(Closed) "Gender" Neutral Parenting

posted 4 years ago in Parenting
Post # 61
Member
560 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2010

^^^ This is what I posted about earlier in this thread but no one opened the link. (I guess) They used to live in Toronto, but now have moved to a remote town a few hours outside of Toronto called Perry Sound. They now live off the grid

This baby names “Storm” is now 3 years old and he/she still does not know if he/she is a girl or boy. They also no not believe in schooling their children, they believe the children should learn on their own. They have 3 children Jazz, Kio and Storm. 

Quote ” Witterick still “unschools” her children. The offshoot of home-schooling is centred on the belief that learning should be driven by a child’s curiosity.”

 

Post # 62
Member
85 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

I’m expecting a boy in February, and he’ll be dressed in whatever my husband and I think is cute and clean. When he’s old enough to express a preference, then he can wear what he likes.

As for toys, I like the flowchart one of my friends posted online: Is this toy for boys or girls? “Do you operate this toy with your genetalia? No – this toy is for either girls or boys. Yes – this toy is not for children.”

Post # 63
Member
1246 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

justagirlfirst:  Sunshine09:  To me, this just shows that extremes can go in opposite directions. These people are really far to one extreme. I would argue that the “boys are boys, girls are girls” folks who shame little boys for crying or tell little girls it doesn’t matter if they’re good at building things are equally radical and equally harmful. I think they’re also a lot more common.

 

Ok, the clothes thing. I think this distracts from the real point of gender neutral parenting. It’s subtle and pretty much unimportant when the kid is small. As others have said, it’s just a way for tired & annoyed parents to stop correcting strangers about the sex of the baby because all babies look like Winston Churchill. We’re expecting our first boy in 36 weeks, and despite me and his dad being pretty strong supporters of gender neutral parenting, most of his current baby stuff is blue, because Baby Shower. I’m fine with that. As he grows, I’ll make sure he gets to wear all sorts of colors and play with all sorts of toys so that he can figure out what he likes and who he is.

When people criticize gender neutral parenting by saying “wait until the kid is old enough to express their own preferences,” I think the point they are missing is that by that time, there has already been so much reinforcement from society about what is expected of men vs. women that the kid is probably just mimicking what they’ve been learning about gender roles, rather than expressing actual preferences. 

This is why it’s important to model (and respect) a well-rounded life for all adults, regardless of gender, so that kids get less reinforcement that if they don’t fit inside a neat little box of acceptable interests/colors/attitudes, they are somehow defective. Think about all of the subtle ways we send that message — don’t say “throw/hit/cry like a girl,” or use the term p*ssy as an insult indicating weakness, or tell someone to “man up.” Don’t automatically say “your dress/bow/hair/etc is so pretty!” to a little girl and signal that the only thing that matters about her is how she looks — ask her other questions (what books do you like? favorite animal? do you know any jokes? etc). It’s really not that complicated.

  • This reply was modified 3 years, 11 months ago by  brlabrat.
Post # 64
Member
3009 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

Speck_:  You think that ALLOWING a child to have interests that aren’t stereotypically for their gender is unrealisticm stupid and ridiculous? Why? I’m super confused.

I don’t plan to force my son to do anything he doesn’t want to do. And I also won’t shame, ridicule or disallow him to do something just because “it’s for girls.” I won’t tell my son he’s a girl if he happens to be interested in something “girly” (like playing with a baby doll…he’ll have a baby sibling in the future, and he’ll be a dad or at least care of a baby at some point in his life, I hope, so what’s the problem?) or that there is something wrong or weak about him if he cries, or doesn’t act tough when he gets hurt or sad or lonely. 

 ETA it’s 2015

Post # 65
Member
313 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2015

I am so glad to be having a boy for my first child so I can avoid the pink crap trap.  I’m sticking with a lot of yellow, green, aqua and gray for gear and clothing so that if we have a 2nd I don’t need a whole new wardrobe or a replacement for a lavender car seat.  I’m not a pink person myself, but it seems hard for family and friends to resist pink frills when they hear that a baby girl is on her way.  I’d prefer the green/yellow/gray/Aqua color scheme for a baby girl too.

Post # 66
Member
1184 posts
Bumble bee

When Darling Husband and I finally TTC, I want to do gender neutral parenting. It’s more than colours and clothes though, it’s about not pushing a narrow path. I don’t want my boys to feel they can’t show emotion or my girls to feel that science isn’t for them. I want people to ask my girl about herself BEFORE they make a comment about ‘how pretty you are’.

They’ll wear a range of clothes, we’ll expose them to a range of hobbies and when they’re older they will be encouraged to follow the ones that interest them most. 

