Catering To Your Child’s Gender Confusion Is A Mistake

This is a natural outgrowth of treating people with severe mental disorders like they’re simply making a lifestyle choice:

“Until recently, many children who did not conform to gender norms in their clothing or behavior and identified intensely with the opposite sex were steered to psychoanalysis or behavior modification.

But as advocates gain ground for what they call gender-identity rights, evidenced most recently by New York City’s decision to let people alter the sex listed on their birth certificates, a major change is taking place among schools and families. Children as young as 5 who display predispositions to dress like the opposite sex are being supported by a growing number of young parents, educators and mental health professionals.

Doctors, some of them from the top pediatric hospitals, have begun to advise families to let these children be “who they are” to foster a sense of security and self-esteem. They are motivated, in part, by the high incidence of depression, suicidal feelings and self-mutilation that has been common in past generations of transgender children. Legal trends suggest that schools are now required to respect parents’ decisions.

…Cassandra Reese, a first-grade teacher outside Boston, recalled that fellow teachers were unnerved when a young boy showed up in a skirt. “They said, ‘This is not normal,’ and, ‘It’s the parents’ fault,’ ” Ms. Reese said. “They didn’t see children as sophisticated enough to verbalize their feelings.” (Hawkins’ Note: They were right)

…For families, it can be a long, emotional adjustment. Shortly after her son’s third birthday, Pam B. and her husband, Joel, began a parental journey for which there was no map. It started when their son, J., began wearing oversized T-shirts and wrapping a towel around his head to emulate long, flowing hair. Then came his mother’s silky undershirts. Half a year into preschool, J. started becoming agitated when asked to wear boys’ clothing.

En route to a mall with her son, Ms. B. had an epiphany: “It just clicked in me. I said, ‘You really want to wear a dress, don’t you?’ ”

Thus began what the B.’s, who asked their full names not be used to protect their son’s privacy, call “the reluctant path,” a behind-closed-doors struggle to come to terms with a gender-variant child — a spirited 5-year-old boy who, at least for now, strongly identifies as a girl, requests to be called “she” and asks to wear pigtails and pink jumpers to school.

Ms. B., 41, a lawyer, accepted the way her son defined himself after she and her husband consulted with a psychologist and observed his newfound comfort with his choice. But she feels the precarious nature of the day-to-day reality. “It’s hard to convey the relentlessness of it, she said, “every social encounter, every time you go out to eat, every day feeling like a balance between your kid’s self-esteem and protecting him from the hostile outside world.”

The prospect of cross-dressing kindergartners has sparked a deep philosophical divide among professionals over how best to counsel families. Is it healthier for families to follow the child’s lead, or to spare children potential humiliation and isolation by steering them toward accepting their biological gender until they are older?

…Though she has not encountered such a situation, Jennifer Schwartz, assistant principal of Chatham Elementary School outside Springfield, Ill., said that allowing a child to express gender differences “would be very difficult to pull off” there.

Ms. Schwartz added: “I’m not sure it’s worth the damage it could cause the child, with all the prejudices and parents possibly protesting. I’m not sure a child that age is ready to make that kind of decision.”

…Nila Marrone, a retired linguistics professor at the University of Connecticut who consults with parents and schools, recalled an incident last year at a Bronx elementary school in which an 8-year-old boy perceived as effeminate was thrown into a large trash bin by a group of boys. The principal, she said, “suggested to the mother that she was to blame, for not having taught her son how to be tough enough.”

But the tide is turning.

The Los Angeles Unified School District, for instance, requires that students be addressed with “a name and pronoun that corresponds to the gender identity.” It also asks schools to provide a locker room or changing area that corresponds to a student’s chosen gender.”

Now, I know that there are people out there who may say, “Gee, I may be a woman, but I’ve always felt like I should be a man,” or the reverse. But, in reality, you don’t have any more choice to change sexes than you do to change into a zebra or a giraffe. There really is no such thing as a “sex change.” You can go have saline implants put in , have fake genitals created for yourself, etc., etc., but you’re still not a woman, you’re nothing but a man surgically altered to look like a woman.

The same goes for a young kid. If some poor, sick kid girl wants to be a boy, OK, she can want it, but she can’t ever be a boy. To have her dress like a boy and act like a boy still isn’t going to make her a boy. In fact, the only thing it will probably do is get her taunted mercilessly by her classmates, who will see her as a freak.

This kid who wants to wear pink jumpers and pigtails to school? How many times do you think that kid is going to get beaten up? How many friends do you think he’s going to have? What sort of names do you think the other kids are going to call him? It’s like hanging a neon sign around his neck that says, “I’m a weirdo,” and therefore by catering to his delusion, all the parents are doing is putting a target on the kid’s back that he’ll have to deal with in addition to his gender identity problem.

I don’t envy any parent who has to deal with this situation, but giving in to their child’s mental illness is not the way to do it.

From the comments section:

“Haven’t there always been a couple of butch girls and handful of effeminate boys in every Kindergarten class? Do parents normally send those kids to the shrink? I’ve never heard of that, and I’m not so sure that is the best way to handle it.

Yes, it is fine to put your foot down regarding what your kid is going to wear to school. It is fine to tell little Bobby that he needs to straighten his elbow and quit talking with his hand on his hip. But I don’t think I’d ever take my kid to a psychologist just because their behaviour was drifting to the far end of their respective gender role. “Abnormal” does not always equal “sick”.” — President_Friedman

There’s a big difference between a boy being a little effeminate or a girl being a tomboy and the kids in these articles. The former group doesn’t even really qualify as abnormal whereas the latter group is definitely “sick.” If you have a 5 year old daughter who likes to play tag with the boys and likes trucks more than dolls, that’s not a big deal. But, if you have a 5 year old son who declares that he’s supposed to be a girl, insists on wearing pink dresses, and wants to have a hairstyle that looks like his sister’s, that is “abnormal” behavior and he has a problem that he needs to be worked out with a psychologist.

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