Raising Gender Neutral Children

By Lee-Ann Price, Contributor @ Kids in Perth 08 Mar 2022

thought piece - gender neutral children

Bringing a child into the world is a wonderful experience.

Although, when they’re babies and toddlers, gender roles can sometimes be projected onto both parent and child. From what the child should wear, who they socialise with, through to, how they should look based on whether the child is male or female.

Working from home has brought the fear of “traditional” gender roles being assumed by each parent.

Mothers cook, clean and deal with the emotional wellbeing of themselves, child and husband.

Fathers earn money and assist in predominantly female based household activities while juggling work. However, children see these roles being shared without obvious difference in the distribution of parenting duties (H. Chung, 2020).

The key to raising a gender-neutral child is to not make these roles obvious and separate. Normalise the sharing of day to day tasks, ignore gender based colour choices (pink/blue), educate children on the use of gender labels (he/she) and not having activities be off limits based on gender. Why can’t girls play with trucks when there are women driving them on mine sites? Is it so bad if a boy is comfortable playing with dolls and tea parties if the only children around them to play with are girls?

thought piece - gender neutral children 2

Tips to help with gender neutrality

- Purchasing clothing in neutral colours (green, cream, brown, yellow, red,

white) and introducing the stereotype colours (pink/blue) gradually

- Educating children on gender roles and labels

- Sharing tasks at home amongst boys and girls to show gender equality

 

  • What are your thoughts on gender neutrality in your family home?
  • How does it affect sibling relationships?

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