Gender Neutral Parenting

“Gender neutral parenting” – it’s a bit of a buzz phrase rattling round the parenting community right now isn’t it? We have all seen images of Adele apparently causing controversy by allowing her son to wear a dress at Disneyland. Pink is no longer just for girls or blue for boys and clothing shops are cashing in on this trend by producing lines of “gender-neutral” clothes. I watched a vlog from a well-known parenting channel the other day giving their top tips on how to raise your child in a “gender neutral” fashion as though this is now the expected norm. Parents are choosing gender-neutral names for their children and allowing them to have the freedom to choose their own gender. Sweden has even gone so far as to add a gender-neutral personal pronoun to its national vocabulary. The lines between feminine and masculine have never been more blurred and parenting through these murky waters has never been more complicated.

All this leaves me feeling a bit perplexed to be honest. Surely, the whole concept along with the phrase ‘gender-neutral’ is a complete oxymoron? In my mind at least, gender is anything but neutral. The dictionary definition of ‘gender’ is “the state of being male or female.” Since when did people start choosing which they would prefer to be? It’s not as though your vagina or penis is something you can collect at a later date once you’ve decided which you’d prefer. You are born one or the other – the choice has already been pre-determined. I must quickly point out that I am not referring to people who are actually born as transgender individuals. If you are born believing that you are biologically the wrong gender and you feel trapped inside your own body, then my heart goes out to you. However, let’s be real, that only happens to a very small minority of people so why exactly are we all being encouraged to parent our children in this way?

 

Gender Neutral Toy

The theory is that parenting a child in a gender-neutral way opens up the world for a child to discover him/herself without the usual stereotypical restrictions. It’s supposed to allow the child’s real personality to shine through. That’s great in theory but have you ever met a child who responded well to freedom of choice with no boundaries or guidance? Kids in my experience, particularly young ones, much prefer certainty and feel more secure for it. So does it really matter if I encourage my son to play with a train set rather than a doll? Will this stunt his emotional growth in some way because I haven’t offered him the opportunity to explore all avenues of the make-believe world? I’m not convinced.

My initial impulse is to be irritated by the whole concept of gender-neutrality (as if you couldn’t tell!) I have had to really sit and challenge my preconceptions. Having done this, I’m still not entirely sure how I feel about the whole contentious subject. On the one hand I firmly believe that our gender is defining and inherent to who we are, how we behave and how others perceive us. To ignore the fact that my daughter is female or that my son is male seems to imply that it is somehow shameful to be one or the other and yet it is such a crucial part of their identity and one that should not be ignored.

On the other hand, I do try to steer clear of stereotyping my children. You will never hear me say the phrase “boys don’t cry” or “girls don’t play football”. They can wear whatever colours they prefer and play with whatever toys they want. If my son grows up and wants to be a hairdresser and my daughter wants to be a trucker or vice versa then so be it – I’m not holding them back or buying into gender stereotypes. Therefore, I suppose I am subscribing to the gender-neutral parenting manual – albeit in a rather laid-back fashion

Out of Toilet Tissue - Gender Neutral Restroom

Ultimately though, for me there is a big difference between encouraging children to express themselves and ignoring a child’s gender or worse, encouraging them not to have one at all. Gender makes up a significant part of our identity, it cannot be denied. Having a clear identity is an essential part of feeling secure in your own skin and developing a solid sense of self-confidence. What is the point in bringing your daughter up to believe that she can be a boy if she feels like it? It’s like encouraging a horse to believe it can be a sheep – when ultimately it is always going to be a horse. I can’t see how it can be better to offer the horse the chance to explore it’s feelings of wooly-coatedness.

No doubt the gender-neutral argument will continue to rage on until the next parenting fad emerges. In the meantime I am going to have to wrap this up because my son is pestering me to help him build Lego spaceship zombie apocalypse ninjas or something equally un-neutral. After all boys will be boys…

This post was originally featured on Meet Other Mums website where I write as a guest blogger.

