Boy or girl? Does it really matter? Raising gender neutral children comes with its benefits, yet there are still challenges from society, intentional or not, to overcome. Gender neutral parenting or gender creative parenting is more about nurturing a child as an individual instead of catering to gender norms or conformity.
To provide an environment where your child can feel free to be their authentic self, it’s important for parents to be mindful of their own projections and assumptions.
Supporting Gender Neutral Children
In The Conscious Parent’s Guide to Gender Identity, author Darlene Tando says parenting from a blank slate would essentially eliminate the “coming out” process. “They would not have to hide parts of who they are for fear they might be disappointing their parents. They would not have to overcome the expectations/assumptions that were placed on them at birth.”
Gender Neutral Parenting Is About Energy, Not About Sex
Everyone asks an expectant parent, “Do you want a girl or a boy?” Many give in to their curiosity and find out what they’re having. However, while working as an RN with expectant parents, I wondered how many women were able to accurately predict the sex of their unborn child without the aid of technology.
What I noted was that roughly 60% to 70% were able to somehow sense the sex of their baby. Most mothers claimed they “just knew”, sometimes from the very moment they discovered they conceived.
But what is it exactly that they are sensing?
When I asked for detail, the majority of women described simply an awareness of either a girl quality or boy quality whenever focusing on their unborn child.
Some of those who could not predict the sex explained that they were unable to distinguish a particular quality altogether. At times they sensed a boy other times a girl. In truth what they were actually sensing was both the masculine and feminine energies in their unborn child.
Can We Really Sense Gender from Conception?
From the start of my first pregnancy, I sensed masculine energy from my baby who was born male. Throughout my last pregnancy, I predominantly perceived feminine energy, and she was indeed born female.
However, not I, nor any one else for that matter, was able to accurately predict the sex of my middle child. I sensed both feminine and masculine energies, but slightly more feminine. Everyone else, friends, family and even strangers who would approach my swollen abdomen would pronounce “that’s a girl”.
But to everyone’s surprise I gave birth to a male. A male who grew up hating sports, played a lot with girls, wore a towel on his head as though it were long hair, and called his video game travel bag his “purse”. He is definitely a soul with more feminine energy than masculine. He is soft spoken, kind, and sensitive. Growing up in the late 1990s to early 2000s, he was teased in school and lacked confidence when trying to make new friends.
It’s More Than Pink Vs. Blue
When we think of the sex of an infant we usually envision pink for girls and blue for boys. A whole set of gender specific expectations arise like a little boy’s desire to play with trucks and a little girl’s tendency to care for her dolls.
But the spirit is composed of both masculine and feminine energy. It has no true gender. It transcends the carnality of human sexuality. We each possess what is often referred to in ancient Chinese culture as yin and yang forces; the duality, coexistence, and unity of opposites that form a whole.
Every soul is uniquely unisex and can have innate characteristics that society says is associated with certain genders. The masculine and feminine duality of the spirit represents paradox, transformation, unity in diversity, and of course, harmony.
There are never complete separations between these two radiant forces within us. Moreover, like the yin-yang symbol itself these energies are fluid with components of each opposite residing in the other. To deny this fact is simply self-contradictory. To oppress the authentic expression of spirit is as injurious to the oppressed as it is to the progression of our collective consciousness.
Can we move away from gender reveal parties and the importance we place on the sex of an unborn child?
Will we get to a point of simply connecting to the spiritual energies of our unborn baby like so many of my patients unwittingly did and be content with that alone?
Can we take one day at a time and allow the miracle of life to bloom within the brilliance of the soul?
Raising Gender Neutral Children Starts Early On
Between 18-36 months of age, a child starts to learn from societal cues what it means to be a girl or a boy. Physiologically and energetically, once a child reaches adolescence they may have a subtle shift in energy due to the massive influence of hormones.
However, what if that shift does not occur?
What if a soul’s innate characteristics are those typically aligned with the opposite sex? Some cultures have come a long way in terms of their views and attitudes toward gender identity diversity. But in my opinion, we still have a very long way to go globally when it comes to raising gender neutral children.
Though we have limited control over the images a child sees via media, there are ways to support our children’s authentic expression of self.
- Choose gender neutral colors for baby’s room decor, clothing, and even toys.
- Be mindful that toys teach our children important skills and as such should exist in our child’s environment gender-free.
- Point out instances of gender stereotyping and explain how important it is to instead focus on a person’s unique inner being.
In his book, Where Reincarnation and Biology Intersect, psychiatrist Dr. Ian Stevenson witnessed the transcending nature of the masculine and feminine energies in the cases he investigated. He writes, “Such children almost invariably show traits of the sex of the claimed previous life. They cross-dress, play the games of the opposite sex, and may otherwise show attitudes characteristic of that sex.”
In today’s verbiage Dr. Stevenson’s usage of the word “sex” in his second sentence would likely be substituted with “gender”. Nonetheless, his observations are clear to the reader.
Check out gender neutral baby names and unisex C name ideas!
Today my son is a 27-year-old man. He recently confessed to me just how insecure he felt during his youth in simply expressing his true nature. This insecurity and lack of confidence is something he still grapples with to this day.
Knowing your child as a spirit with both masculine and feminine energies eliminates the power we give to that question “Boy or Girl?” And in doing so we remove another barrier to nurturing a child’s authentic expression of self.