Title: No Difference Between Us
Author: Jayneen Sanders
Age group: 3 years+
I’ve always been secretly very elated that the pandemic happened and Neil’s schooling got delayed because that meant he would be exposed to biases a little later!
In a home where me and my husband value gender equality above all else, I was quite sure he wouldn’t develop biases about gender roles and expectations within the house. But, we parents want everything, na? We want them to socialise, and unfortunately other kids and people do not always think like us.
So, one fine day Neil came back home from the park and declared that cars and toolkit toys were meant only for boys, not girls. For his mumma, who is pretty nifty with tools herself, this sent all alarm bells ringing. The first gender biased statement made by my baby, my baby who is not even 4 years old. Broke my heart! But, like Asha says, there’s a book for everything.
So, I went on a book hunt. The best book seemed to be Pink and Blue, but the mighty Amazon did not want me to have the book and gave me one error after another. I ordered No Difference Between Us, by Jayneen Sanders. It’s perfect! Such a gentle introduction to the concept of gender equality.
I like the fact that it starts with the fact that girls and boys can be different- have long hair, short hair, wear different things, because kids notice these things and think boys and girls are meant to be different. The book goes on to explain how despite liking different things at times, most times they like the same things, feel same emotions, and do same things like cooking. However, for me the best part of the book are the questions that trigger healthy conversations. We did several of them:
Me: Neil, who can drive a car, girls or boys? Neil: Grownups! Me (in my heart): Woohoo!
This is an amazing book on gender equality, so be sure to add it to your personal collection. All of Jayneen Sanders books come highly recommended as they are empowering. I intend to explore the others as well, especially No Means No – the one that teaches young children about boundaries, consent and good touch, bad touch. Some Secrets Should Never Be Kept: Protect Children from Unsafe Touch by Teaching Them to Always Speak Up is also on the same topic.
Here is Shruti Giri’s review of You, Me and Empathy – another recommended book by the same author.
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