Stereotyping gender and classifying parenting style according to gender is the most rampant issue in the society today. It is a notion that girls and boys are brought up differently which has continued for many years. But today, in the modern era, should girls and boys be brought up differently? Well, it is a debatable topic. Some are for gender-neutral parenting while some are against it. Although many of us want to be neutral between boys and girls, we are not able to bridge the gap. So let us understand the basics of gender-neutral parenting.
What is Gender Neutral Parenting?
Gender neutral parenting is a parenting style where you consider both genders same and raise your children irrespective of gender norms. Parents tend to differentiate between their boys and girls through dressing, toys, and behaviour. While to some extent gender bias is ok. However differentiating between girls and boys by means of education, exposure, and behavioural teaching must stop.
Parents also differentiate between their girls and boys in basic aspects of life. Many believe that boys have more confidence and strength and girls have more tolerance. Hence, parenting styles also have been designed to meet preconceived notions.
Influence of Gender Neutral Parenting
The strongest influence of gender-neutral parenting begins from parents and other family members. We may have across many families where boys are put into sports whereas girls are put into dance. Well, it’s a belief that boys fair better at sports than girls. Girls are good at dance and do better than boys. Well, who decided this?
In the modern era, we have several girls who are athletes and several boys who are excellent dancers. The main issue of gender bias begins first from the family and then prevails outside. Hence it is important to understand where to draw the line and how much both your girls and boys can do.
Tips to Follow Gender Neutral Parenting
Stereotypes in gender must be laid off and all parents should strive to be a gender-neutral parent. Below mentioned are some tips to raise your kids without the gender binary.
1} Make your home environment gender neutral
Every aspect of your child’s life begins at home. Both your boys and girls will feel equal only if parents begin to treat them equal. Stop restricting daughters and sons to preconceived notions of what girls and boys should do. There is nothing wrong if your son plays with dolls or if your daughters are interested in sports.
2} Take gender out of activities
Never strict any activity related to gender. Give your children the freedom to choose the activities they like irrespective of the gender. If you force your children into activities based on gender, it will demoralise them and make them insecure in the future.
3} Start gender equality at a young age
Teaching gender equality right from a young age is very important. Satrt by giving them non-gender toys and allow them to choose freely. This will inculcate gender equality right from the beginning. They will grow up to be gender neutral.
4} Give both girls and boys equal exposure
Be it a girl or boy, both deserve equal exposure in every aspect of life. Keep you children away all gender stereotypes and bias. Being being neutral yourseld, you are taking the first step towards gender neutral parenting.
5} Show them real examples
Giving real life examples helps children understand better. Show them examples of different work or profession being carried out well by the opposite gender. Teach them to excel in life irrespective of the gender.
Last but not the least, there is nothing that girls or boys cannot do. Education, work, or profession does not depend on gender. It is based on determination, capability, and the will to do. If you want your children to be out of gender bias, start by being a gender neutral parent now.