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Parents keep child's gender secret

Discussion in 'Bizarre and Off-Beat News' started by Charlie09, May 23, 2011.

  1. Charlie09

    Charlie09 Former Member

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    http://www.parentcentral.ca/parent/...le/995112--parents-keep-child-s-gender-secret

    much much more at the link
     
  2. Charlie09

    Charlie09 Former Member

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    I get wanting to not have your child pegged into a specific role....but I don't get making your child(ren) into a social experiment.

    I think it's setting up all the kids for the parents identity issues.
     
  3. Trident

    Trident Well-Known Member

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    Sounds like the parents have, ahem, problems to me.

    My opinion only
     
  4. katydid23

    katydid23 Verified Juanette

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    They are just creating problems for this child where there wouldn't be any normally. imoo
     
  5. tlcya

    tlcya Well-Known Member

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    I have spent the last two minutes staring at this little white box trying to express my thoughts on this one.

    I cannot even form the thought I am having.

    I totally get parenting in such a way as to not try to assign gender roles to their child.

    This is not that. This is more than sort of odd to me. This going to backfire and that poor kid is gonna be the one that pays.
     
  6. Lexiintoronto

    Lexiintoronto Well-Known Member

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    I hope that their experiment turns out well. I sort of understand their point, but they seem to be taking it to the oposite extreme by being too ridgid. My view is if little Louis wants to wear pink and carry a barbie doll, let him and be happy. Of course we expect certain behaviours depending on gender, certain traits are hard-wired depending on the child's sex.

    My friend's sister is a psychiatrist, and she allowed her children to make their own decisions as soon as they were able to voice their opinion. One of the child's decisions at 6 year's old was that she didn't want her uncle (my friend) and his family over for Christmas (she didn't really have an opinion as to why she didn't want them there, she just didn't). The mother complied and my friend was crushed. The 6 year-old kicked and screamed all Christmas because 'no one came for Christmas'.

    The mother let the child navigate their own decisions to the point that school authorities had to step in. Guess who turned out inable to follow rules in school?

    The sister apparently is regretting her decision and the young adult is in therapy to help with impulse control, respecting authority and just the basics on how to compromise.
     
  7. Jack

    Jack New Member

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    lol, for lack of a better word, this idea sounds ridiculously stupid and will most likely not last past the age of 2 or 3, but certainly not past pre-k or kindergarten.
     
  8. Donjeta

    Donjeta Adji Desir, missing from Florida

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    I read another article about parents with similar ideas and they took it a bit further. They got even mad at a nurse who referred to their baby as whichever sex it was. They didn't call themselves mom and dad but had chosen gender neutral animal names for that role. IMO it is a great idea to be more supportive of behaviors that transcend the traditional gender roles but I'm not sure about the secretiveness. It could work against the general purpose and instead of making it irrelevant it could make a HUGE deal for everyone about what's between his/her legs. I mean, look at the neighbor mentioned in the story. She's not interested in anything else about the baby, apparently. That's probably the only thing many people ever think about when meeting that baby. Is it a boy? Is it a girl? Does it exhibit girly behaviors? Boyish behaviors? Getting hung up on not knowing the sex could be an obstacle in getting to know the child's personality.
     
  9. katydid23

    katydid23 Verified Juanette

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    By 'not knowing' the gender it is like putting a huge question mark in NEON LIGHTS over the kids genital area. It will be all people will be thinking about in their interactions just because it is forbidden.
    It is like my friend's mom, when we were little kids. The mom put a huge padlock on the downstairs pantry and locked away all of the snacks and sweets. None of the family were over weight , not at that time anyway. She just wanted to save money she said. By the time my friend was in high school she was bulemic. The thought of hoarding food and gorging herself was always on her mind.
    Anytime you try and keep a secret or try and deny anything, it becomes bigger and bigger and takes on a life of it's own.
     
  10. Donjeta

    Donjeta Adji Desir, missing from Florida

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    Another thing I'm a little worried about is making little children keep secrets. I don't know about the baby's little brothers but my children can't keep secrets, they always inevitably blurt it out if they've been told not to say something. It's like it builds pressure and out it comes, and they would probably not even have been interested in talking about some of the things if they hadn't been told not to. There could be some feelings of guilt for the children if they accidentally let it slip even though the parents said not to.

    Another aspect of making children keep secrets is that the secret thing may develop an aura of awed shame. Whatever the baby's genital equipment is may become That Thing Which Cannot Be Named and the children may learn to associate being a boy or being a girl as something to be ashamed of and to be hidden away.
     
  11. katydid23

    katydid23 Verified Juanette

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    THANK YOU. That was the essence of what I was trying to say in the above post, but you said it much clearer. Having the older sibs keep the 'secret' can become shameful and toxic. It creates tension which builds a life of it's own. This whole thing is bothering me because it is an 'experiment' being done on a living child. And it may well affect his/her sexual identity for yrs to come. imoo
     
  12. Donjeta

    Donjeta Adji Desir, missing from Florida

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    Possibly the siblings as well, IMO.

