Since my husband (not dh LOL) left me several years ago I have been raising my two children (one DD age 9 (Amanda) and one DS age 6 (Ashley)) on my own. I've never considered myself a strong feminist before, but I guess I am not Mrs June Cleaver either LOL.
My attitude has always been to raise my two children in a fairly gender neutral way. To be respectful of the other sex and also to not be type-cast by one thing or other. My DS for example has longish hair for a boy and loves it. He adores doing crafts and dancing and is just fun to be around. He enjoys playing with his sister and she with him. I just want to encourage them to be who they want to be.
Aside from the upheaval of separation and divorce, our family life has always been pretty good. We are going through some upheaval right now though and I am not sure how to deal with this. Hence looking for some advice.
I have been looking after my nephew (Daniel, age 11) who is my sister's child for the last six weeks. This is due to illness and for reasons I prefer to not go into here, there is a 50-50 chance that I may need to look after him on a permanent basis. This thought horrifies me.
This boy is growing up to be one of the ultimate sexist pigs (I am mad and angry as I write this) who inherited some of these ideas from his dad (who died a year ago after a drink driving accident) and also because my sister just gave into him. Any chore or errand I seemingly ask him to help with around the home is considered "girls" work and he belittles or makes fun of my children if they help me.
What upsets me most is that its not just me that he offends but he makes fun of Ashley and treats Amanda appalingly. She has a strong inclination for science and is into figuring how things work, playing on computers and that sort of thing. Since Daniel has arrived, he has constantly put her down, tried to dominate her and basically told to go and play with her dolls.
I've tried laying down the law, but it's like always a temporary solution. I actually pity this boy in many ways and any woman he ultimately may meet LOL. So what I am really looking for are suggestions of how to protect my own children and not have their own confidence in who they are and their interests shaken by this boy and perhaps even if I can get through to this boy in a positive way too and maybe show him a better way of thinking.
Any ideas at all?