Regardless of gender or gender-identification, there’s a way to offer help and guidance to children/students and a way not to.
Most often when someone comes calling for help they are looking for the answer. Too many parents and educators provide it. I think it’s clear why this is not the best approach: it’s in the discovering of answers where the true value lies, not the final solution. To paraphrase M. McLuhan, “the process is the message”.
Now, there’s a more subtle layer at work here. There are many folks who stop short of providing the answer/solution b/c they understand the above. They see the dependency-creation of that approach. BUT, many parents and educators will provide the essence of the solution, leaving the student to then carry out the steps. The thinking is that “I’m not doing for” b/c the child is the one doing the doing.
Truth be told, this isn’t actually creating independence… you think you are b/c you’re not actually doing the doing, that the approach is the best one. But if you’re doing the thinking, then you’re leaving little of real value for the child/student/learner. Figuring out what to do or how to do is the most important part of learning. This often happens with parents “helping” with homework. They will tell the child how to think through a math word problem, for instance, and the child will then go about doing the math for the problem. But THAT’S THE EASY PART. The value of the activity is thinking about what and how to solve the problem. Robotically doing the calculations is nothing in comparison.
Best approach is to ask “what solutions do you see/imagine?”… get them to generate ideas to try out. Either they’ll work or they won’t, but learning will take place. Ask why they think what they think and encourage them to try it out. This encouraging to think and experiment is the most valuable lesson as it fosters creative thinking and initiative – a sense of being capable of managing through a situation. Isn’t that what life requires? Let’s prep this way.