On Monday just gone, I was honoured to take part in a webinar to discuss confidence and emotional literacy amongst children.
The online event was hosted by Sally Dear, Founder of Ducky Zebra, a fantastic children's clothing brand who are actively encouraging the growth of confident, kind kids with their colourful, fun and sustainable clothes, and Clare Willitts, Founder of Not Only Pink and Blue, an online directory that challenges ‘stereotypes from birth so we can grow generations of equals’.
Also on the panel, Professor Gina Rippon an author and cognitive neuroimaging researcher, and Kirstie Beaven, Founder of Sonshine, a game changing magazine about raising of boys for an equal world.
It was such an enlightening conversation. I understood a lot of positive points and personally, this has definitely impacted my approach to parenting.
Topics we covered included:
- "natural" different levels of confidence in boys and girls
- Testosterone surges in boys around 3 or 4
- Why confidence and emotional literacy are so important for girls and boys and finally how the messaging on children's clothing can subconsciously affect their confidence and emotional literacy
- Actions to combat these issues, close the gender gap and raise a generation of equals
One huge point that stuck out for me was how a lot of the messaging on clothing we’re sold, particularly in high street outlets, promote confidence and strength to boys, whilst girls clothing will often garner the opposite.
This can be seen through the characters on boys' clothes bearing predator animals along with slogans such as "genius in training" whereas girls clothes will often promote prey animals, with eyes closed with slogans of kindness and love, which yes, are valuable character traits but not one that should be just be reserved for girls.
I was further disturbed when Sally explained that from her extensive research, she had found girl's shorts tend to be on average 30% shorter that boy's shorts, which leads me to the question, just what are we trying to teach them here?
All of the points raised gave me further reassurance that Akwa Baby’s unisex range really does confirm equal emphasis on love, courage and strength for both boys and girls!
We very much see our own children (2 girls and a boy) as equal and have come away from the webinar feeling incredibly inspired and motivated to really look closer and challenge any stereotypical social conditioning, and to keep upholding our own Akwa Baby vision - that every child can grow up in a world where they feel they are valued.