Parenting Without Gender Stereotypes
Relationships

Parenting Without Gender Stereotypes

Why do we put kids in boxes based on their sex?

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Sex Ed Center

I am not a parent, nor do I intend to be one for a solid five years. I am excited to have children, to raise them to know love and kindness, and to be able to introduce them to every "Disney" movie under the sun. I plan to give my children the best opportunities available. I want to offer them everything I can to give them the best lives. I am not planning on restricting the activities they enjoy, the toys they play with, or the clothes they wear based on male and female stereotypes.

I do not understand why it is "wrong" for boys to wear pink or play with dolls. I do not understand why we push children into boxes when it comes to their sex. Girls can be considered a "tomboy" when they aren't interested in the stereotypical "girly" things, and this does not always have a negative connotation. Boys on the other hand, are expected not to dwell from their stereotypes. Girls often are given dresses to wear, which not only restricts movement, but also shouldn't get dirty. Girls "shouldn't" play in the mud, and boys "should" always enjoy sports. This stops girls from being able to run and move the way boys are able to in jeans and overalls. Anyone who wears an excessive amount of sequins can agree that they are actually one of the most uncomfortable things on the planet.

I've seen parenting like this in action with my brother Theo. My littlest brother has had so many favorite TV shows and movies in his nearly six years. He has loved "Hercules" and "Bob the Builder," as well as "Frozen" and "Wild Kratts." His favorite colors are red and purple. I want to raise my children so that they are exposed to princesses as well as racecars. I believe we teach children what is acceptable for them. Just the other day, I gave Theo some "Chapstick" to put on his lips, and he almost did not want to. He told me that since the tube was pink, it wasn't for him to use. I asked him what makes pink a "girl's" color, and he shrugged and proceeded to apply it.

I will not force a girl to wear dresses and pink any more than I would force a boy to wear blue and button-up shirts. I want my kids to be comfortable enough with me to tell me what they want to wear, or what they want to be involved with. If my children want to play sports or play an instrument, I will let them. It will have nothing to do with their sex.

I want to make sure my children know that they are allowed to be frustrated, and allowed to live against the stereotypes society creates for us. Any child of any sex or gender should feel free to express themselves.

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