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Early Childhood Education

It has always been sad to me that even small girls are asked very little about what they want to be when they grow up without, first, assuming that they want to become wives and mothers. Little boys are encouraged to think of themselves as super-heroes first, with marriage and fatherhood as something that doesn't bear discussion.

I have diligently rebelled against these habits. I gave my son a doll that is no longer allowed to be sold in the United States, a boy doll that was anatomically correct. I had him assist me in the kitchen and in my catering business. I encouraged my daughter to work, not only beside me and her little brother, but also bought and read to her story books about helping her father in traditionally male tasks. i even removed her from a school that we teaching gender specific roles to their students. These boundaries were impossible in a single parent household, such as mine.

I corrected people who began asking either of my children about having boyfriends and girlfriends when they were much too young to entertain the idea of romantic unions, saying to the offending adult, "They have friends who are boys and girls." These were small ways that I could lead my children to think differently about what missions they would pursue in their lives.

I encouraged them to educate themselves and to respectfully question the voices of authority, so that each encounter could be an educational one for both parties. I have learned much by looking for honest answers to the questions of others, many much younger than I.

We learn, not by idle chatter of dramatic events. We learn by asking those with experience, waiting for their answers, and then reaching out for voices of others to add to the conversations from which we will form our own opinions and plans. The internet has opened the world of learning top all who wish to know. It is important to learn to seek out wisdom without an specific agenda. Science and math are good places to start learning how to think logically and how to test the ideas of others.

My daughter is a wife, mother and award-winning teacher. Her favorite way to learn is in a classroom. Her two daughters are top achievers in science and math. My son is a loving father of a son and a daughter and husband to an award-winning teacher. His favorite way to learn is by assisting others with their tasks.

Knowledge is out there for the taking; we must choose what way to incorporate it into ourselves.

This story was written for World Pulse’s Girls Transform the World Digital Action Campaign.

World Pulse believes that women's stories, recommendations, and collective rising leadership can—and will—bring girls greater access to education which will transform their lives, their families, and communities. The Girls Transform Campaign elicits insightful content from young women on the ground, strengthens their confidence as women, and ensures that influencers and powerful institutions hear their stories.
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