 

 

 

A Mum Track Mind

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinmail
Follow:
Share:

60 Comments

  1. May 14, 2016 / 7:03 am

    It does seem to have become a bit of a ‘fad’ doesn’t it? As you said I think the real issue is stereotypical phrases such as ‘boys don’t cry’ etc. Fab post! #fortheloveofblog

  2. May 14, 2016 / 7:08 am

    Great post – this really isn’t something I’d read much about until now. Really interesting, especially seeing where this goes going forward for our kids xx #fortheloveofBLOG

  3. May 14, 2016 / 7:29 am

    I’m a bit on the fence about the whole thing really, I honestly wouldn’t care if my son wanted to play with dolls but equally I’ve not forced them upon him in the quest to forward thinking and open. I firmly believe he’ll grow up to be whoever he wants to be, regardless of the toys/clothes/books I forced upon him before he had his own opinions. That being said he got a pink walker even he was a baby because it was £20 cheaper than the boys version, #fortheloveofBLOG

  4. May 14, 2016 / 7:40 am

    I totally agree with you and I think I also subscribe to gender neutral parenting in a laidback fashion. It’s an interesting topic, and as you say, one which will no doubt go on and on. Thanks for sharing with #fortheloveofBLOG 🙂
    Mrs Lighty recently posted…Time FliesMy Profile

  5. May 14, 2016 / 7:40 am

    my son loves playing with things like sylvanians and prams – when we go to a friends house who has a little girl. I don’t mind at all – I want some sylvanians myself haha! in the next breath tho he is back to cars and making a mess! #fortheloveofBLOG
    Emma recently posted…Poundworld Bargains for Potty Training Weekend!My Profile

  6. May 14, 2016 / 7:58 am

    Like you I think some people or countries might have taken it to extremes. I’m all for allowing your child to choose, but so far my little boy has automatically gone for the balls, cars and trains when taken into a shop. If he wants to play with a doll later on that will be completely fine too. But in my eyes he is still a little boy and it’s obviously that his nature is different from that of a little girl, which I of course hope it not guided by what society expects of boys vs girls. Now it gets too complicated! As long as he’s happy that is all that matters. Thank you for hosting #fortheloveofBLOG

    Nadia – ScandiMummy x

  7. May 14, 2016 / 8:00 am

    I completely agree! The issue I have with gender neutral parenting is that sometimes it’s anything but neutral – it can end up going too far the other way and boys are then made to feel uncomfortable for wanting to dress or act like boys, while girls are actively discouraged from owning anything pink. Like you I’m happy for my children (both girls) to do things that might be considered traditionally male, like play football or own toy cars (both of which they love) but I’m not going to stop buying pink clothes. I know the idea is that gender neutral parenting opens up all the boundaries for children to explore their own personalities, but I can’t help but think that most of the time it’s just an attempt for parents to show how open minded they are. And there are other ways to do that. Like you say only a small percentage of people identify as transgender so why deny children the opportunity to grow up in the gender they were born into, on the very small chance they might grow up to realise they don’t identify with their given gender? Couldn’t the same outcome be achieved by fostering an open, honest environment where these things are discussed and normalised and kids are encouraged to develop their own personality while still being referred to by their given gender?

  8. May 14, 2016 / 8:08 am

    Interesting post. I agree with the laid back apporach – my youngest tends to play with dolls and things like that because he’s home with his sister a lot. She only had boys toys around growing up, because of her older brother, but she wasn’t really interested and became very pink/princessy…

    I think there are a lot of adults out there trying to place adult themes and issues on children in a way that isn’t helpful, and that they don’t necessarily have a problem with. Kids are remarkably understanding, tolerant and resiliant. (Sometimes!)

