Posted by: fhernandez10 | February 25, 2014

Gender Neutral Parenting

I know we touched on this in class today but it reminded me of a video I saw a couple weeks ago on how this is actually a growing trend in England. I think it may be only a small number of families who practice this but at least they are making an attempt to shine some light on it. I personally applaud this family and others who are brave enough to defy the “cultural norm” and allow their child to have the freedom of making decisions himself.

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Responses

  1. I have seen this video before, and honestly it makes me so happy to see that there are parents out there like this. My favorite part of the video is when Max’s mother blatantly says that she and her husband are working to raise their son how he wants be raised, regardless of how society is telling them to raise him.

    Max is able to play with action figures and barbies, and wears plaid shirts and pink tutus. I believe that his parents are doing an excellent job at raising him to be happy, regardless of the cultural norm. Society and media plays far too prevalent of a role in what we depict as “normal,” so I can see where people may be hesitant to support this type of parenting. Maybe some people are afraid that Max will grow up to be confused about his gender, or that he was raised “wrong” solely due to what we were raised to believe.

    I think that the more stories like these come out, the more accepting society will become. We will never be able to understand these situations if supportive and encouraging parents like these didn’t take a stand on how they think their son should be raised. I have the utmost respect for these parents, because I’m certain not everyone accepts their form of parenting. Perhaps this is exactly what we need to begin gender-neutral parenting practices and raising future generations to be molded into who they want to be instead of who society tells them to be.

  2. I love this. The concept of gender specific toys, clothes, and colors is a product of modern day societies. It is not a cultural norm throughout the world. It is not inherent in boys and girls to play with specific things and only wear a certain color and style of clothing. That is taught to them by society. This method allows children to decide what they like rather than being groomed to like certain things.

    I believe this will also instill in him a sense of self-assurance. I don’t doubt that he will be teased or bullied at some point, which is unfortunate. But hopefully he will learn to be confident in his choices. I hope that when he gets older he doesn’t change his behavior just because kids at school will think he is weird or different. I hope he continues to do what he wants and ignores anyone who judges him.

    A four year old in my family is essentially being raised this way. They don’t label it ‘gender neutral’ but they let her play with whatever toys she wants and wear whatever she wants. I believe it is to her benefit.

  3. From this class, I have actually come to have a new insight into this view. The imposing of stereotypes does stifle a child’s life and can cause them to not always be true to themselves. Allowing for gender neutral maturation is a new technique, and I am sure that there is much discretion on it, but I feel like this comes from society’s need to place things in a box and classify things that they do not understand in terms that they do. In all, I feel like this is a great technique, but in application it could cause more social problems than intrinsic solutions.


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