20 Gender-Specific Phrases Kids Shouldn’t Hear Anymore

In a world that’s rapidly evolving, the way we talk to our children about gender plays a significant role in shaping a more inclusive society. It’s time to challenge and change the traditional narratives that limit our kids’ potential based on gender.

1. “Boys Don’t Cry”

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“Boys Don’t Cry”Suppressing emotions is unhealthy for anyone, regardless of gender. Everyone should feel comfortable expressing their feelings.

2. “Girls Must Always Be Polite”

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“Girls Must Always Be Polite”While being polite is a great quality, implying that girls must always be docile or accommodating reinforces harmful stereotypes.

3. “Boys Will Be Boys”

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“Boys Will Be Boys” – This phrase often excuses aggressive or inappropriate behavior. Accountability is important for all.

4. “That’s Not Ladylike”

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“That’s Not Ladylike” – Activities or behaviors shouldn’t be off-limits based on being deemed not “ladylike.” Encourage exploration and freedom.

5. “Man Up”

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“Man Up” – Suggesting that bravery or resilience is exclusively masculine not only limits boys but undermines the strength of all genders.

6. “Girls Are Not Good at Math”

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“Girls Are Not Good at Math” – This stereotype discourages girls from pursuing STEM fields. Ability in subjects is not gender-specific.

7. “Boys Don’t Play With Dolls”

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“Boys Don’t Play With Dolls” – Toys have no gender. Playing with a wide range of toys fosters empathy and a broad skill set.

8. “Be a Man”

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“Be a Man” – Implying that there’s only one way to be a man is restrictive. We should encourage being a good human above all.

9. “Girls Should Be Seen, Not Heard”

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“Girls Should Be Seen, Not Heard” – This outdated idea stifles girls’ voices and confidence. Encourage kids to express their thoughts and opinions.

10. “Boys Are Messy”

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“Boys Are Messy” – Labeling behaviors based on gender excuses responsibility. Teach cleanliness and organization as universal values.

11. “You Throw Like a Girl”

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“You Throw Like a Girl” – Used pejoratively, it sends a message that being female is inferior. Celebrate effort and improvement instead.

12. “Girls Are Too Emotional”

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“Girls Are Too Emotional” – Emotions are human, not gender-specific. Validate feelings instead of dismissing them.

13. “Boys Shouldn’t Be Afraid”

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“Boys Shouldn’t Be Afraid” – Fear is natural. Teach courage in facing fears, not denying them.

14. “Girls Need to Be Rescued”

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“Girls Need to Be Rescued” – This perpetuates the idea that females are inherently less capable. Empower all children to be self-reliant.

15. “Boys Don’t Do Ballet”

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“Boys Don’t Do Ballet” – Interest in the arts is for everyone. Encourage passions, regardless of the activity’s perceived gender association.

16. “Girls Can’t Be Leaders”

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“Girls Can’t Be Leaders” – Leadership qualities are not gender-dependent. Foster leadership skills in every child.

17. “Boys Don’t Care About Clothes”

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“Boys Don’t Care About Clothes” – Personal style is a form of self-expression for all. Encourage creativity and personal choice.

18. “Girls Must Have Long Hair”

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“Girls Must Have Long Hair” – Hair length and style should be a personal choice, not a gendered expectation.

19. “Boys Don’t Help in the Kitchen”

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“Boys Don’t Help in the Kitchen” – Cooking and household chores are life skills everyone needs to learn.

20. “Girls Aren’t Funny”

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“Girls Aren’t Funny” – Humor is a human trait. Encourage laughter and joy in every child.

Building a More Inclusive World

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By moving away from these gender-specific directives, we not only broaden the horizons for our children but also contribute to a more inclusive and understanding world. Let’s focus on nurturing kindness, empathy, and individuality in every child, regardless of gender.

The post 20 Gendered Expressions Kids Shouldn’t Hear Anymore first appeared on LoveLists.

Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / Hrecheniuk Oleksii.

For transparency, this content was partly developed with AI assistance and carefully curated by an experienced editor to be informative and ensure accuracy.

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