    Thanks for sharing. #fortheloveofBLOG

  9. May 14, 2016 / 8:20 am

    I’d never ram dolls down my girls throats (well it wouldn’t go down well with social services!) But in all seriousness if they want to play with cars and trains that’s just fine. #fortheloveofblog

  10. May 14, 2016 / 8:23 am

    It’s an interesting point. I think that to be brought up completely gender neutrally would be rather strange. Like you I’m doing more of the laid-back gender neutral parenting. I do think the conditioning in our society is really extreme and that it can effect girls’ confidence and their life choices when they are surrounded with so many messages about princes and pink, and looking nice. I don’t want to hide my daughter away from the world, but I’ve noticed that with exposure to lots of youtube toy videos her favourite colour is now pink, and she spends lots of time roleplaying beauty salons! I’m not sure what the answer is exactly, but I don’t want my daughter to be brought up being conditioned to think she has to spend a fortune trying to look nice, and feeling insecure as so many of us women do. Thank you for raising these interesting points! #fortheloveofBLOG
    Kate Orson recently posted…The Invisible Hurts We CarryMy Profile

  11. May 14, 2016 / 8:28 am

    The media love to overthink things, but in this modern, post-feminist world, creeping slowly closer to equality, the important thing about gender neutral parenting is, I believe, that there is nothing one sex can do that the other can’t. And it sounds like you believe this too. As for the issue of identity I think there comes a point in adolescence when this gets confusing in all aspects, not just gender, and you could have a point, we may find further down the line that gender neutral parenting is not all constructive. But as for the horse, haven’t you read The Sheep Pig/seen Babe?! Seriously though, this is a hot topic and you raise some strong points. And your new site looks very sleek. #fortheloveofBLOG
    Nursery Whines recently posted…Fahrenheit 111My Profile

  12. May 14, 2016 / 8:31 am

    I completely agree with you, my daughter wears pink she also wears purple, blue, yellow etc. I will still put bows in her hair and let her play with baby dolls or cars. She is a girl it doesn’t mean I will stop her from playing with typical boys toys but I don’t think I would go as far as to try to be completely gender neutral I just don’t think it is possible for us.

    Azaria- Being Mrs Lynch
    #fortheloveofBlog
    Azaria Lynch recently posted…Fitness Friday: Tone It Up Bikini Series Week 3My Profile

  13. May 14, 2016 / 8:33 am

    This is really interesting. I think taking things to extremes in anything isn’t healthy and extreme I think is what you are describing that makes you uncomfortable…but a backlash against the unhelpful stereotyping into gender roles I think is incredibly positive. It’s then what you take from it. Celebrating the differences between the genders and not forcing (but allowing) only pink on girls only blue on boys (as a basic example) would be a good approach I think. Sounds like the ‘laid back’ stance you are taking… in which case (although I feel passionately about NOT gender stereotyping which is different from what you describe) I guess I’m taking a laid back approach to this specific ‘gender neutral’ idea in raising children too!! #fortheloveofBLOG
    Lucy at occupation: (m)other recently posted…The Highs and Little Lows of Middle PregnancyMy Profile

  14. May 14, 2016 / 8:39 am

    this is an interesting post. my parents’ preference is to raise me free of gender stereotypes, and they are trying to role model to me that my gender shouldn’t define the opportunities available to me in life – I can be who I want to be #fotheloveofBLOG

  15. May 14, 2016 / 8:44 am

    Hi
    I’m with you on this. Thanks for tackling such a contentious topic. I think folks take it to extremes. I agree with the points you make. I know there are kids in my daughter’s secondary school who have come out as transgender and there are special toilets for them. I understand that there are those who grow up believing they are in the wrong body in terms of their gender…which is not a life I can imagine having to live or endure so my heart goes out to them too.

