Monday, September 12, 2011

Raising Gender Neutral Children?

[Mommy Monday]

I read an article about a family who is choosing not to tell the sex of their child.  You can read the story here.
I feel they are trying to accomplish something many parents want but just in a more extreme manner.  Let's be honest here...Society has expectations and some of them are ridiculous.
Yes I have a daughter.  We told everyone she was a girl from the day we found out.  We have a great deal of pink around.  It comes with the territory.  But I have no problem if anyone gets her 'boy toys' for her upcoming birthday.  I use to fish with my dad.  I had a bow and arrow as a child.  I would dress up in frilly dresses and go get dirty in the sand box.  I will not intentionally raise a 'girly girl'.  Nor will I force her to try to be a tom boy.  I simply want to let her be true to herself, whoever that turns out to be.  I believe the choice should be hers, even at a young age.
It's not that I want my child(ren) to be 'gender neutral' per say.  I just don't want to push society's expectations on them.  You only get to be a child once.  It is a short window before the pressures of society and the world come crashing down on a person.  I want to create an environment where she can safely explore herself.  Not in a sexual way, just in a 'hey who am I?' kind of way.
For so long women have fought for their rights to be equal to men and honestly I don't think we'll ever be.  Men and women are just created too different.  I'm not saying that's a good or bad thing.  Just the way it is.
I truly just want my child to be happy with herself.  I faced (and still face at times) so many insecurities.  My self-esteem is definitely lower than I would like.  I, of course, hope for better for Emberlynn.  When it comes time for school and she wants to wear 'boy clothes' so be it.  The reverse will hold true for if/when we have a son.  Will they get picked on, probably.  [Kids really can be mean but I think a lot of it has to do with parents pushing their own ideas/opinions/prejudices/fears on their children]  But honestly, they'll probably get picked on for something at some point in their life and I'd rather them be comfortable in their skin (or clothes) when it happens.  If you are being true to yourself and are comfortable with yourself, I find it is easier to let the criticism go.  It's harder to handle if you're trying so hard to be 'normal' and you still get ridiculed.  At least that's what I think.
Who am I to judge?  Honestly.  It's not my place even if it is human nature to do so.
I am no parenting expert by any means.  And who knows, my plan to be open minded might back fire.  It is not my job to worry about how other children are being raised (unless we're talking harm or abuse but that's a different story all together).  It is simply my job to do the best I can and trust in my God.

No comments: