Do you mean running like this? Because that's pretty freaking amazing. I want to run like a girl more often!:
Hearing this ignorant man using his words the way he did made me sigh in relief. I was relieved that I was not trying to raise daughters to believe in their own value and strength in the midst of a world that often does not.
I am disgusted by this man's attitude and what he is raising his young man to believe. I am determined to raise a different caliber of men.