    I do believe in a laid back sensible approach where we do believe that kids can be kids rather than deny them things on the basis of their gender but I honestly agree that going into ‘full on’ gender neutral mode isn’t necessarily helpful and may end up being counterproductive or even harmful…

    I do think you give a very balanced and open-minded post, here, so thanks for sharing #fortheloveofBLOG

  16. May 14, 2016 / 8:48 am

    Interesting! when my kids were little it wasn’t something that ever crossed my mind, was never a ‘discussion’ and so I never had to think about it at all… and guess what? my kids are fine…. everyone should raise their children however they see fit, and as long as we end up with healthy, happy people in the end then thats the main thing isn’t it? #fortheloveogblog
    Laughing Mum recently posted…I AM a yummy mummy!My Profile

  17. May 14, 2016 / 8:56 am

    Good topic to have the guts to put out there. I’m undecided on where I sit for any strong view at the moment. I have no problem with seeing everyone for who they are. I do think it would be pretty strange if there were to be an expectation to push the idea of gender neutral onto children as something they should be considering at a young age. It’s a bit like when to broach the subject of sex education for children, when is the right time. I can see that the society which I was brought up in has generally accepted girls dressing or acting like boys but would not be so relaxed with boys dressing as girls. Is that right, no, I guess not. Can cultures change as quickly as our modern day living would like, I also guess not. This is going to be one to watch.

    mainy – myrealfairy

    #fortheloveofblog

  18. May 14, 2016 / 8:57 am

    Tricky one, I’m pretty chilled about it but my as I sit here waiting for my daughter to finish her ballet class, my son is at football training with his Dad! So it turns out we have ended up with quite gender specific interests. This is mainly due to them wanting to do what their friends do and as long as it makes them happyand confident that’s all I really care tbh. #fortheloveofBLOG
    Mess and Merlot recently posted…Why Body-Shamers can kiss my (squidgy) butt!My Profile

  19. May 14, 2016 / 9:02 am

    Thanks for this great post, a subject I hadn’t really thought much about but yes, it seems to all have become a bit of a “fad” My son loves football and I dress my baby daughter in pink, but when she’s older if she wants to wear track suits and cut her hair short then that’s ok too. Ultimately it’s best we just teach our children to be themselves, whatever that may be! #fortheloveofBLOG

  20. May 14, 2016 / 9:04 am

    I have a boy and a girl and as we had a boy first, a lot of the toys are ‘boyish’ like trains and cars. my daughter loves them. She equally loves dolls and heads straight there when at a play group or a shop. I think its important to share a variety of shoes with our kids, but I do think that in most cases, girls are drawn to ‘girl’ toys, not matter how much variety they are use to #fortheloveofBLOG
    Rebecca | AAUBlog recently posted…Summer Jewellery WishlistMy Profile

  21. May 14, 2016 / 9:31 am

    This is a great post. I have always let my children play or dress how they wish, I won’t push what society expects of them onto them, I want them to be free to make their own choices. They have boundaries in how we expect them to behave (be polite etc), but that will be all I expect of them. They are who they are, let them be this way.
    Ali Duke recently posted…My Love of TeaMy Profile

  22. The_tale_of_mummyhood
    May 14, 2016 / 9:40 am

    This is an interesting article on a subject that I personally don’t know too much about. I do think though that sometimes these issues can be taken to the extreme instead of people just getting on with their lives.

    #fortheloveofBLOG

  23. May 14, 2016 / 10:21 am

    Lovely post, my view on raising a child gender-neutral is similar to yours. If my son wants to be a ballerina then so be it! I think the issue is that we want both boys and girls to have equal rights once they are older so we should start it when they are young right? The other issue has been around toy manufacturers creating boy-specific and girl-specific toys, but what if a girl wants a building set? But now, with this whole new craze about gender-neutral, there are companies now that are creating “gender-neutral” toys, as in the building blocks look like they could be played by a boy or girl like GoldiBlox, really interesting … http://www.goldieblox.com/. Anyway, love this post, definitely one to think about! #fortheloveofBlog

  24. May 14, 2016 / 11:35 am

    A very thought provoking article! I must admit, I haven’t had the “moment” to think too deeply about this topic, however it does cause my heart to beat a little faster. (If that makes sense).. Self expression is so important.. I’m not sure. Again, I don’t have a viewpoint … yet! Great post! #fortheloveofblog

