Boys like trucks and diggers, right? And girls love wearing dresses and sparkly things…. isn’t that so? So what happens if your little boy prefers wearing tutus and playing with Barbie? Or your daughter dresses herself in shorts and truckers caps, and can name all of the trains in Thomas & Friends? This is the experience some families have faced. It can be daunting and confusing because it’s not the clear-cut picture painted by much of society on how boys and girls must behave. See how two different families educated themselves and learned to openly embrace the individuality of their child.
Popular Kiddy blogger and now author, Lori Duron, shares the parenting lessons she’s learned from raising her gender-creative son. Over the years, her youngest son rejected the clothing he’d inherited from his older brother, preferring items from the girls department.
Lori’s first piece of advice was to try to relax. There’s no urgent need to figure out exactly what’s going on with your child right away. As long as you provide a loving and accepting environment for them to express themselves, you are doing enough. If there is a deeper meaning to your child’s behaviour, it will reveal itself with time. Prying for information can make a child feel like they are behaving abnormally, potentially discouraging them from behaving naturally. So by all means, let them know you’re here to listen should they wish to talk, but try not to pepper them with questions. Often a younger child won’t be able to articulate their feelings or express themself adequately at this point anyway.
This article offers a deeper view on raising boys who don’t fit the mould of “traditional” gender norms. Based on Lori’s personal experience and the blog she started “Raising my Rainbow” where she learned as much from her readers on the topic of gender, as they did from her!
Australian author Scott Stuart experienced something very similar with his own child. He focused on making the experience positive, and it led him to create a beautiful children’s story which will arguably touch the heart of all that read it.
Inspired by Scott’s personal journey. “My shadow is pink” is a magical labour of love for his own little boy, whose love of Queen Elsa, wearing dresses and dancing was enough to make Scott want to smash down gender barriers and offer his child all the support he possibly could. An excellent addition to the storybook collection in any home, highlighting for small children, the beauty in diversity.⠀
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Full article on Lori Duron’s journey written for Parents, an online publication.
Follow Scott Stuart’s inspiring Instagram page @scottcreates to see how he coped when his son wanted to dress-up as Elsa to go to the movies! ⠀
Feature image – photo by Sharon McCutheon from Unsplash.