(Closed) "Gender" Neutral Parenting

posted 5 years ago in Parenting
Post # 2
Member
3003 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

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KingsDaughter:  this was part of the reason we chose not to find out the sex of our baby before birth- to avoid stereotyping the child before it was even born! We have a 14 month old boy and he owns plenty of trucks, but he also has baby dolls (which he loves). I hope that if our second child is a girl it will make it easier since all our stuff is either boyish or gender neutral. I’m all about trying to raise a child with “androgynous skills.” I think all adults should be able to change a tire, comfort a baby, cook dinner, build a campfire, ect.

Post # 3
Member
2151 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

Not TTC yet, but DH and I are not going to be gender neutral parents. If I had a son who wanted a doll, I’d buy it for him, but I wouldn’t be buying him dolls unless he asked. If we ever have a girl, I really, really would be all about dressing her up in adorable dresses and girly girl outfits…I am very much a feminine woman, and DH is very much a masculine man. I would definitely side eye anyone giving a blue and orange hoodie with animals on it for a little girl-it’s just not something I’d ever put a baby girl in.

Post # 4
Member
4114 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

I have a 14 month old daughter. It’s not a “I want to be gender neutral” thing, I just buy what I like. She’s got shirts with rocket ships and ones with flowers. She mainly wears jeans (mostly because I do too). She has trucks and dolls. She loves the big knock off Legos she got for her birthday. 

It probably also helps that I am not a big PINK kind of girl myself. I’m just not glitter and sparkles so I don’t buy that for my daughter. 

Post # 7
Member
3470 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2012 - The Gables Inn, Santa Rosa, CA

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KingsDaughter:  Well, I’m currently pregnant with my first, so this is largely theoretical, but for me the key to gender neutral is that there’s no such thing as “boy and girl” toys.  Just because you have a girl doesn’t mean she CANT wear pink or that you shouldn’t buy her a kitchen set, it should just be sitting next to her tonka trucks and astronaut costume too. 

Same goes for boys.  Our son will have lots of legos because legos are a great toy for expanding imaginations and creative play.  We would have purchased just as many if we’d found out we were having a girl.  

My son will be involved in sports and he will also take dance and music lessons, he will have dolls and trucks to play with. My husband will teach him how to hand sew (a skill I never learned!) and I will teach him how to bait his fishing rod.  I’ll also teach him how to knit and Daddy will show him how to shoot a gun.  His dad cooks dinner almost every night of the week, and when the sink is backed up, it’s a 50/50 chance of which of us will fix it. 

This is what true gender neutrality means to us – it’s not about providing “girl” toys for your son to play with or “boy” clothes for your daughter to wear.  Male and female pertains to what’s between your legs and a conversation to be had LONG after our child learns who they are as a person.  We simply wont introduce the idea of boys being different from girls in the same light as how one teaches a child that the color of a person’s skin doesn’t impact who they are – we’re all people and we’re all equal and special in our own ways.  

Post # 9
Member
834 posts
Busy bee

I’ve been a nanny for several years before I quit doing it. The last few families I worked for disturbed me to my bones because they were so sexist. If their son cried, they would tease him “oh are you a girl now? only girls cry!” 

and he was like terrified of the color pink. and god forbid you call his baby brother “beautiful” because he’d say “He is not beautiful because boys can’t be beautiful! He is handsome”. 

They always said “hit like a girl” “cry like a girl”  “girl colors” “girl toys”. It was annoying because I could SEE the damage it was causing. He was TERRIFIED of being called a girl or being associated with anything girly. Meanwhile, he was terrified of riding bikes, riding scooters, any and all bugs and the next door neighbour, girl his age, waasn’t scared of anything. Never cried, toughest little girl I ever did meet. She loved all colors, all toys, all games, and loved bugs. 

 

Now how would I raise MY girl? Yes I would buy her pink dresses and do her hair real pretty, but encourage her to play in the mud and be a monkey at the park.. because thats what I was like. I would encourage her to play sports and collect bugs and buy barbies and super heroes. 

