How To Do Gender Neutral Parenting

Spend five minutes watching little boys and girls play and before you know it someone will be commenting on how much more developed the girls’ verbal and social skills are compared with the boys and how much more physically able the boys are.\

Someone will no doubt pip in with one of those little nuggets of pop-neuroscience that you hear on a breakfast TV show which ‘proves’  that boys’ and girls’ heads are wired differently.

Such neurological and biological determinism can leave progressive parents feeling a touch beleaguered. It’s fortunate, then, that many of the supposedly ironclad truths about boys and girls’ brains have the same shelf-life as a policy statement by Christopher Pyne.

The cover of <i>Gender Neutral Parenting: Raising kids with the freedom to be themselves</i>, by Paige Lucas-Stannard.The cover of Gender Neutral Parenting: Raising kids with the freedom to be themselves, by Paige Lucas-Stannard.

As Paige Lucas-Stannard reveals in her book Gender Neutral Parenting: Raising kids with the freedom to be themselves, some of the commongender stereotypes are not the result of hardwiring but instead are taught and reinforced by parents — despite their best intentions not to.

As the name suggests, GNP is all about raising children outside of the traditional stereotypes of princesses and warriors. It’s about allowing children to explore their innate personalities and abilities rather than squeezing them into ridged gender roles.

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