  25. May 14, 2016 / 12:18 pm

    good thought provoking post! I’m rather relaxed about bringing up my kids – we don’t have a name for they way I choose to bring them up and neither should we or would I even want to so I’m not sure why the term is being banded around so much – I parent … end of! I support my kids with what they choose to do and help them explore life in the way they choose – it’s not difficult and it’s not biased towards any one way – my son likes rugby, but if he wanted to dance I wouldn’t object. One daughter loves sport the other loves to sing – but if they wanted to play cricket or run around playing nerf wars (actually I’m certain they would) then so be it – I’m happy – they are happy – I think some people have an awful lot of time on their hands to have to think so deeply about what their kid does and whether they are being politically correct. Oo I could go on and on!! fab post lovely #fortheloveofblog
    justsayingmum.com recently posted…Parenting The Ab Fab Way!My Profile

  26. May 14, 2016 / 12:38 pm

    I let my son play with whatever he wants. However I must admit, bringing him up as a single mum, I do get a bit worried when he wants to put make up on in the morning! Does he need some “man time”? I know this is ridiculous, he has plenty of positive male role models in his life, through family and friends husbands. He’s just copying what mummy is doing. Do I let him put some on…of course, then he’s straight back to playing with his train track! #fortheloveofBLOG
    Mum-Work-Repeat recently posted…Sky Tykes – Holme Pierrepont, NottinghamMy Profile

  27. May 14, 2016 / 2:32 pm

    I don’t think gender neutral parenting is about ignoring a child’s gender or encouraging them not to have one. For me, gender neutral parenting is about trying not to buy into the kind of gender stereotypes that pigeon hole certain things, certain colours or toys for example, to be for “girls” or “boys” and allowing them to make their own choices. So it sounds like you are already doing gender neutral parenting! #fortheloveofBLOG
    Single Mum Speaks recently posted…The Up and Down Life of A Working MotherMy Profile

  28. May 14, 2016 / 4:24 pm

    Very interesting topic 🙂
    At the moment Freddie is still too little to make choices for himself – I do try and pick him clothes that are not your typical ‘boy’ things , although it can be quite difficult to get something that is not blue but also not very very pink! Once he is big enough he can pick whatever he wants, be that to play with dolls or trains or wear blue or a tutu.
    I do try and make sure that I stop myself from saying things though – like sometimes when he is crying and I nearly say “you are such a big girl” I change it to wuss, he he.
    I think the key is to go with an anyone can do anything attitude, gender shouldnt stop you achieving anything, but dont take it to the extreme either!

    #fortheloveofBLOG
    My Little Yarn Baby recently posted…Out and About with Freddie – Mama socialMy Profile

  29. May 14, 2016 / 5:12 pm

    This is really interesting and I hadn’t realised quite how far it’s gone as a “thing”. Personally I haven’t really thought about it yet, my son has just turned one and so far all he shows a preference for is standing rather than sitting. I definitely don’t want to stereotype genders but I think I’d be in the laid back camp on this one and just let whatever will be, be.

  30. May 14, 2016 / 5:36 pm

    Nice to read a post on this topic that doesn’t preach! I think we should not fear “gender”! There are far bigger fish to fry in the universe… #fortheloveofBLOG

  31. May 14, 2016 / 6:37 pm

    Completely agree with you on this. There’s a big difference between not conforming to gender stereotypes and gender neutral parenting. My children realise that boys and girls are different physically but at a young age, they are unaware of any differences that affect their lives right now and their choices. I feel that it has become a bit of a fad, another way of the perfect parents to get one up on those of us who are simply bumbling our way along, and actually I find it a little strange to encourage a child to be a neutral gender!! Great article though, very thought provoking! #FortheloveofBLOG
    laura dove recently posted…Fibromyalgia Awareness Day 2016My Profile

  32. May 14, 2016 / 6:40 pm

    I often dress my daughter in pink, which is hardly gender-neutral – but she looks so cute! She’s still pretty young to exhibit her own preferences, but as she gets older, I’m going to leave it up to her. If she wants to play with dolls and wear dresses, fine. If she wants to play with trucks and wear blue, also fine. I want her to know that there isn’t boy and girl stuff – it’s just stuff. #fortheloveofBLOG
    Squirmy Popple recently posted…A few of my favourite thingsMy Profile

