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Are You Guilty Of Saying These Things To Your Daughter?

Written by Katie Hintz-Zambrano

Photography by Video Via Verizon

We’ve already recapped the most harmful words you should never say to your son, and now a new Verizon commercial is giving parents a reminder on ways we perhaps unwittingly discourage our daughters.

Part of the telecom giant’s new “Inspired Her Mind” campaign, this now-viral YouTube video explores the reason why girls lose their confidence in the areas of math and science before they reach high school.

“Who’s my pretty girl?” “Don’t get your dress dirty.” “You don’t want to mess with that, let’s put that down.” “Be careful with that! Why don’t you hand that to your brother?”

These are the quotes that echo throughout the 1-minute clip, demonstrating ways parents discourage young girls from getting their hands dirty and taking risks, in turn reinforcing gender stereotypes, and helping lead to the current outcome that girls are three times less likely than boys to become scientists and engineers, and less likely to pursue careers in math and technology (the so-called STEM industries).

With another huge company, Mattel, announcing its 2014 Career-of-the-Year Doll is the Entrepreneur Barbie, it’s clear there’s a focus to get girls to harbor a risk-taking, DIY attitude, and we’re all for it. Like Verizon suggests on its website, the best thing we can do for our youngest daughters is evaluating how we shape their playtime. The company poses the questions: Are they dressing up as princesses or astronauts? Are you doing things for them or are they doing things for themselves? Are they playing house or are they building houses?

We think it’s all worth a think.¬†Could you do better in this area?


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