Last night M and I were having dinner in my bedroom (I’m stuck at the moment) and I mentioned that it is International Women’s Day; he asked if there is an International Men’s Day and, if there is, when is it.
“Every other day is International Men’s Day”
I got a confused look so went on to explain some of the inequalities in the world- not an easy topic! We had previously watched the movie Suffragette together and he was horrified at the lengths women had to go to before their voices would be heard so some of what I was saying was not completely new to him.
We discussed various ways women are not equal- the challenges many women in developing countries face with a lack of contraception [or even knowledge of contraception] and the impact of this on women, the way men have historically controlled the flow of information thereby controlling women, the lesser value men have historically placed on women (as with the vote women were thought to be too stupid to know for whom to vote), and the continuing prejudice women face today.
I could see the cogs turning while he digested the information. He’s a thinker, this one!
Before dinner I had been browsing the Sky Q app on my phone and came across National Geographic’s He Named Me Malala which seemed like a great way to further his understanding. It’s interesting because I didn’t ask him if he wanted to watch it, I simply started the programme and he listened and, as if I thought he was not interested, he reassured me, “I’m listening.”
As it progressed he became more interested so began to actually watch instead of simply listening. Towards the end he was leaning in and asking questions and was fully engaged.
These moments I have with M, almost 11 years old but still my baby, are cherished. Childhood is so fleeting we [not just parents] have a limited time to influence and shape their characters.
Every single person has an influence on our children; the attitude of the bus driver, the cashier at the grocery, the people waiting at the bus stop. Children absorb everything and form conclusions about acceptable behaviour/language based on the world they see.
What do they see when they look at you?