Gender Creative Parenting, Defined

You’ve heard it around: this parenting concept with a controversial name. You may have read news articles about it or watched some celebrities on TV that are raising their children with a non-gendered approach. Maybe you even know someone who has taken this leap. But, what is it exactly? What does it mean to have a gender creative parenting approach?

Gender Creative Parenting Reasons

There are two different reasons parents may decide to raise their child free of society gender constraints: by choice (from birth typically) or because their child has shown gender non-conforming tendencies. The latter is how I came to learn about this method of parenting. Somewhere between the age of 3 and 4, one of my sons started showing more interest in baby dolls, glitter, and dresses than superheroes and toy trucks.

When a child shows gender non-conforming tendencies, a parent has two choices: embrace and support or suppress. While it may be easier to suppress these behaviors, in the long run, it will most likely be incredibly damaging to a child as they grow into adolescents and adults. Allowing a child to explore and grow in what interests them promotes positive self-esteem and self-awareness.


Why Parent This Way?

Raising your children in a gender creative way allows for gender norms in our society to slowly recede. This includes gender pay equality, equal parenting/household responsibilities, gender stereotypes, equal job opportunities, and more. When children are taught from a very young age that there is no difference between boys and girls, and each can play with whatever toy they like and wear whatever color they prefer, this equality mindset will carry over into adulthood.

I read about, and follow, a lot of parents who are currently raising their children in a complete gender creative way. The child has a gender neutral name and is addressed with they/them pronouns. The sex of their child is kept secret from all people who do not need to know (which, is most people). The process and development in children raised this way is amazing. 

Children raised gender creatively are allowed to grow, explore, and develop in a world that doesn’t hold them back from who they truly are inside. If one child wants a Tonka truck and a Barbie house while the other wants all the LOLs, it doesn’t matter, and no onlooker can discern or judge because they simply do not know. Think about how liberating that is.

Growing Up in a Gender Creative Environment

I want my children to grow up in a world where women presidents are nothing new, stay-at-home dads are not a rarity, LGBTQ+ individuals are loved and embraced by all, women receive the same pay as men for the same work, and all humans have the same opportunities.

Give your children choices. Allow them to explore their individualities and the world around them. Let your son paint his nails, and make it be OK if your daughter wants to dress as a superhero. Maybe one day your son will paint the nails of his pregnant wife and your daughter will save the world?


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