  33. May 14, 2016 / 7:35 pm

    Thought provoking post! There is a balance I think, not stereotyping is important and so is helping them develop an identity and be their own individuals that lead to a successful adulthood. I don’t think you need to be gender neutral to do this, just open, accepting and empathic to your child’s ideas and feelings

  34. May 14, 2016 / 7:36 pm

    Thought provoking post! There is a balance I think, not stereotyping is important and so is helping them develop an identity and be their own individuals that lead to a successful adulthood. I don’t think you need to be gender neutral to do this, just open, accepting and empathic to your child’s ideas and feelings #fortheloveofBLOG

  35. May 14, 2016 / 7:59 pm

    I have never really gotten the gender neutral thing. Surly you just let your kid wear what they want to regardless if they are a girls or boy. Holly has always been into pink and all things girly. Harry into blue and all things boys. Mostly i think because people buy you boy things for boys and girl things for girls. However Holly has always been bought what she wanted, regardless if that was a sparkly horse or a car. If harry wanted to wear a princess dress, he can. why all of a sudden its became a big deal i have no idea. Surly its just about your kid being happy.
    Great post
    Lx
    http://workigmumy.blogspot.com
    #fortheloveofBLOG

  36. May 14, 2016 / 8:13 pm

    Great post! I hadn’t been aware of the whole gender neutral thing either so this was an eye-opener! And I have to say, I completely agree with all your points! Food for thought. Really great post. Thank you for hosting. x #fortheloveofBLOG

  37. May 14, 2016 / 8:24 pm

    I think some people can take the whole ‘gender neutral’ to an extreme, I’d like to think I parent in a way that allows my girls to find themselves without ‘stereotyping’ them as girls. I have to say I am a big fan of the gender neutral clothing but that is because I genuinely like the designs. Really great post, definitely made me think about this topic in a lot more depth than I may have done previously. Thanks for hosting #fortheloveofBLOG x
    Hannah G, The ‘Ordinary’ Mum recently posted…52 Week Challenge- Week 9My Profile

  38. May 14, 2016 / 9:00 pm

    Interesting post. I can’t help but feel there is too much of ‘you should do this and you should do that’ in parenting these days. What happened to being able to raise your child how you see fit?! My son loves my old Barbie and I wouldn’t stop him playing with it, but he is a little boy and he knows it. Great read. #fortheloveofBLOG
    Jaki recently posted…Toilet training tales…My Profile

  39. May 14, 2016 / 10:37 pm

    I have conflicting views on this one, too! On the one hand it irritates me that I couldn’t find a doll’s house for my son that wasn’t pink – why can’t 3-y-o boys play with doll’s houses?! On the other, I don’t want him to start school next year and be picked on because he’s wearing bright pink Barbie shoes – because he would, if he could, but I sort of feel like it’s my job to steer him in the direction that will set him off on the best foot (no pun intended)! I do agree with the basis of gender-neutral parenting, though, in it’s most basic – un-thought-through – sense x #fortheloveofBLOG

  40. May 15, 2016 / 12:12 pm

    I love this- I have been to baby groups where everyone is very much into this and my child has stood out a mile for being a female baby wearing pink. I feel that if I want to dress my girl in stereotypically girly clothing then I should be allowed to! Similarly, if I put her in blue dungarees that is equally acceptable. If I want to dress her as a conker every single day until she is 4 I’ll do that too. I do think clothing and toys being gender neutral is positive for children but it’s a non issue in my mind. Also, a previous poster mentioned doll’s houses in pink. There should be more doll’s houses that are house-coloured! 🙂 #fortheloveofBLOG
    Lauren recently posted…water kerfuffleMy Profile

  41. May 15, 2016 / 12:45 pm

    great food for thought here. ive generally been quite relaxed with my two boys gender neutral parenting hasn’t hit my radar as yet. #fortheloveofBLOG
    Mrs T recently posted…Mums are you ‘summer ready’?My Profile

