Wherever you are, whoever you are, It’s highly likely that you will have your own opinions on gender-neutral parenting and its effects, good or bad in today’s society.
My question to you is this,
do you think a gender-neutral style of parenting is completely harmless to our children or are we doing more harm than good?
What does it all mean?
Gender neutral parenting involves a parenting approach which encourages parents to break away from gender binary. It suggests parents should focus on raising their children in an open world in which they are free to express themselves without restrictions to whichever gender they were born as.
Children are brought up in a world which they are free to live as they choose. Girls and boys are raised be who they are given choice over who they are and what they wear without automatically falling into boy and girl stereotypes.
Why (and when) Gender natural parenting is a lovely idea
Without taking it to extreme measures, teaching your child to live and show interest thing’s such as toys and activities without assuming that’s what they should want due to their gender. In the 50’s, children went to their school where the boys would learn woodworking and the girls would learn how to sew and cook.
Raising children in an environment where they learn all kinds of life skills is not only awesome, but it teaches ultimately how to live. Which at the end of the day is a pretty amazing parenting win, right?
By teaching children to be whoever they were born to be, open’s up amazing doors, creating a pathway for life that is supportive of who they are and a life that is all there’s.
Disney has launched a campaign to encourage girls not only to be a princess but the importance of education and being strong and confident. This is truly amazing and a beautiful example of why gender-neutral approaches can be a wonderful thing!
Why we are crossing a line…
Whether we’re talking religion, politics, or parenting there is always a danger in today’s society that we will take thing’s too far…
An article here describes a lesbian couple in Los Angels were caught forcing their little boy into skirts and dresses despite him kicking, screaming yelling “NO”! One of the Mother’s, Michelle spoke out and said, “I’m constantly attempting to queer my relationship with him and get him to wear tutu’s, he hates it, he’s just like, no.” When the couple and their boy are reading stories together, he points at the pictures in the book and says “boy, girl” Michelle replies by correcting him “Child, Child”!
I believe to teach children to be free and live the best version of themselves is absolutely vital.
However like this case, and many others, this is NOT what we are doing.
Despite our best intentions, parents are forcing their own ideas onto their children of how THEY believe their child should be living.
In attempts to steer away from gender stereotypes and encourage freedom, our children couldn’t be further from freedom. If a boy even whispers about monster trucks and car toys, or if girls genuinely do want to run around in princess costumes we flip out like crazy.
What’s more, in 2017 John Lewis jumped onto the same bandwagon and decided to abolish gender labels within their stores. They have become the first retailer to get rid of separate “boy’s” and “girls” store. Instead, they have combined this section into “Boys&girls”.
I have a little niece who is utterly in love with pink, fairies and everything that glitters. Now, when it’s her birthday, I stay away from John Lewis as finding her a gift she likes, would take much longer and it would be harder to find!
The butterfly generation
Femininity and masculinity have been around for centuries. While everyone may not personally reflect their typical stereotypes, both are part of life and there is nothing wrong with humans wholeheartedly enjoying “old-fashioned” customs.
In 2016, there was a study In the UK to investigate which toy’s children would naturally play with and if that toy was typically linked to their gender. In the end, it was found that boys were truly drawn to toys such as balls and girls were drawn to dolls and cooking pots.
“Boys have an innate aptitude for toys which stimulate mental rotation and spatial processing, Girls were drawn to toys which use fine motor skills and mental manipulation”.
Of course, there will be boys in our world who enjoy dressing up in skirts and girls who’s rather kick a ball instead of attending ballet which is not only okay, it is absolutely fantastic!
However if (God forbid) a girl observes their parent (whoever it may be) cooking and then want’s to play with pots and/or learn to cook one day then why is this such a bad thing? This girl would be living exactly how she wants to and learning a valuable life skill at the same time!
WE are the ones taking thing’s too far!
Children should be raised openly, in a world where it is okay to be whoever and whatever the hell they want to. Not in a world where us adults already have their lives and who they are already planned out.
What can we do to encourage safe gender-neutral parenting:
- Try to parent with an open mind, love your child for who they are growing up to be!
- Skills like kindness, manners and education are much more searched for in employment. Support your little ones future with skills for life.
- Encourage all activities and see what your kiddo takes too!
- Be open and honest.
- Telling children the gender of people is not a bad thing! It’s a confusing world for kids, don’t make it even more bananas!
- Don’t force your own ideas, let things happen naturally!
- Raise children to be strong, ambitious and to love.
What do you think?