Introduce books that break gender stereotypes
Toddlers are so open and unbiased with flexible growing minds. Utilizing this time period to introduce them to a diverse cast in their books is important. Share themes with both sexes that may seem stereotypical to the opposite sex, example exposing girls to diggers, sports, and dinosaurs and exposing boys to fairy tales, crafting, and cooking. Pursue literature that shows girls exhibiting traits of being bold, assertive, and athletic and boys being sentimental, thoughtful, and nurturing. Sharing this type of literature conveys a message of seeing outside of gender roles and allowing children to be true to exactly who they are.
Share books that promote diversity
Children’s books with ethnically and racially diverse characters have become gloriously accessible. Books should serve as mirrors and windows. A child seeing themselves reflected in a story is just as important as a child seeing into another’s life and circumstances. See different family units, cultural traditions, and life experiences helps prepare them for the world we live in. Exposing them to this diversity helps them build a strong sense of empathy and acceptance towards others that they’ll carry into adulthood.
Read books with character that aren’t gender specific
Children are different than adults in the sense that they truly don’t have prejudice. They couldn’t care less if the main character is a girl, boy, or narwhal! Books that spotlight characters whose gender is not clear introduces the idea that people don’t have to be defined as masculine or feminine and can simply be human (…or narwhal.) Showing that gender roles and identities can be fluid is beneficial in cultivating a belief of acceptance and inclusion.