  42. May 16, 2016 / 6:42 am

    I am pretty laid back about the boys, although they have just naturally become obsessed with cars, planes and star wars! It is definitely a difficult one.. #fortheloveofBLOG
    Yvonne recently posted…Alpaca and Llama TherapyMy Profile

  43. May 16, 2016 / 9:08 am

    Great and interesting post. I think whilst it’s a “trendy” aspect to new parenting I think it’s also hard to follow through on, like you said boys will be boys and whilst at a young age I think it’s easier to be neutral I think in most cases we fall I to our social stereotypes. You’ve definitely made us think with this one #fortheloveofBLOG

  44. May 16, 2016 / 3:16 pm

    I completely agree with this post. We raise our children to know who they are and that they are to respect others no matter their gender. They share cars and dolls, they play dressup with jewlery and workboots. When my son says only boys can do this….or girls can’t… we immediately correct him and say both boys and girls can do….In our house I am very much a lady but I also hunt, fix the car and chop wood! My husband is manlyas can be but also does dishes, sews and fusses over his clothing. We want our chilren to know boy or girl who they are is perfect and what they want to do is acceptable no matter what society says!#fortheloveofBLOG
    crossingnewbridges recently posted…Weightloss Journey – Week 6My Profile

  45. May 16, 2016 / 5:13 pm

    This is a very well written and interesting article, which has obviously created some debate, although most opinion here seems to be for the ‘less extreme’ approach. I completely agree – in an attempt to be P.C. we can go to the other extreme. I’m a very ‘girly’ girl, and I don’t see what’s wrong with that – it hasn’t stopped me being independent, having a career, or doing my own DIY! I think the danger is that we steer our children too far away from gender-typical play or roles, when sometimes that is actually what they want to do. #ForTheLoveOfBLOG

  46. May 16, 2016 / 6:32 pm

    A really interesting article and very topical as we are having discussions at the moment at work about having a ‘gender neutral’ uniform. I have a young boy who mostly plays with girls, likes to put on Elsa costumes and paints his nails so I am surprised that Adele caused such controversy ‘allowing’ her son to wear a dress – I would have thought it was a non-topic! I do agree that if we ‘over-think’ it, it can become too contrived. Really good to bring attention to the topic though as lots of people don’t know what it means. #fortheloveofBLOG

  47. May 16, 2016 / 7:14 pm

    My approach to this is that my boys can wear and play with whatever they want… And that’s kind of it. I think when you start taking it further than that, it just causes a lot of confusion for the poor kids. Like, being a child is confusing enough already, without someone telling you that you can be whichever gender you most identify with on any given day. I don’t subscribe to not/girl stereotypes at all… But my boys know that they are boys. They know that daddy is a boy. They sort of understand that they will grow up into a man like daddy, not a woman like mummy. Do I care if they want to wear pink shoes and learn ballet along the way? No. That’s as far as I will ever take the whole gender neutral thing! #fortheloveofBLOG
    Davina recently posted…Awaiting judgmentMy Profile

  48. May 16, 2016 / 7:48 pm

    I agree with your approach and am the same. I don’t mind if my daughter plays with trains or dolls, wears jeans or a dress. In fact, a few weeks ago she pretended to stand at the toilet because she wanted to go like a boy. Am I bovvered? Nope – I just laughed it off. I will encourage her to play games or with toys that may be aimed at a specific gender, but if she doesn’t want to, it doesn’t matter. Enjoyed this post. 🙂 #fortheloveofBLOG

  49. May 16, 2016 / 8:19 pm

    I was told that I shouldn’t tell my baby she is beautiful because by the age of five, children believe that women should be beautiful and men are stronger than women. I think it is ridiculous. If I don’t tell my baby she is beautiful, who will? And men are stronger, 99% of the time. When she is older and she brings me jars that I can’t open, I will tell her to take it to her daddy, who is stronger. Because he is.
    I have also been told that I shouldn’t let her wear dresses, or wear pink. I think it is ridiculous. When she is older, I will never stop her from wearing what she wants, but why can’t I let her wear pink now?
    People are ridiculous.