 

How would I raise boys? I would do the same, as far as dressing them in all colors, in t-shirts that are pink etc. I wouldn’t say “girl” colors. I would get them super heros and if they wanted, barbies. But I wouldn’t encourage or force or “expose” (maybe not the right word) my boy to barbies and stereotypical girly things. I do want to raise my girls feminine and my boys masculine, but both strong, nurturing and loving. I am not going to get mad if my boy wants to be a princess for halloween but I wouldn’t take him to the princess section of the store and ask him to pick out a custume, you know what I mean? 

I mean i’m pretty sure you can tell from an early age when a kid is gay or not, so if my boy was always very feminine, I wouldn’t discourage it or “fight it”. I want my kids to respect males and females equally and be treated equally. But I will probably not raise them gender neutrally. I wouldn’t necessarily “push” gender stereotypes, I definitely won’t make my kids feel “fragile” or “weak”. I would however, suggest specific gender toys, clothes, shows in the early ages. 

Like I watched salor moon and x-men equally growing up. I wouldn’t care of my daughter or son did the same. But I won’t willingly put my son in a dress unless he specifically requests it. 

Post # 10
Member
8028 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2010

I have two girls and have always hated the “girls dress in pink” crap. So I never dressed my girls super girly and tried to buy toys that were not surper gender stereotyped. But as they get older they gravitate to what they like on their own! My older daughter is more of a tomboy- comic books, Legos, super heros. My younger daughter is all princesses and glitter and dresses- because she asks for it. Kids grow up to be who they are meant to be and I think as parents we need to give them the space to explore who they want to be. Luckily my family never pushed one way or the other. 

Post # 11
Member
3229 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2015

If I had a baby girl I would dress her in cute dresses and pink clothes. For me. Because I think it’s adorable. But then when she gets old enough she could ask me for other variations and I’d be fine with buying her a monkey sweatshirt or whatever. 

Toys wise I think things like legos, puzzles, logical games, etc. are better for both genders rather than toy trucks or toy barbies. 

Post # 12
Member
3003 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

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KingsDaughter:  I’m also confused why a little girl can’t wear a blue and orange animal hoodie. Blue is my favorite color and animals are awesome!

Post # 13
Member
743 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2012

My baby girl wears a mix of girl clothes, boy clothes and gender neutral ones, just whatever I find cute. The blue and orange hoodie would totally be something I would buy for her! I wouldn’t put a little boy in a dress unless he asked for it, but I wouldn’t fight it either. As far as toys go, I think play kitchens and baby dolls (not barbies, which I’m not crazy about for either sex) are excellent choices for both boys and girls. So are legos, construction games, logic games and so on

Post # 14
Member
11735 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

wr are pro gender neutral parenting, but I am a sucker for pink! My 19 month old already likes to pick out her own outfits, so I’m sure my time of buying her what I like is coming to an end. I definitely will let her wear whatever she wants when she can vocalize that to me. gender neutral clothing is actually pretty tough to find! But yes at the end of the day we want our childten to be well rounded and not confined to traditional gendeR roles.

Post # 15
Member
555 posts
Busy bee

I learned a lot about gender neutral parenting in my college classes and would definitely do it with my children. In fact, I wrote a research paper about which stated that in the 70s and 80s toy makers were actually NOT as gender separated as now. Nowadays you go into a store and you see only pink and blue aisles-now guess why? Because of profit of course. 

Anyway, I was also raised pretty neutral. My parents bought me trucks as well as dolls. I had make up (the fake kid type) and was playing in the mud too. I would have not wanted it any other way. I am 100% female, I have long blonde hair, wear dresses but don’t have to prove to anyone that I am female by swooning over pink Hello Kitty stuff.

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WhatMaeBee:  I would side eye anyone who thinks animal clothes are not appropriate for one gender, too. Hope your girl (if you have one) will only like frilly pink princess stuff and thus spare you a heart attack…

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