The story about the Canadian family who's raising a genderless child broke awhile ago, but it's still nagging in my head.
ONE: I feel sorry for a kid whose parents don't want to make decisions for him/her. That's what parents do -- they guide, direct, teach. They make decisions for the child until the child has been taught enough to go off and make educated decisions on his/her own. That's how the world works. Birds, bears, wolves, humans. All have parents who teach and direct their young.
TWO: Why do they think it's their decision to choose a gender? It's already been chosen by simple biology. See, when the sperm implanted in the egg, it held XX or XY chromosomes...blahblahblah...estrogen and testosterone...you know the science, maybe they don't.
I hate the role that media plays into all of this. The sexes don't have to be pitted against one another, fighting for the upper hand. The feminization of men is destroying their spirit. Remember the story that lambasted a mom for painting her son's toenails pink. Really? Pink is suddenly evil? Such an outcry about a color is evidence of a very shaky idea of what makes a man a man and a woman a woman.
As a mom of two young boys, I've thought about all of this and more. Knowing I'll make mistakes in their upbringing, here are some things that I want to adhere to.
- Boys have loud voices and lots of energy. Let them roar, growl, run, jump and wrestle.
- If they want to snuggle or cry, let them and comfort them.
- Boys are sensitive. Don't make fun of them unless there's a huge sense of love and silliness known to all.
- Mud, bugs and blood are cool.
- Guns and swords are a part of play. Deal with it on a family level and be safe.
- Pink is not gay. But if my son is, he won't be afraid to tell me because he'll already know that my love knows no bounds.
- Boys do need firm behavioral expectations. The way they speak to and treat their mom often determines how they treat their wife. They also should know how to behave at a store or restaurant.
- Laughing at yourself and going against the crowd are two invaluable abilities in life.
- Pray for your boys in all they do. Start praying for their wives now, because those little girls are having experiences now that will determine what kind of women they become.
- Boys will always be your sons, but they're not yours forever. Be sure to make friends with the wife/partner. It's imperative.
- Give boys space. Don't pick them up from every fall or smother them if they're in a bad mood.
- Make sure they read classic adventure stories to inspire their imaginations.
- Give them responsibility and keep them accountable.
- Encourage boys and be proud of them for real accomplishments.
- Give them a good example of marriage in our own home, and surround them with strong role models outside of the home.
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Many of these points can be applied to girls too, but I really am concerned with boys here. It's not up to teachers or movies or friends to shape our kids into adults. It's up to us. Whether we're human parents or animal parents, it's important that we parent. Lead. Instruct. Raise. Shape. Love.
Because one day, our little boys will hold their own babies, and begin shaping a new generation of men.
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