How to Keep Your Gender Neutral Parenting Healthy.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

I am listening to/watching: Wet "It's All in Vain"
Mood: Loved, Tired, Anxious
Time: 8:86 pm


Parenting, health, gender, neutral, tips


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.

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16 comments

  1. This is a great post. I've often considered gender neutral parenting (I don't have kids yet, but will hopefully start trying in the next few years). Very interesting article! THank you for sharing it :)

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  2. I guess you learn something new everyday. Everybody has their own way of parenting that isn't necessarily right or wrong, it's just different. As long as the child's mental, physical, and spiritual health is maintained I think it's ok.

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  3. I think about this a lot. My anatomically male child has clothes every color of the rainbow. But I totally notice myself cringing when he wears "gender-conforming" blues, etc. Even though I know, I know, colors don't have anything to do with gender.

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    1. Thanks for be honest, I think we all do that. I did it when my son first started his love affair with trucks.

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  4. It seems like a lot of people get so caught up in the philosophy that they forget about the repercussions within the child. If you're stifling their ability to express and get to know themselves, it's gone too far. My oldest son's favorite color was pink until about age 10. It was great, because my next kid was a total girly girl and loved his pass me downs. ;) Seriously, though, at ages 17 and 14 now ... they're both incredibly well rounded young adults. Playing with dolls and wearing pink did not turn my son gay, and still sometimes wearing pink does nothing but make him more of a heart-throb, apparently. lol

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    1. HAHA, pick is a lovely color on anyone.

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  5. Thanks for this. A really thoughtful blog post. We started being more aware of gender neutral parenting a few years back and have adapted our parenting to suit. It has been so interesting finding that some our thinking was so ingrained that we didn't even realize it. Since we starting having conversations with our kids and they have begun to pick up on comments or situations that are not gender neutral and challenge them which is great.

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    1. That is wonderful! It is amazing how gender is ingrained into use.

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  6. Well this is a really great topic to tackle. Too many times we label children which can scar them for life. Parents should guide nad nurture.

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  7. Just another reason why I am glad I have a cheetah and no kids.
    Parents need to only instill good values like the difference between right and wrong. Let them make choices on their own and guide them
    gently in whatever they want to do. Kids are fickle,what they love one day will change the next. Controlling them tightly on non issues like fashion styles and sports only leads to resentment and anger issues later.

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  8. I love this. As a Psych major, these small, or sometimes vast, differences between parenting styles interest me a lot. I have 3 sister-in-laws and all 4 of us have completely different parenting styles; and I find it interesting that there always seems to be at least ONE person who feels the need to compare us and our parenting styles. Sometimes, we even do it among ourselves, but we poke at each other more than anything. However, since I started my blog and started to share some of the ways I parent as a special needs mom, I've had individuals tell me they cannot believe how I parent and that I should be far more lenient since my son has special needs.

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    Replies
    1. I understand that, everyone feels like they have to say something about someone eases parenting style.

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