When my grandson, Jeffery, was 4 1/2 years old, he said to me: "I really like girls - 'cause they are REALLY important." I asked him "Girls are important?" Jeffery says, "Of course. They say REALLY important things."
I thought to myself, wow! He had learned a crucial lesson very early on. I was so proud of him. It appeared to me that my grandson was gifted and had great knowledge and understanding of the mysterious workings of the world. I took this to mean he held his mother (my daughter) in high esteem. And I, as well.
I was able to bask in this wonderful euphoria for one and a half years.
Then he turned SIX! It seemed that a switch was flipped and my pride and joy suddenly fell victim to gender roles. Girls now became disgusting....COOTIE-fied! By a stroke of luck, my daughter and I were spared this new demotion.
According to Jeffery, we were not girls, we were Mommy and Grammie. I reminded him that he used to think girls were important, and he gave me a look. It was as though he were suddenly an adult, and the look said it all: "Grammie, I was just a baby then and hadn't figured it out yet, but now I know!"
I'm working on changing his perception, but this may take time given that I am fighting against the pack mentality of a group of 1st grade boys.