Post # 67
Member
6040 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: October 2019 - City, State

 

KingsDaughter:  I don’t tell my son what to like or be interested in. This applies to everything, his activities, his choice of clothes (although I do make it known that he should be neat, clean, and presentable), music, food, colors, etc. I let him be who he’s going to be. That’s for him to figure out, not for me to teach him. There are certain things that should be taught (to always be kind, honest, take care of your body, be resepectful of others, etc) and there are things that should be figured out naturally (whether or not someone likes tomatoes, if they prefer dresses to slacks, if they like pink more than purple, what their favorite sport is or if they even like sports, what music most appeals to them). Basically you should teach your child to become a good human. Period. that’s my goal for my son. I notice how little gender stereotypes bother my son in little ways. Some examples:

-He was going to go bike riding with his grandma and the only bike she had for him was my sister’s bike that was white and pink and clearly was for a girl. He got on that bike without flinching and went riding. He just didn’t care that the world would see a boy on a girls bike *gasp*

-He regularly chooses purple or pink shirts if they suit his taste. He got to choose a dress shirt for a wedding and he chose a light purple shirt and he looked awesome in it. (“girly” colors be damned)

-He played dolls with his aunt (who is his age) since he was little and always had a good time playing kitchen and making a mess with an easy bake oven. since when is it a bad thing for a boy to show his ability to care for a baby doll or to show that he likes to bake cupcakes (and eat cupcakes!) who doesn’t like cupcakes right? he’s gonna be a good husband and father one day if those are roles he chooses for himself.

-He chose hot pink accessories for football because they represented breast cancer. WEaring hot pink on that field was something he was proud to do. And ya know what? once the other boys saw him with those accessories a few of them went out and got them too. There was one or two of the boys who made comments and my son again didn’t even flinch and just calmly explained why he chose pink.

 

I think as long as you raise your children to be confident in who they are and what they like, that’s the best you can do. There will be enough people telling them how they should act and what they should like, I personally won’t be one of those people for my son. I’m proud of him no matter what. People get too caught up on what they have been shown people *should* do and forget that not everyone fits into a mold.

Post # 69
Member
2734 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2015

stardustintheeyes:  Your son sounds amazing. I love that he proudly wears pink to support breast cancer awareness. You are clearly doing something right as a parent and I applaud you 🙂

Post # 70
Member
1273 posts
Bumble bee

My preggo friend is doing a gender reveal at her baby shower, so people will have to shop for her baby without knowing the gender. I approve of this, because I know when I have kids (unless they ask for something in particular) they will be getting a lot of different kinds of toys. I think my mom still has a lot of my toys and dolls and even if I have a boy, he will be playing with them because they used to be mine. Though I hope if I have a girl she likes trains… trains and dinosaurs are awesome. 🙂

Post # 71
Member
2181 posts
Buzzing bee

MrsAKSkier:  …I was referencing the poster you were replying to who commented that “if you have a boy you raise a boy” etc, that kids will be “confused” if they’re raised otherwise, and how absurd her dolphin comment was. I thought it was pretty obvious I don’t agree with that. No need to rip my head off.

Anyway, I think it’s weird how passionate people get about color-coding their infants so that the general public is alerted to what genitals the kid has.

  • This reply was modified 3 years, 11 months ago by  Speck_.
Post # 72
Member
268 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

Sometimes, stereotypical gender preferences just happen, and from the outside you might think we pushed our son to like “boy stuff”.  I remember when my son was about 7-8 months old my neighbor asked me if he naturally just liked boy stuff like cars and trucks.  He was remarking that it was his experience with his son who is about a year older, but his girls never showed interest.  At the time I said no not really, he loved reading, stacking cups, rings, etc.  But now that he is 20 months I can absotlutely say yes he developed those interests on his own.  He has so many stuffed animals / dolls that he has very little interest in and has developed aboslute love for all things that move (trucks, cars, airplanes, helicopters, etc.).  Now because this is what he shows interest in we tend to buy him new things along that theme, but we also still try to introduce him to new books, music toys, crafts, etc.  If he would have shown more interest in dolls then we would have bought him more dolls!  That being said, I don’t think airplanes, helicopters, etc. are “boy stuff” anyway as I work in the aerospace industry and wanted to be an astronaut when I was a kid! 🙂 

Post # 73
Member
2543 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

DaisyBlossom:  Hold on a second … are we calling it ‘gender neutral parenting’ when you allow your son to show his emotions and support him? or allowing a girl to explore science if that’s her interest?  …isn’t that just,… parenting?

 

Post # 74
Member
6210 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: October 2013

KingsDaughter:  DS is not here yet but we plan to raise him with as few gender stereotypes as possible. To answer your question no, we did not run out and buy blue outfits with baseballs and fire engines. In fact, I despise those clothes. Ha! The only things we have that are traditionally “boy” have been gifts NOT off of our registry. His room and most of his clothes are white, green, and yellow with puppies and other animals. We will do the same thing when it comes to buying toys. I cant stand how stores are STRICTLY DIVIDED boy and girl. I wont even walk into baby gap anymore …

Post # 75
Member
9131 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2013 - Rocky Mountains USA

BridetoBee2017:  I’m genuinely curious….. why do you think children’s toys need to be divided into “boy” and “girl” toys?  Why should half the toys be discouraged for one gender and the other half discouraged for the other gender, instead of letting the kids decide what kind of toys interest them?

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