For those of you who follow the blog or/and know me, you know how much I love gender neutral parenting. I saw this one hangout session (Video session on Google + for those of you who did not know what that was) where the person talking flat out said “do not put your children in “boy colors” (if a boy) or “girl colors” (if a girl). This is a no, no it is unhealthy gender neutral parenting. It seems like more and more parents go over the edge and into an unhealthy place, and with doctors (the person who said no “boy colors” or “girl colors” was a doctor) saying this stuff it’s not helping. I am going to name three red flags that you have gone over the edge.
Believing your child should not wear any clothing color associated with that gender.
Now while a doctor said this they were a medical doctor not a sociologist or psychologist. Had they been either of those they would have said not allowing your child to wear colors associated with that gender is the same as only allowing them to wear colors associated with that gender. It’s unhealthy and going from one box to another. Not only that you are breaking one of the top reason of being a gender neutral parent, which is acceptance. If your son wants to wear blue let him wear blue it’s a color and that is what you should say, color has no gender.
Believing that your child HAS to have friends of both genders.
At a certain age being friends with too many children of the opposite gender leads to bullying (between the ages of 5 and 10). I do not think I need to go over how devastating bullying can be. Also the earlier the bullying starts the more damage it can have on social skills and the more likely the child is going to be bullied in later years. Furthermore, it prevents the child from making friends with the same gender. Children at a certain point mostly make friends with the same gender and that is okay. I am not saying have your child conform to the norm but why have your child bullied? Teach your child to stand up when they see sexism, teach your daughters and son they can do/be whatever they want AND still have mostly or all the same gender friends. You can have only friends of your gender and still be gender neutral.
Putting your child in activities associated with the opposite gender without thinking of peer repercussions.
We do not live in a gender neutral society when you put your sons in ballet and daughters in football it leads to bullying, gender identity issues, low self-esteem, and self-worth issues. If your son wants to do ballet let him, but if not do not push him to be something he is not into. I will promise if your daughter wants to be a cheerleader and you made her be a football player she is not going to be happy and may not forgive you. Let your children help you make decision that involve their self-image to the world. You are NOT the only influence on how your child will determine gender roles and stereotypes, and acting like you are is hurtful to the child.
Do not try and be so out of the box you become unhealthy. Gender is a major identify factor and that is not about to change. Just be there if your child wants to break the rules and if they don’t just make sure you are teaching them the POSITIVE about the opposite gender.