No one is more qualified to start these conversations with children than their own parents.
I was a tomboy. I thought I should have been a boy. I looked, dressed, and sounded like a boy. Born in the 1980’s I was accepted for me (minus the attempts to pee standing up, mom and dad weren’t big on that). This issue hit me HARD about 4-5 years ago. By 17 I was athletic with a comically strong yet demanding body rather enjoying the power it had over the boys. 😂. Today I’m an active and very happily married mom of 2. My kids are my world.
Because of that I DID start discussing with my kids young. No one else was going to feed them some crap they or there friends were born in the “wrong body” without them being prepared. I am so glad I did, and do, talk to them about this. They have grown up with repetition of “there is no right way to be a girl, no right way to be a boy, and no possible way to change what you are.” Now that my oldest is 11 she is seeing distant friends believe the lies. A couple have started engaging in self-harm (so young). The other choice we are glad we made as parents is to send our kids to a top ranked (academically, sports, and fine arts) conservative Christian school that overtly rejects gender ideology (race ideology too). While they teach the Christian family structure and sexuality, and openly gay highschooler won the biggest character award the school gives out (and over 1,200 kids attend the school). All the kids know what faces them outside of campus, but these are some of the strongest and most actually loving, mature, intelligent kids I’ve ever seen. Standing together they are strong and preparing for a time they know they may be standing alone physically, but with a giant community that will always have their back.
We need more of these communities for kids to grow and learn and love and gain the strength to end this child gender madness. If you can find one for your kids, take the leap.
In psychological conceptualization, there is the notion of "anchoring and adjustment". In this idea, due to Tversky and Kahneman (the behavioral economists), an ANCHOR is set by the initial discussion. The ADJUSTMENT is minor changes which occur after the anchor is set. Often these are small.
When you are bargaining, if you are selling, you set a high initial price, and then it is bargained down. You never set the ACTUAL PRICE you wish as the initial - the initial price is always set higher.
In this area, the INITIAL CONCEPTION must be that "SEX IS A BINARY and CANNOT BE CHANGED". Once this anchor is set, the adjustment will be small
But the parent needs to set the anchor.
"In the short run, it may seem easier for parents to keep putting off these oftentimes uncomfortable conversations to an unspecified future date. But remember, your children will encounter these topics and discussions sooner or later..."
Ain't that the truth--and it will almost definitely be "sooner." My preschooler has already been told by a peer that "some girls have penises" (in a conversation about whether dinosaurs are "for boys", no less), and one of the main characters in her new favorite cartoon is a "non-binary bison." Whether one thinks that those are bad things, good things, or neutral, the point is that these subjects will find young children in places and ways you'd never expect, even without help from teachers or social media. I am still working out what balance to strike in discussing these subjects with my kids, but it is becoming increasingly obvious that my window to get in on the ground floor of her ideas about "gender" is rapidly closing, despite her young age.
as a parent facing this, I found this rather abstract -- could use a bit more insight on the specifics of how to talk about the gender stuff. Especially for kids in blue areas who will have to deal with other trans and non-binary kids at school and be civil to them.
Yay!! I was just thinking I hadn't seen you post in a while. :-)
As the ex-wife of a man who identifies as a woman, and refuses to be accurately identified as the father of our two sons AND as a retired Kindergarten teacher who has had students desist a few weeks after claiming to be the opposite sex, I attest to the truth of Laura Linner's writing. I argued with my then-husband, to no avail. I told him he has no way to experience my kind of orgasm. But with the help of a groomer, a PhD psychologist "sexologist" who, according to her own sworn affidavit, diagnosed him in one first appointment, he kept a secret "true life test" identity far from us, his little kids and wife. She was the wizard, the puppet-master, pulling all the strings. When the 4 children I taught over 2 decades ideated to be the opposite sex, I gave them attention for their thoughts on our learning, for what they'd contributed in the past, and I did not have any boys in the girls bathroom! It dissipated. The first one, a girl and non-identical twin sister, was so grateful to me for affirming her as Sarah when she stopped, I will never forget.
Ute Heggen, author, In the Curated Woods, True Tales from a Grass Widow (iuniverse, 2022)
uteheggengrasswidow.wordpress.com for references to debunked studies, detransitioner info, etc.
Laura, I have some tips to share after getting two at-risk kids through adolescence without falling too deeply into gender woo. I’m not sure how to contact you though. It’s a rough road.
It is probably better to think in terms of cultural secession, teaching our children that we are not them. This trend will need to move beyond the religious to the non-religious/common sense folk. We give it a go at www.livingagoodlifechurch.org.
Gender stuff seems new to a lot of people, but you have to understand that gender ideology has been the air we breath. I am sure you are busy, but if you can take a moment to grab a torrent you can watch Katherine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy in Adam's Rib 1949.
The movie advocates the idea that 'female' is a developmental disorder caused by abuse, the root of all this trouble. This was 1949, behaviorism had a stranglehold on the university, just as it does now, and, like now, hollywood was mobilized to indoctrinate the masses. Particularly stark in the courtroom scene we see that 'women aren't real' Hepburn tells of the south american tribe where the genders are reversed, where men are small and week because women oppress them - this imaginary tribe has been shifted all over the globe in the decades before and since. She brings out 'role models' for the young girls in the audience, a woman (age 36) with more degrees than a man could earn in a lifetime, and a circus strongwoman who can easily lift a full grown man with one hand - these characters and their sisters are found in every blockbuster to this day.