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Social Documentary: Children living alone

This was quite an excellent watch from two documentaries made in 2000: Boys Alone

..and then you can watch Girls Alone

I really found it interesting, and it highlighted just how much we socialize children differently, based on gender.


It is even more important that we, people who have grown up presumably under the patriarchy, that we have to do better for our children. Boy or girl, they need to have basic life skills in hand.

Off the top of my head:

  • How to make basic meals
  • How to do basic cleaning
  • How to take care of themselves – hygiene, etc
  • How to manage their finances
  • How to plan their days and schoolwork
  • How to be organized
  • How to focus – we are working on this one now, it is very difficult even for adults, but a great life skill

They’re also all really young. And I wonder what their parents thought of it all, watching that.

It’s also interesting to see how the boys gravitate towards breaking everything (which is what I see in Little Bun as well. He loves breaking things too…), and how the girls put on shows, and tried to be more organized (?) with full meals and so on rather than surviving on cereal and candy like the boys.

This is definitely socialization in play here – girls are already taught how to care for the home, themselves and others, but boys are left to do as they wish. Not a great model for life.

Fathers also play a role model for their children. If they see that Dad doesn’t do anything at home, they instinctively absorb the same values from what the father does, and consequently they see only Mom does anything which builds in their mind these gendered roles.

I’m fairly certain Little Bun would tap out the first night or two, but maybe he’d surprise me. He’s a quieter sort of child, and while he would have loved gorging on just sweets, I am not sure how he’d handle it. It’d be interesting to see.

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