Featured Slider

If She Isn't Always Pink And He Isn't Always Blue: Guide To Raising Kids Who Go Against The Grain

(Names changed for anonymity purposes) 

In a preschool class one afternoon, after picking up her tearful son, a mother goes in to speak to the child's teacher. 
"Miss Smith, Billy seems to think he isn't allowed to choose jewelry from the special prize basket and I'm just wanting to assure him that isn't the case. I'm sorry to have to bother you about it, but he's just so upset, I didn't know what else to do."
"Mrs. Bing, Billy cannot choose a ring from the prize basket. He's a boy. He has to choose a ... boy toy." 

Can you sympathize with Mrs. Bing? Maybe you can sympathize with Mrs. Smith. Whichever way you slice it, this is a scenario that is not foreign to many moms and dads all over the country. I decided to discuss a topic here on this blog platform that can sometimes be considered "taboo" in conservative, Christian circles, in the hopes that it may encourage, uplift and shed some light for the many families reading this who can relate.

She Just Isn't A Frilly Girl
He Just Isn't A Rough And Tumble Boy

And parents? It just is, OK! 
There are endless ways your little girl can be a typical, amazing girl in every single way and absolutely have zero interest in babies, barbies, princesses and unicorns. 

There are endless ways your boy can be a typical, amazing boy in every single way and have absolutely zero interest in trucks, cars, trains or battling ninjas. 

I'm going to take this one step further. Not only can they be amazing for what their innate interests are, they can even be encouraged and accepted for what their innate interests are, EVEN if they are completely not typically a gender norm. 

I know this could rub some people the wrong way and I hope if you feel yourself beginning to become defensive of gender norms, believe me when I say, I am you. I really am. I support boys being boys and girls being girls. With saying that, when did supporting that become rejecting what a child naturally shows interest in? 

That's where I draw the line with my support. I can't support limiting a child and putting them in little boxes that are wrapped up nicely in blue or pink paper with tags that say "proper for a boy" and "proper for a girl". 

As a young girl, I hung with boys. Man, I was the biggest "tomboy" on the block! My buddy and I made bombs out of empty soda bottles and dirt and sprinkled it around trees to "blow them up". We made mud pies, raced each other, played kickball and became absolutely filthy every single day. I wore boys shirts that were too big for me when I was a pre-teen and hated having long hair so much that I cut it all off at 15. I mean, I had it cut ALL the way down to a few inches in length. I can't tell you the relief that was to me. I was a bit of a late bloomer in the "girly stuff" department. Sure, I had boyfriends and thought boys were cute. I was probably pretty boy crazy to be honest. However, I would so much rather just hang out with boys and be their friend than worry about being pretty for them.

Despite all of the above, I eventually found my footing in the makeup and beauty world and discovered very late in life how much fun that could be. I realized it could be a way to express my artistic side!

As a mother of two little boys, I want to encourage every other mother out there and shout it from the rooftops. If your son or daughter goes against the grain of typical gender norms, honey/sister/friend, that is so very OK. In fact, it could even be a precursor to some incredible personality traits and 
characteristics to come.

Different Brains Develop Differently

There are many parts of the brain and there are norms that begin to showcase themselves as children grow. The norms I'm speaking of are girls developing a desire to use imaginative play with baby dolls and siblings while boys use imaginative play to crash cars into one another or destroy a tower of blocks. Think for a moment with me, what if the part of the girl's brain that is developing this desire to use her imagination in family play is developing inside of a boy's brain? What if the part of the girl's brain that is beginning to like bright colors, shiny objects, flowers and butterflies begins to develop in a boy's brain? What does this look like? What does it look like when the part of a boy's brain that begins to enjoy playing cars and trucks or physical play, develops in a girl's brain? 

Architect. Photographer. Designer. Makeup Artist. Chef. Composer. Writer. Illustrator. Anthropologist. Therapist.

Machinist. Pipeline Worker. Gardener. Landscaper. Roofer. Choreographer. Correction Officer. 

When you read those careers, do you picture a woman or a man? When I read those, I picture both, for every single option. I picture both because I know in reality, gifts and talents in certain careers start out looking very different in young children. A successful male photographer may have been obsessed with flowers and birds as a young boy. It may have seemed odd or different to others who didn't quite understand where his innate passions lay.

A successful female landscaper may have been a little girl who loved digging in the dirt! It may have seemed like she didn't follow suit of her other little girlfriends that wanted to dress up and do their nails because her nails were always dirty. 

My point is this: NEVER ever let the pressure of being a conservative person and knowing what "norms" are supposed to look like, hinder you from supporting your child in the pursuit of their innate passions, talents and gifts! You could potentially be stifling a God-given ability that is going to present itself in the most incredible way as they grow older.

Not to mention, you are creating a spirit of fear in your child to be who they are. I can't think of anything more detrimental in our little ones than that. 

I believe there are limits to everything and to everything there needs to be a balance that you will find for your own family. I'm not saying to completely lose sight of helping your child become the little girl or boy God made them to be. What I am saying is to help him or her feel that their INTERESTS, even if different than their peers, is 100% OK and remind them that everyone is different!

 There is only one YOU in the entire world and maybe, just maybe, that one YOU is going to be exactly what the world needs. 


No comments

We love hearing from you! Thanks for leaving us some comment love! If you're a new follower, please leave your link, so we can follow you back!

Sleep Tight with Sweet Night!

New Year Sale - Up to 40% OFF