Superhero Dad Smashes Down Gender Wall for Daughter (VIDEO)

Wonder DariaI don't know about you, but sometimes the simple fact that you wake up in the morning and remember you're parenting a girl is enough to make you hit the snooze button. Let me be clear: this is not my daughter's fault. It's the fault of the kind of parent who sends out a party invite directing all little girls to come dressed as princesses, all little boys to come dressed as superheroes.

Really? No wonder raising a girl who will be strong enough to take on the world takes superhuman strength. Thank goodness for Wonder Daria and her dad.

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On a day when I was feeling super down, a friend sent me a link to the Girls Love Superheroes Tumblr and the story of Jay C. Batzner, whose daughter Daria was invited to the aforementioned sexist costume party. Jay, proving my theory that there's no superhero quite like a parent who refuses to let his baby be put in a corner, sewed her a Wonder Woman outfit. Superhero and princess all in one. Not to mention a Super Dad! Check this out:

Love it! He illustrated exactly why I hate directives like that party invite. My daughter can be quite poofy and sparkly, and she will gladly throw on a princess get-up. The next day she's grabbing her Batman cape and off to rescue her doll from disaster. You just never know with her.

That's the problem with these gender-specific approaches to kids. Not that kids may choose the prototypical roles on their own, but that they're prescribed in advance by adults. Just the other night I read the new picture book Pirates & Princesses to her at bedtime (disclosure: an advanced reader's copy was sent to me by the publisher; the real thing is available for pre-order on Amazon).The story of a little girl and little boy raised by best friend moms from pregnancy to be best friends themselves, when they get to kindergarten, they discover boys are "supposed" to play with boys and girls with girls. The boys, of course, play pirates. The girls play princesses. That's the problem with prescribed roles. The kids feel like they have to follow them.

Fortunately author Jill Kargman (who wrote it with daughter Sadie) offers kid readers an alternate ending by letting her characters to come together to play other games, and make princesses and pirates an occasional outlet. That's what we as parents, the superheroes, have to do. Teach our kids that there's no "all or nothing" in life. They can choose to mix things up.

I have come to grips with the idea that my daughter may choose to be a princess because I've found it's not the sum of all her parts. A pink dress won't leave her barefoot and pregnant. But there's no reason she can't throw her Batman cape on too.

Do you have a hard time with telling kids they don't have to follow the crowd?

 

Image via YouTube

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