No question of locking our children in boxes. Educating a child regardless of his biological sex is a major societal concern in order to overcome inequalities. Ok, and what do we start with? Some avenues for reflection in the direction of non-gendered education.
Despite the evolution of mores and the societal revolutions of the twentieth and twenty-first century, the finding remains troubling and this is not limited to the controversy around the “genrification” of children’s toys. Today girls and boys are educated differently. From an early age, they are confronted with gendered norms which constitute an obstacle to their personal development. This phenomenon is not only due to unwillingness. Rather, it is a pattern reproduced by parents who themselves grew up on this pattern. Fortunately, the trend is gradually reversing and gender-neutral education is no longer so much on the sidelines. How to start on a good basis and adopt it? Here are a few things to think about.
Understanding what gender-neutral education is and is not
Non-gendered education does not aim to deny the existence of an assigned sex at birth. This approach starts from the premise that gender is a social construct and that it is up to each individual to define themselves. And on this point, some countries are further ahead than others. In Sweden, considered one of the most egalitarian countries in the world, public schools advocate neutral pedagogy and the program, but also the behavior of teachers has been revised in this direction to allow children to develop fully. A model that is starting to inspire other European countries. More and more parents who are attracted to the method are choosing it for the education of their own children.
Contrary to popular belief, gender-neutral education does not necessarily require choosing a neutral first name for one’s child or using the first name “iel”, particularities that we owe rather to the theybies education . Rather, it is about breaking all gender stereotypes from an early age and educating your child in a positive way, by instilling in him that he has the capacity to succeed in whatever he undertakes, regardless of his biological sex.
Put an end to everyday gender clichés
All learning, near or far, is still marked by gender connotations. Very quickly, during the school curriculum, the emphasis is on famous men when famous womencan only be counted on the fingers of one hand. In kindergarten, girls are entitled to princess tales and boys to knights. Laying the foundations for non-gendered education requires moving away from resources which have been benchmarks for learning for several decades and favoring innovative textbooks, books and teaching techniques. Today it is possible to find little stories where a boy cries while hugging his doll and others where a girl rides a horse and wields a sword … And in some other books, the gender of the main character may not be defined…
If the first years, the children are not aware of their biological sex, and this until the age of 4 years, they remain very manipulable and influenced by their environment. People, objects, occupations and the places in which they evolve define today what they will be tomorrow. It is essential to instill in your children that passions and activities and interests do not have to be normed by gender. Thus, a girl can perfectly play on the console with her mother while a boy chooses clothes with his father, even if the social shackles would have preferred it to be the opposite.
Building a healthy environment
At home, it’s up to parents to set a good example. It will be easier for a child to construct his own identity if he sees his parents both taking care of the tasks relating to the maintenance of the house. Thus, cleaning, ironing or the dishes will not be in his eyes the prerogative of mom or DIY that of dad. He will be less tempted to be reluctant to accomplish such or such an action on the pretext that it is not part of the missions assigned by society to his gender. But efforts should not be limited to showing equal division of labor. It is about going further by proving that when it comes to emotion, everyone is free to express it. A father is quite capable of giving affection to his child and all that concerns the sensitivity or emotion is not just a girl’s business.
In addition to the behavior of the parents, the child’s place of life is also very important. Girls ‘rooms are rarely furnished and decorated in the same way as boys’ rooms, and vice versa. If the cliché of pink or blue walls seems to have been passed, there is still some way to go when it comes to the decoration, the style of the furniture, the type of lamp or the pattern of the bed linen. However, this does not mean that the bedroom should be devoid of originality, it is enough to opt for objects without gender connotation and to choose, for example, pastel shades then once the child has established preferences. , let it add its personal touch.
Sometimes put aside your desires to favor the child’s balance
During pregnancy, particularly when the announcement of sex, parents often plan on the activities they can practice with their child or on the gifts they are going to offer him while sometimes forgetting the principles of a neutral education. And this tendency to want to influence your child and mold him in his image is generally not working out. Although this is very human and often emanates from the residue of his own upbringing, it should be borne in mind that the child must remain in control of his choices. There is also another little habit that is sometimes difficult to get rid of: the nickname. If gender-neutral education attaches such importance to language, it is because words carry psychological weight. How can a parent claim to educate his child on a principle of neutrality, if he qualifies his daughter as “my princess” or his boy as “my big one”? Althoughthe nicknames are attributed by affection, they have the annoying habit of sticking a label and marking the child negatively. Better to stay on the first name.