Sunday, April 24, 2005

Boys and girls

“I really wanted a boy/girl”

“Girls are just awful as teenagers”

“Potty training a boy is incredibly hard”

OK. The boyness of a boy, or the girlness of a girl is a very small part of what is interesting about them. In fact, it is an absolutely zero part to begin with (slightly different nappy changing techniques required. Period).

Don’t go into an interaction with someone with a bunch of expectations based on some arbitrary categorisation, like sex. Such expectations have a way of being self-fulfilling. Expectations – even apparently positive ones - put limits on what a child feels free to explore and learn.

Wishing for a child of the opposite sex because one or both parents imagines that they would feel a greater kinship with them and share more interests is a rejection of both children’s individuality – the hypothetical child as well as the real one. Maybe the parent needs to think more creatively about finding ways of every one exploring their interests, and valuing what each other does rather than looking for a mini-me through whom they can fulfil all of their own unmet childhood desires

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