Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Gender

Did you know that kids learn their gender and identify with male or female characteristics between the ages of 3 and 5?
I remember learning this statistic when Nora was an infant and I remember purposing myself to teach her early on that she was, in fact, a little girl.
We have done the same with Braden, asking him multiple times a week, "hey buddy...are you a boy or a girl?" and correcting him when he knowingly (to tease us) says girl...
Not long ago, someone was with us when I asked. They said, "doesnt he know he's a boy...?" to which I responded that it didn't matter how much we thought he knew he was a boy--he needed to know, be taught, and be certain!
It's the simplest things that kids will never learn if we never teach them.

When babies are born, they are being taught immediately what gender they are. They are bombarded with pink dresses, or blue blankets; dolls or trucks; make-up or mud baths. But it doesn't mean that they will know or understand. Although it seems like a natural thing to comprehend, I want to be confident in my prayers over each child. I direct them, teach them, pray over them and respond to them differently because of their genders. Whether you agree or disagree, I feel strongly about this in our home. It is appropriate for us to teach them their gender roles both for now and later in life.



So although my boy fancies around here on his tiptoes, dances like a ballerina, and wears his sister's heels...I am confident in his masculinity. I see it in the noises he makes, the trucks he crashes and the boy-like attitude that he exudes. In fact, the man in him is so dominating, I can't believe I'm adding another boy to the madness.

But this boy has a heart like gold and a smile that is my prize. He melts my heart. I love teaching him simple things like his gender, and more complex things like forgiveness. He listens to me and I can see him soaking it all in like a sponge. He boldly says, "I'm a boy!" or "I'm a man," even while wearing heels. He is, by far, the greatest balance of kindness and strength.

At one time, I was fearful to have another boy because of the challenges I faced with Braden. Today, however, it is Braden that makes me want to birth 4 more little boys and raise them to love themselves, each other and their Lord. Of course, we won't have 4 more boys. But we definitely have 2--and with Braden and Emery, I want to get it right. So I'll start now--teaching them their roles socially, spiritually, emotionally, biblically and physically so that they can live a confident, masculine and strong future.

"Sons are a heritage from the Lord, children a reward from Him. Like arrows in the hand's of a warrior are sons born in one's youth. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them!"
Psalms 127 3:4
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Have you ever thought of gender in this way?
Did you know the statistic about children learning and identifying with either boy or girl?
Do you purpose to teach your children their gender and if so...how?
Will you think of it differently from this point on?

3 comments:

Amanda said...

That's a fact I did not know. But I did always know that in addition to raising my boys to be leaders and strong men, I would raise them to be sensitive to others. I have no qualms with them playing with cars and baby dolls. I don't see things as "girl" and "boy" toys but I look at it as learning to respond to other's needs before your own and having a gentle hand. It also encourages imagination and that can help scholastically as well.

Tiffany said...

I did not know that either, and I just loved reading your thoughts and wisdom on this issue. Thank you for sharing. I WILL think of this differently now. I hope you are having a lovely day, dear friend.

Yaick said...

Thats a fact I did not know either. As far as gender I am a FIRM believer in children do not know their gender unless taught. So he wearing heels maybe a "girl thing" but as his age its also fun and carefree. Nothing serious. My boys are around women most of the time and they sometimes get into my shoes. Its fun and they know its for mom. Braden is cute little boy!