Gender Neutral Parenting ?
[The days have changed so much, you know, I love pink shirts for my son! And I’m so happy that Gender neutrality is seeking attention in India. Mumma! As we turned to see, her 5year old boy fell from the bicycle and hurt himself, crying vociferously. We all rushed to pamper him. “You are a strong boy, my child, it will all be fine in few minutes..Sob..sob! Why are you crying like a girl? See everyone is looking at you.” That child looks around feeling ashamed and hugs his mom!]
Silence, a deep silence struck me. It was the end of a discussion which started with so much positivity. Does it really makes you a “gender neutral parent” if you make your boy wear pink shirts? It’s a funny stance, rather why to boast of this neutrality, when it is far off from your thoughts? Gender Neutral Parenting is all about thoughts which ultimately reflect in your actions and it is not just about the external set up.
I immediately wanted to ask her as she was also a young girl few years before. Was she ashamed if tears dropped off her eyes? Did she today felt sheepish of showing her emotions back then? Why can’t a boy cry and show his emotions? Both the gender have all the emotions, why are we tuned to suppress it for boys?
Handling consistent crying is all together a different matter and it can be for both girls and boys. But somehow, I shunned myself from speaking to her then. It’ll certainly so that sometime soon, over a cup of coffee!
Honestly, ask yourself, do you really follow Gender Neutral parenting (liberal)?
- Are you happy if your boy plays with dolls, kitchen sets & role plays, and your daughter plays with Robots and cars?
- Have you stereotyped the games which your kids should play or are you open to their any choices?
- Pink for boys? Do you feel it is only for girls who look cute in pink frocks?
- Are you open to Kitchen learnings for boys?
- Are you open to thoughts of your boys mopping the house floor to support you?
- How do you react when your daughter says that she wants to be a football champion?
- Did your daughter ever said that she is a Spiderman? if yes, what was your reaction?
- Are you indulging in Gender-free teachings?
It’s time that we break this cliché and give an equal opportunity to our boys and girls. Its upto you to follow the extreme or Liberal Gender Neutral Parenting method, though I prefer to opt liberal approach. Let us allow them an equal opportunity to show emotions, to dress-up, to play, dream and show their skills. Some parents opt for extreme approach and they raise their child “genderless” and do not reveal the gender of their child. To me, I feel that liberal is a better approach and that’s what I try to follow.
Watch out this video as a part of BBC stories pertaining to “Can Our Kids Go Gender Free?”
Promoting Gender Neutral parenting :
Being said that preferring liberal approach means, promoting all activities in a gender neutral ways.
- No Blue is for boys and pink is for girls. Go for the colour you and your child love, be it pink for boys. This change needs to start right from the birth in hospitals, by keeping gender neutral baby clothing and decor.
- Opt for Gender neutral baby / child room decor and nursery.
- Let there be all sorts of toys in the closet, ranging from Dolls to cars to spiderman and robots. Allow kids to play with their likings.
- Pause! Stop the discussions around “Girls will be girls and boys will be boys”. Let them mix up, learn to respect each other’s views and create their own imaginations and likings.
- Let boys read fairytales, those are beautiful imaginative stories. They should grow respecting and appreciating these stories as well.
- Quit those books which stereotype men and women with a specific task and encourage a blended atmosphere.
- Practise Gender equality at home, let the better half cook some delicious beans for the day♥
Benefits of Gender Neutral Parenting for Kids :
There are biological and psychological differences between men and women, and we will have to always accept that. But let us not create an environment, where kids feel restricted towards their choices, just because of their “gender”. Let’s not push them towards any extreme, as these kids will always be limited and confused in their choices. Don’t we many a times feel that men don’t feel our emotions? This is because of gender biased parenting all around at home and in our society.
Kids who are raised in gender neutral environment have access to many more opportunities, have better imaginative powers, and are at lower risk on mental health issues during adolescence.
Let’s open up the doors and allow the fresh air to enter in. Is it going to be your cupcake?
Share your thoughts about Gender Neutral parenting right below in the comments section. What steps are you taking to ensure a neutral environment at home and in society?
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I am taking my Alexa Rank to the next level with with Blogchatter, I’ll be penning down some interesting stuff with #Mommyinmewrites , be tuned!