    Supposing the new baby is a boy:
    The older boys are, well, boys. Then a new baby comes along and it's a huge secret that it's a boy. It Cannot Be Talked About. The children are too little to understand gender neutral parenting so they're going to wonder why. Is it wrong for the baby to be a boy? My parents don't want to talk about it. But hey, I'm a boy. Is it wrong for me to be a boy?

    Supposing the new baby is a girl:
    The older boys are allowed to be boys. They're referred to as "he", "boys", "brothers". Then a new sibling comes along and it's a girl. Suddenly it's a huge secret and she may not be referred to as "she" without brackets, "girl" or "sister". Its girlhood has to be concealed. It is very easy for the boys to conclude that it's wrong to be a girl, that girls are somehow inferior and if you're a girl it's something you need to keep a very low profile about. How is that going to influence their relationships with girls later?
     
  13. Charlie09

    Charlie09 Former Member

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    I don't buy into gender neutral human beings. The more I think about this, the angrier it makes me.

    We can surgically alter ourselves to be something different than created, but the very essence of our DNA will always betray any secret we try to keep.

    I think realistically and in a healthy manner they could concentrate less on whatever roles are pre-supposed for the kids, and instead celebrate that "our children are healthy and get to choose to be whatever they wish to be without us deciding for them."

    I am in total agreement with what I think is not expressed well in this article, that we lock step our kids into herd mentality sometimes unwittingly - I'm even ok with unschooling to some degree - but I think the potential is there for great damage to these kids because they will be so different there is no way to form relationships same sex or opposite sex because simple boundaries and social norms are ignored. And seriously, do you want to explain to a four year old what gender neutral means? I don't - I want my daughter to love everything that being a girl has to offer, and appreciate that a boy is different and wonderful and both are necessary in our world!
     
  14. Donjeta

    Donjeta Adji Desir, missing from Florida

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    Yes, with the secrecy thing there seems to be very little room for the children being proud of being boys and girls, which they are.

    I admire the courage and the realization that children don't benefit from being stuck in a too small box based on their gender but eliminating gender altogether seems unfeasible in practice. We should work on finding flexible ways for children to express their own personality as a boy/girl and expand the idea of what a boy/girl can do because the majority of children will continue to be born as either in the future.


    This premise doesn't really work with me because usually it's not necessary to ask, we just know, and IMO it doesn't prevent most people from wanting to know at least some other people well.

    If I want to really get to know someone why would I want to be ignorant of something that could mean a lot for the person's identity? Just look at all the people who want to change their sex and then say it's not important at all...
     
  15. Charlie09

    Charlie09 Former Member

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    I'm still giggling at the simplicity and truthfulness of this statement.

    Yes, gender matters, not for boxing in purposes but who we are.
     
  16. LadyL

    LadyL Well-Known Member

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    it's ridiculous IMO

    being a boy or girl IS part of our identity ... it's not like they have a choice (until they get older & have surgery) so why confuse them?

    it would be far better to teach them that yes, they are born a gender but that doesn't mean they have to play with certain toys etc.

    these parents are asking for trouble in the future AFAIC
     
  17. LadyL

    LadyL Well-Known Member

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    oh boy, I just read the article

    it's even worse than I imagined (the family situation, not the article)
     
  18. T4Tide

    T4Tide Verified Registered Nurse

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    It's obvious to me that the kid is a boy. They had two boys and had no problem assigning them their appropriate gender. They hoped for a girl, and instead have decided to play mad scientist with their third child. I know...because I have three sons, and when people would question the gender of my fourth child in utero, I would answer, "They tell me it's a girl, but if not, I'm raising it as one anyway!" Jokingly, of course! (I love each and every one of my children...and I actually didn't "try" for a girl. My third son was a blessed surprise!)

    Would you say to a child, "You can eat with your ears, and hear with your mouth?" Just wait and see how that all works out? No....we teach them as littles how wonderfully and perfectly our bodies are made. Let them figure out what tastes and sounds they prefer, but biologically, they must hear with ears and eat with their mouths. Likewise, this child should have the same biological background of it's genetic makeup.

    Borderline child abuse, IMHO.
     
  19. Evan's Mom

    Evan's Mom Active Member

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    Disclaimer* This is going to be quick and jumbled because I'm on my lunch break and waiting on the trial to begin again.

    I hate to sound so close minded or ignorant, but I think they're going to regret raising their children this way in the long run. I don't think they are creating gender-free children, I think they might even end up raising transgendered children that will end up questioning their gender identity for many years to come.
    The "un-schooling" bothered me even more.
    I thought I'd be different and keep my youngest son out of pre-k and home with me.
    Just missing that one year, made a huge difference in how he adjusted to kindergarten. We ended up having to do EIP for a while, just to get him acclimated to the school environment.

    I see a lot of positives in what they are doing, but the negatives outweigh the positives just because the parents are taking the idea to an extreme.
     
  20. alsmom

    alsmom mostly lurking

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    Some people come up with some of the dumbest ideas while trying to be ultra hip and cool. :(
     

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