1. Choose toys thoughtfully. Encourage your daughters to play with building toys and support your boys in imaginative play. Both the left and right sides of your child’s brains will grow from these alternative types of play. Break free from stereotypes and expand your child’s horizons.
2. Talk to your child’s teacher. Find out what your child is doing in math and science at school. Does your child come home excited about fun experiments in school? If not, maybe you can do some fun science experiments at home: cook up a volcano, shine some pennies in vinegar, or make your own rock candy. These fun activities will inspire your children to become more involved in science.
3. Promote math and science courses in high school. Competitive colleges want to see students who took advanced math and science courses – don’t let your daughters shy away from these classes. Who knows what kinds of strengths they are simply unaware of?
4. Avoid stereotypes. Let your children know that both boys and girls can excel in math. Confidence is integral to success.
5. Provide strong role models. If the mother in the family does not feel comfortable with math, then look towards other females who are mathematically or scientifically inclined. Giving your daughters and sons role models to look up to will allow them to believe that both men and women can succeed.
Today, women can have any job they want: accountants, doctors, lawyers, financial analysts, psychologists, and many more. With so many opportunities available to women and men, why should we pigeonhole our sons and daughters into categories based on gender? Let’s continue to level the playing field so girls like Chaya can have all the opportunities open to them!