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Raising a family that #EmbracesEquity

Raising a family that #EmbracesEquity

The theme of this year's International Women's Day is #EmbraceEquity. A theme showing the potential power a world that’s equal, inclusive and equitable for all. But what is the difference between Equity and Equality? 

Simply put; Equality is the state of being equal, especially in status, rights, or opportunities, regardless of differences. Whereas, Equity recognizes that we come from different circumstances, and ensures individuals have the correct resources and opportunities needed to reach an equal state. 

We are all aware of equality and the benefits of rejecting archaic gender norms when it comes to raising kids. But what about equity? Would raising our children with similar equity-based solutions help them achieve success? And if so, what do we need to look out for?

Raising a family with equity

If you have more than one kid then you have absolutely heard ‘that’s not fair’ at some point. But is it possible to be ‘fair’ when raising a family and is it something we should actually strive for? Under the idea of equity the answer would actually be no, for certain instances.

International Women's Day explains that, from a young age, we are taught that ‘being fair’ means everyone gets the same thing. And in theory that may seem perfectly fine, but in reality ‘being fair’ only works if everyone starts from the same place.

For example, you have 2 children who need help with maths homework after school. One child is good at maths but the other struggles with the subject. Tonight you are limited on time. If you were to be fair, then you would equally split the time between the 2 children. However, if you were to be equitable you would allocate more resources, ie. your time, to the child who struggles with numbers. 

We are all individuals with specific needs, including children. Just think back to how you were vs your siblings. Were you shy, sociable, fiercely independent? Or were you more wary of your surroundings? Did you find it easy to regulate your emotions when your sibling struggled? Allocating support equitably is said to better ensure that your kids feel seen and understood to their specific needs. And while one child receiving more attention at a certain time could lead to retaliation, it could help them reach an equal outcome long term.

But does raising kids with equity lead to success? Well every family is different and there is no rule book to parenting. So it is impossible to say whether being equitable over fair is the right option for every parenting hurdle. We just have to trust our instincts and lead with love. However, it is definitely food for thought and, at the very least, a topic that should be discussed with our kids. 

Whether it is directed at them or not, our children are likely to grow up and see inequity on a social level. Often surrounding gender. But by having tough discussions early on, you can help them recognise and reject the inequity they are exposed to. Better preparing them to support inclusion and to fight against inequity as adults. This is something we as parents can actively do this International Women’s Day that can help create a world that is is fully able to #EmbraceEquity.