Gender is a hot topic in modern society. It’s no longer necessary to live a conflicted life or feel that you can’t share your true feelings regarding your gender. Although there is still plenty of discrimination based on gender stereotyping, the world is gradually becoming more accepting.
That means your children need to understand gender and gender expression from a young age. In fact, they may come across it at a pre-school facility. That’s why it’s essential to choose an early learning centre, like this specialist in early learning Croydon, where gender expression is embraced and taught.
But, you can’t rely on the education system to talk about gender with your child, you need to be prepared for the discussion.
When discussing genders with children it is essential they recognize there are physical differences between men and women. Failing to acknowledge this is likely to confuse them. While this means delving into the traditional stereotype of men and women it is important that they understand how many people see the world and what was the accepted norm.
This will allow you to lead into a conversation regarding how the gender of someone doesn’t define who they are.
You can explain this to a child by illustrating the toy aisle in your local stores. Toys are generally divided into boys and girls. But, this panders to traditional stereotyping that tells boys to like superheroes and sports while girls like dolls and dress-up.
The truth is they are all toys and most of them need an imagination to be played with. By accepting that boys can play with dolls and girls can choose action figures you are illustrating to your child that being born a boy or a girl doesn’t mean you have to like everything that a girl or boy is supposed to.
At this stage, it’s essential to embrace individuality.
Reinforce The Discussion
Reinforcing the discussion is as easy as purchasing your child toys that they want to play with, regardless of what that toy is. Don’t show any concern over a girl wanting to play baseball. This shows them it is acceptable, normal, and encourages them to be themselves.
Equally, children should be allowed to focus on the subjects that interest them and embrace their strengths and skills, regardless of what they are.
Don’t Avoid Discussions
Children are naturally curious. After you’ve spoken to them about genders they may start to notice them more. They may even have already experienced gender discrimination or have questions about the gender orientation of specific individuals.
If they ask, be honest with them regarding what you know and make sure they know it is okay to question. The more information they get the easier it will be for them as adults to accept everyone as people first and a gender second.
Make sure your child knows they can ask you questions at any time and that they have a safe space, where they won’t be judged, in case they want to make any announcements of their own.