Which gender do you instantly picture when you hear the qualities ‘quiet and sober’?
Dumb question, isn’t it? Yesterday, a friend described a little girl like this, as a compliment to the girl. That set me thinking. Quiet and sober, does not sound like a compliment to me though – it sounds boring. While I am all for well-behaved children, quiet and sober goes one step ahead. It somehow indicates a suppressed personality, in my opinion.
Why quiet? I would want my child to be quiet, if she chooses to or if that is how she is, not because she thinks that it is a sign of ‘good behaviour’. I can’t help wonder if these quiet children actually stop airing their views because they have got the message that being ‘quiet and sober’ is a good thing. Maybe I am making too much of it, but it annoys me more because I have never heard a little boy being described as ‘quiet and sober’.
One of the things which husband and I feel is important is to being up our child to be confident. Confident in her abilities, confident enough to know her mind, and confident enough to speak her mind.
Some children might be gentle, some boisterous, some naughty, some quiet, by nature. Which is fantastic, as far as that is their nature, rather than an expectation that is heaped upon them. I get annoyed when people describe little girls as ‘very ladylike’. Please let her be a child first. Please let her enjoy her childhood, ladylike or not, let it be something she is, rather than something she conforms to, because of what is expected out of her.
Haven’t you come across households where girls are treated differently, and grow up in that mentality. Haven’t we all come across mums who try to boast about their little boy’s ‘naughtiness’, even if the child is question is actually a reserved, quiet child, who keeps away from trouble? Mothers who get annoyed when their sons play with dolls or prams, or love the colour pink? Why is a quiet boy, so unacceptable and a boisterous girl, so unacceptable? Wouldn’t the world be an easier place to live if every child is allowed to be true to their intrinsic nature? A boy who loves playing with dolls is and a girl who likes to repair cars encouraged equally?
Can’t we describe a child as well-behaved, sunny, confident, happy, well-mannered, instead of quiet and sober? Can a child be free of the stereotypes that society seems eager to heap upon him/her?
Please tell me, does quiet and sober make sense to you?