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5 ways to follow gender-neutral parenting

Want to raise a well-rounded child? Be a gender-neutral parent.

Written by Naz Haider | Published : November 24, 2016 4:36 PM IST


Recently, while in a toy store, my 7-year-old niece said that a particular doll was a girl because she was dressed in pink! This gender discrimination based on colours troubles me, because this sets the base of future, more serious, gender discrimination. Boys do not play with kitchen tools, girls should not play with cars! You might not be a conscious gender-neutral parent like me, but there are instances when your gender discrimination could come to fore.


Will you be okay with dressing your boy in pink? Why not? Pink is a colour -- just that. That it denotes a specific gender is something we have made up. A boy looks as cute in pink as a girl dressed in a dinosaur printed shirt. Do not dictate the type and colour of clothes a child can wear. Pick clothes based solely on comfort, not gender. Also Read - Plant-Based Food Industry In India: Current Status, Challenges, And Prospects


I can't tell you how many times people have said that their sons do not like playing with kitchen toys. These are the same boys who quarrel over my daughter's kitchen set on playdates. My daughter LOVES playing with cars, rockets and aeroplanes. She also makes pretend pasta and green tea in her toy kitchen. Why can't every child have, and enjoy, such diverse interests?


I don't understand why people generalise personalities of babies based on gender? My daughter hates wearing frocks or frilly skirts (even though I find it very cute), she has always resisted headbands and is the happiest when kicking a ball in the park. Yes, she is as much a girl as they come. A girl who loves sports or a boy who loves glittery, sparkly things are not doing anything prohibited by nature! Also Read - Considering Switching To Menstrual Cups? Consult A Gynaecologist First


There's nothing wrong if your daughter is very 'girly' or boy very 'macho'. It is also okay if your daughter loves skateboarding over crafts and your son would rather play dress-up than watch a game of hockey. As parents, our job is to facilitate and help our children realise their passion and pursue it, and not dictate what they can like and what not.


Kids are curious -- girls and boys. If they see colourful makeup, they will want to try it. If your son comes to you with lipstick smeared all over his face, what will you do? A sensible, gender-neutral parent will laugh, click a few pictures and then help the child take the makeup off, without mentioning that makeup is a girl thing. Also Read - Bengaluru Family Donate Organs Of Deceased Son, Saving 6 Lives