Let's discuss how societal norms interfere with how kids reality is shaped. A societal norm is any rule of behavior that is accepted by a certain group or society. Put it into perspective and you will see how your behavior that you have carried into adulthood has shaped you and molded your character. I am almost certain your parents have classically conditioned you to respond in certain ways and you have been told how to act in specific situations. For example, at a wedding you use certain silverware to eat with, you are on your best behavior and there is a specific order of dances and signing of the guest book, etc. Well, it's no different for how you are raising your children, nieces, step kids or siblings. Good news ... you have the choice to break the cycles that are typically accepted by society and family.
All young kids just want to be kids, have fun, be taken care of and unconditionally loved! When your son wants to play with Barbie's - there is no harm in that. How about when your daughter wants to play with Tonka trucks - ok, go ahead and have fun. When your son goes to an interview and he wants to wear a pink or purple shirt - so what - who says you can't? Usually, your parents tell you that those colors are for girls (women) - right? Well, these are the societal norms that I am referring to - they need to be broken and changed. We destroy our children's reality instead of allowing them to be themselves.
It's healthy to let kids choose who they want to become and screw what society says or has molded you to be. Your kids begin to learn their voice doesn't matter. They also learn they can't be who they want to be and as time goes on they verbalize less and less because whatever they want is stifled to make them choose what is ok with society. Learn to be quiet, no matter what your children want to play with and stop silencing your child's voice. They matter and more than likely they will not grow up to be gay because your son played with Dora and your daughter won't be a construction worker because she liked cars and dump trucks. If they do end up becoming what you fear most - then I strongly encourage you to love them anyways and know that you allowed them to make their own choices and be who they really want to be - not what is socially acceptable.
It's hard to hear constructive criticism and negative reinforcements from family and how they complain of the choices you make as a parent. You might also feel some backlash from a spouse or close friend but know that you must do what is right in your heart and not people please. You and your children have to live together and decide what is best for your family - not everyone else. When we live for others - parts of ourselves die. We feel empty and unhappy pleasing everyone but ourselves. We begin to feel that life isn't what we thought it would be but that isn't true and you need to vocalize to your kids that you believe in them and want them to select behavioral decisions that make them happy, no matter what!
When children have a choice - they feel empowered as you do when you have choices. They also get to stand up for what they believe in (like Martin Luther King and Princess Diana) instead of choosing to follow the crowds, which usually isn't a good thing but that's what societal norms teach us. Well, everyone else is doing it why shouldn't I? Because you are unique and God loves you for who you are NOT what society wants or teaches you to conform to. Step into your power and take massive action for powerful results and you will see just how much happier you are when you get to be authentically YOU in a world that loves to change who we really are.
I am sending you all blessings and love. Follow me on Facebook @ Kelly Benamati and Instagram @ KellyMasterOfLife to be positively inspired every day! Be well, live a live of optimal health and make wise choices to be successful.