What children see: that take to be representative of reality. That is really just a more complicated way of saying that children expect, apply, and anticipate what they see far more than what they hear. Good parents do more than just explain what is right to their children: they represent it in their very being.

A new study by the University of British Colombia, conducted under lead researcher Alyssa Croft, has revealed that gender equality and perception are also formed far more by parental actions than any lip-service. They found that the simple act of a father doing his fair share of household chores was indicative of increased chances of living with non-traditional gender roles, and also of increased chances of higher-paying careers, for his daughters.

Alyssa Croft sums it up, saying:

“This suggests girls grow up with broader career goals in households where domestic duties are shared more equitably by parents… How fathers treat their domestic duties appears to play a unique gatekeeper role.”

We make an impact on how our children, friends, family, and even strangers see the world. Our actions speak louder than our statements, and we should be conscious of the messages we are sending. It appears that sending a paternal message of shared responsibility and non-concrete gender roles has a positive impact on the potential success of his daughters.