Transgender education for toddlers

14 posts in this topic

Kids aren't stupid.  I think they are well able to figure out for themselves what they are.  Transgender is not a new invention.  It's always been around to some degree and people still were even when it wasn't accepted by society.  Not accepting it didn't make it disappear so accepting it shouldn't really make it more common, just allow ppl to be out in the open about it.

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I agree a lot with what @kapokanadensis says.   

 

Ignoring the source of the link, and discussing the topic that you raise.

 

21 hours ago, hooperski said:

...a horse that wants to be a dog.

 

 

This really is nothing more than a game for such young kids, and they will treat it as such and not realise the impact.

No different to when my 3-year old told me yesterday that "you are Frog", and I had to pretend to be a Frog for a while!  

 

 

21 hours ago, hooperski said:

...a transgender man ...

 

 

This topic I would just ignore unless it has a direct impact on the child.  For example, if there was somebody in the family or that they know well.  

 

But even then, for a Toddler I think I would try to ignore it for as long as possible.  My 3 year old is just getting to grips with the fact that there are different sexes, part of this is learning is trying to distinguish one from the other, and she sometimes makes mistakes.  Adding a third sex which is even more difficult to distinguish, even for Adults, will not help unless they have exposure to such a person/people.

 

What is more important is teaching kids to accept people for what they are, not how they look.  Something which us adults often struggle with!

 

 

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1 hour ago, kapokanadensis said:




But anyways, as the father of young kids I'm not at all worried about this sort of thing.  There is already so much gender stereotyping aimed at kids, girls have to be pretty and preferably dressed in pink, boys have to be tough little man-boys, where problems are solved with violence.  Have you been to the girl's section in a toy department?  Crazy pink overload - princesses and ponies and fairies and fairyprincessponies, all in pink.  Any little bit of alternative culture that kids get exposed to is for one thing a drop in the bucket and is also a good thing, lets them see that the world isn't made up of just manly men and girly girls, that there is a whole spectrum out there.



 






 



Our younger kid is a 7 years old boy, he likes to keep his hair long.  Probably because he knew me as a long haired rocker and he wants to follow the path even if nowadays I have short hair.   And people are so obsessed about boys and short hair, I can't really believe it.   During long time he was very paranoid about it and he was very frustrated because everyone thought he was a girl, he would carefully choose his clothes, the more male-ish things he found but still people only saw his long hair.   First year of school was tough, kids insisting he was a girl, kids telling him he should not have long hair, etc.  Then even after taking ethics class (Lebenskunde) where they learned not to stereotype, not all girls must dress in pink all the time, not only boys are allowed to play with cars, etc, they still keep telling him he should have short hair.    He considered cutting his hair just to conform, but he is very resilient and he did not give up.


So if people think liking things out of the stereotype will make you gay, they have no idea how wrong they are.   

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1 minute ago, Krieg said:

 

Our younger kid is a 7 years old boy, he likes to keep his hair long.  ...  During long time he was very paranoid about it ...

 

In my 20's I grew my hair long.  Being fairly short, then it would often happen that I was mistaken for a woman.  So tell him not to worry and laugh at them!

 

One of the funniest moments was when I was in a public toilet, stood up using the urinal.  I heard the door behind me open, somebody walked in, then they walked straight out again.

A Few seconds later they walked back in and came and used the urinal next to me. 

 

He said "I thought I had accidentally walked into the ladies".   He must know a lot of "ladies" who stand up to use an urinal!.

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We don't bother with stuff like this until our daughter asks.

When Austria won Eurovision a few years back she asked why the woman had a beard, we explained it was a man and she had no problems understanding that some men like to dress as women.

 

Kids are by nature (in general) quite accepting if their parents/environment (my home area growing up was very hostile to stuff like this and a lot of my former class people are still very anti-gay etc) let them.

It is not a subject we feel we need to discuss with her but if she asks, then we chat.

 

 

 

 

 

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As others have said, i have never made a particularly big deal about these things.  I always stress to my kids to always keep an open mind and let people be who they want to be.  Once in a while the topic will come up that highlights unfair conditions or discrimination, and i will sometimes use the opportunity to comment on how things like that make it harder for people to be who they want to be, and in the end, the right thing to do, would be to help lift barriers so people can be themselves as easy as we can be.   I know i did right because my kids are now older and went they come across someone who is transgender, they don't make a big deal about it and accept them as an equal.   I have seen the example of overemphasis, even with good intentions, that can end up just "othering" trans people. 

 

Now that one of them is nearing into her teens, she really likes the show "I am Jazz" - esp Noelle on the show who transitioned only recently. My daughter often comments on Noelle's braveness and strength.  I'm not typically a fan of reality shows, but i do like the exposure to how challenging some people's lives really can be compared to us as heteronormative.  

 

 

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I think I would have to actually read the book to form an opinion on it. 

 

I think there is nothing wrong with teaching children that it is OK to wish they were the opposite sex. However, if you teach a child that you can choose which gender you want to be, that could potentially be confusing. I used to look after a boy that loved princesses, dancing, dressing up, pink etc etc which I was fine with a went along with what he liked. Now he is older he has said that he used to believe he could grow up to be a woman. He has, as far as I know, no knowledge of transsexuals but yet he thought this. With this boy, I think it would have been even more confusing to him if he had read a book in which a boy could choose to be a girl. As many girls are tom-boyish, he is a bit girly (it really pisses me off that there is no positive name for the boy version of "tom-boy") - there is nothing wrong with that and I worry that saying "oh well you can be a girl if you want!!" is dangerous. He could have a sex change but simply desiring it is not enough to undergo the huge process of gender reassignment and certainly not that small children should be considering.

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Funnily enough, I explained the whole transgender thing to my young kids yesterday after they heard me talking about the show 'Transparent' on Amazon. They were quite interested but adamant that they were boys as they like 'boys things' and don't like 'Girl's things' like dolls and pink dresses. It all seemed like a matter of fact conversation in the end.

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4 hours ago, dj_jay_smith said:

No different to when my 3-year old told me yesterday that "you are Frog", and I had to pretend to be a Frog for a while!  

 

What did you actually do?

 

My Daughter said that I had to be a unicorn that poops only nice smelling poops...  ( Naturally, I failed) :ph34r:

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1 hour ago, SpiderPig said:

 

What did you actually do?

 

My Daughter said that I had to be a unicorn that poops only nice smelling poops...  ( Naturally, I failed) :ph34r:

 

 

I "croaked" a few times. I would also have hopped around, but as I was in the middle of changing her then I knew if I stopped she would run away!

Luckily, my goal was more attainable than yours!

 

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Let kids be kids.

Dont thrust stereotypes down their throats,don’t stuff transgender down their throat.

Just let them be how they want they’ll discover what they truly want in and from life.

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