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Boy moms make the most effective boy advocates.
That’s a lesson Gemma Gaudette learned early on. Gaudette, the host of Idaho Matters on Boise State Public Radio and the mom of 2 sons, ages 13 and 9, didn’t really understand the challenges boys face in the world until she had sons. Now, she believes that moms of boys need to advocate on their behalf.
“If we don’t stand up for our boys, no one else will,” Gaudette says.
When her boys started elementary school, Gaudette realized that many adults misunderstood boys’ physicality. “My one son missed a week of recess in the first grade — in the first grade! — for playing Tag too rough,” she says. “Yet the girls who were involved did not miss recess.”
By second grade, her younger son — who has ADHD — was labeled by teachers and educators as “a bad kid,” she says. That was when she realized that “boys are being put into these boxes of how they’re supposed to be and how they’re supposed to behave,” Gaudette says, while girls are allowed more fluidity.
“I’m so happy that girls are allowed this fluidity, to be rough and tumble, to be sweet, to be all of these things, and I think we’re still struggling with that with our boys,” she says. “We have to do a better job of allowing boys as much fluidity as girls.” Boys moms are perfectly positioned to advocate for true gender equity.
In this episode, Jen, Janet, & Gemma discuss:
- How adult misunderstanding of boys creates problems
- Boys’ experiences in elementary school
- Implicit bias and gender stereotypes
- Double standards that harm boys & girls
- The societal narrative that paints boys as potential predators
- Why moms must speak out against implicit bias against boys
- Male development vs. female development
- Working towards gender equity for all
Links we mentioned (or should have) in this episode:
Raising Boys — CBSN documentary featuring Jen & Gemma (mentioned at 2:15)
Is There a “Right” Way to Talk to Your Kids About Coronavirus? — Janet on Gemma’s show, Idaho Matters
ADHD with Ryan Wexelblatt the ADHD Dude – ON BOYS episode mentioned by Gemma at 2:45
Dr, Michele Borba Knows How to Help Boys Thrive — ON BOYS episode mentioned at 37:01
Gorilla of Pain — Gemma’s son’s YouTube channel. Here’s one of our favorite videos:
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