1. Lead by example. Kids are like sponges; they absorb absolutely everything. So celebrate the women in your life whenever you can.
2. Challenge pervasive gender stereotypes. Start early by choosing bedtime stories with strong female protagonists.
3. Watch your language. Phrases like, “Boys don’t cry” and “Act like a lady” pigeonhole kids.
4. Educate them about consent. Never force your kid to kiss or hug someone they don’t want to. No always means no.
5. Teach them the correct names for their body parts. Penis and vagina aren’t dirty words. Take away the shame and help promote positive body image.
6. Mind your adjectives. Girls aren’t just pretty and beautiful; they’re funny, adventurous, smart, curious, energetic…
7. And boys aren’t just big and strong; they’re shy, sensitive, thoughtful, cute… the list goes on.
8. Monitor their media consumption. So many TV shows, movies, ads, and music videos undermine girls and women. Do you know what they’re watching?
9. Teach them to respect everyone, regardless of sex, sexuality, age, race, or religion. Feminism is about equality.
10. Point out strong female role models in the community, like politicians and police officers, whenever you see them. Make it a game.
11. If the choice is available, opt for a female doctor and dentist for your kids. Show them that women are a crucial part of society, whether they work inside or outside the home.
12. Teach them to love their bodies. Talk up big smiles, fast legs, and strong arms. Compare them with your own. Celebrate individuality.
13. Foster creative play. Not all girls like dolls and not all boys like cars. Encourage kids to use their imaginations and think outside the box.
14. And dress them appropriately. A child’s work is play. Keep the fancy clothes for special occasions.
15. Teach them about inspiring women who’ve changed the world. It wouldn’t be the same without Amelia Earhart, Rosa Parks, or Anne Frank, now would it?
16. Celebrate bossy girls. Good leaders need encouragement.
17. Empower your kids to use their voices. Tell them that they can change the world. Show them examples of people who’ve fought injustice and won.
18. Apologise if you make a mistake. It’s the easiest way to prove that you respect them.