Parenting Blog


My girl and I watched the entire Michigan State victory over the #1 team in the land, and our big ten rival, Wisconsin Badgers on Tuesday night. She stayed up ’till after 9pm to sit by my side and enjoy the edge-of-the-seat thriller. She was cheering along with every Drew Nietzel 3-ball as he single-handily put the game away late in the 2nd half. It was amazing to see my favorite team play as perfect a game as they have in a long time and take down one of the best teams in the country. That win probably punched their ticket for next month’s festivities. It was made all the sweeter having my gal next to me the whole time.

During the game, and the post-game celebration that followed, my girl spotted Sparty, MSU’s larger-than-life mascot. She immediately took a liking to him so I fired up the laptop and found some great pictures. She was hysterical to see him playing with Mr. Potato head during the Spartans v. U. of Idaho (hence the potato) football game this past Fall.

I am looking at this Sparty bobble-head on eBay. It would look great in her new green and purple big-kid room!

My wife and I got to talking last night about our parenting style. We want to make sure that once baby girl #2 arrives, we continue to parent sans any gender-bias. Naturally the conversation ended up being about sports (the ultimate male “thing”). We want so badly to show her that girls can and do play sports and be competitive. We will tune in to the Women’s NCAA March Madness tourney, the collegiate softball tourney and Women’s Ice Hockey during the next winter Olympics and let her watch ladies play sports.

But then I realized that whether she is watching men or women play is kinda irrelevant – I mean as long as she is exposed to sports and shares that bond with me and my wife, who loves sports as well – a key, really, as our girl sees her mommy getting excited when our favorite teams do well. That may be validating to her as a female, to see mommy rooting hard, getting upset, heartbroken and excited – all during a 2 hour stretch of basketball. We stay as far away as possible from the “boys play and watch sports while girls run around with dolls playing dress-up” bias. Trying to raise a well-rounded child in this day and age is tough – the gender bias is everywhere you look. I would hate for her to start to feel that society expects her to act a certain way and be into certain things just because she is a female. It happens to many kids, girls and boys, as they fall into the roles we adults assign to them and that is tragic.

Sparty might just be the key to battling this bias! Ok, maybe not – but he is cool.
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