Stereotyping my children 6

Do you label your children.  Do you always call one child noisy or clever?  I remember reading something very early in pregnancy (sorry I do not know where) about the fact that you should never label the child just the action.  For instance not saying naughty Mini, but that was a naughty thing to do Mini.  This is something I have always tried to do with both the children, especially when it comes to actions and emotions.

However, I am finding myself slipping.  I have been heard to say on many occasions that Maxi doesn’t do dressing up.  This is something that I have just got used to saying in a way to explain why he will not join in on world book day or for a fancy dress party. We have lots of dressing up outfits on the house, but he has never chosen to use them.  It was only this Christmas that MadDad mentioned to me that I was stereotyping him and that I needed to be more careful about attaching this label to him.

So when I was offered a couple of  childrens fancy dress outfits rather than just ask Mini to pick two I also asked Maxi what he would chose.  I never in a million years thought that he would wear it, but as I am all about trying to make changes, I asked for the one he wanted.

Yes, look that is Maxi in a dressing up outfit.  My boy exceeded all my expectations and wore it and still does.  I made sure that I didn’t hassle him or make a big thing of it.

But it has really confirmed to me the importance of labeling the action and not the child.  No more will I say that Mini is my child that doesn’t go to sleep on a night and that Maxi is an early riser.  I will try and find other ways of putting it.  I do not want my words to become a self fulfilling prophecy.

Disclosure: We were sent two fancy dress outfits from

6 thoughts on “Stereotyping my children

  • Jude

    It’s strange, of my two, my eldest is not so keen on dressing up (he gets self-conscious about it) and the younger loves it. They’re so into Star Wars at the moment though, they’d love those outfits!

  • Metropolitan Mum

    Very interesting thought. I think I might have labelled little L all along the way. Clever girl, sweet girl, naughty girl…
    I am really really bad when it comes to reading any parenting literature. To be honest, I haven’t read one. OK, apart from Gina Ford, and I didn’t take that one too seriously. Must really catch up!

  • Emma

    Lovely to read such an honest post and see such lovely happy boys – your efforts are clearly working!

    I read similar advice in How to Talk So Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk by Adele Faber & Elaine Mazlish (best book I will ever read on parenting advice I am sure!) and have also aspired to do the same.

    Like you, I’m sure I’m guilty of slipping more often than I care to admit which I’m sure has a direct effect on the Little Chap’s behaviour/self esteem. Parenting is often as much about teaching ourselves new tricks as teaching our children isn’t it? These good ideas and principles don’t always come as easily to us as we might hope…especially not in times of pressure, stress, illness, tiredness.

    Your boys are lucky to have such a conscientious Mummy.

  • test1234

    Write more, thats all I have to say. Literally, it seems as though you relied on the video to make your point. You obviously know what youre talking about, why waste your intelligence on just posting videos to your blog when you could be giving us something enlightening to read?

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