  50. May 18, 2016 / 2:08 pm

    Really interesting post, I respect people’s parenting choices (as long as LOs are safe and healthy)..I raised Leo as a ‘little person’ and in regards to clothes and toys he picked what he liked, he liked dungarees and he liked a baby with a buggy, now he has got older he chooses to have cars and guns but he also wants his nails painted. I raised him openly and not stereotypically boyish but definitely not neutral, he loves being a ‘little boy’ a boy can do anything and so can a girl, toywise clothes wise..name wise he is names after a turtle lol…#fortheloveofblog

  51. May 18, 2016 / 8:30 pm

    I agree with a lot of your post but when it comes to my boys wanting to play with dolls or wearing a dress up dress I will let them. I won’t make it a big deal but I will let them do as they like for now, as they are 2 & 4 #fortheloveofBLOG xx

  52. May 19, 2016 / 12:08 pm

    I’m with you. If my daughter wants to play with cars fine and my son dolls I don’t can play with what they like. The key thing for me though is choice. It is their choice! I don’t intend to drill it into their heads that they have to play with ‘multi sex’ sex toys in the interest of being gender neutral, unless of course they want to. I intend to raise them as boys and girls being equal both of whom can play with or be however they choose to be. I’m just going to climb down from perch now… #fortheloveofBLOG xx

  53. May 19, 2016 / 12:10 pm

    Omg Iv just seen I wrote multi sex sex toys!! Whoops – for the record I don’t intend to let my kids play with sex toys Lol xx

    • May 19, 2016 / 6:26 pm

      Hahaha too funny!! x

  54. May 19, 2016 / 6:17 pm

    I’m with you! I don’t get why my daughter or myself should be ashamed of the fact that she loves pink and playing with dolls, it’s like being a ‘girly girl’ is somehow the worst thing in the world. My daughter can play with what she wants, unless it’s my laptop then absolutely not, and wear whatever colours she wants. For christmas just gone my then 2 year old niece got a race track and a spaceship and my 2 year old nephew – not twins, got a doll and a twin pram. That’s what they asked for that’s what they got! I don’t agree with the whole gender neutral thing at all

  55. May 20, 2016 / 11:52 am

    Really interesting – I’ve heard the phrase but not really been certain what it means. I’ve never been a ‘girlie-girl’ – I don’t like pink in large doses and as a child I spent a large amount of my time in trees. I always wanted to be the hero in our games too, whereas a lot of my friends wanted to be the damsel in distress! I’ve intentionally tried to steer clear of pink things for my girl (because I think it’s completely unavoidable so steering clear means we just get a small amount!) and to buy a range of toys not just ‘girls’ or ‘boys’. Have you read about #lettoysbetoys? Quite interesting research into gender-specific toys/books etc.

    • May 20, 2016 / 6:28 pm

      I agree with letting kids be kids and toys be for both genders. Not heard of the #lettoysbetoys you’ve mentioned so I will look that up – thanks x

  56. May 21, 2016 / 6:17 am

    Mexico isn’t a very gender neutral place, so I think this idea hasn’t really caught on here! My two-year-old plays with a variety of different toys – from dolls and a princess castle to building blocks, toy cars and trains. She knows she’s a girl and not a boy, but at the moment that’s not a concept that means very much to her. In the kindergarten where I work the boys an girls play with the same toys and materials; sometimes you’ll find the most boyish boys who are always play-fighting suddenly playing with a baby doll. The point is not to limit their possibilities and expectations according to their gender. They can be anything they want, imagine, dream, do without narrow-minded restrictions. #fortheloveofBLOG
    Mummy and the Mexicans recently posted…This Week 19/52: Mother’s Day and Teacher’s DayMy Profile

Leave a Reply

You have to agree to the comment policy.

CommentLuv badge