The other morning, I woke up with some special people on my mind. Those people are people like me who never fit into gender stereotypes and have felt less womanly or manly because of it. So, like most millennials I took to Facebook to express.
It was a stream of thoughts. I’m gonna post them here the same way I posted them on my profile.
If your kid cries a lot, try saying “use your words” instead of “stop crying.”
1. It’s ok to express emotions.
2. Tell them what you want instead of what you don’t want.
Let’s agree to stop using “like a girl” as an insult to little boys who we want to grow up and respect girls and women.
Playing with dolls and enjoying hanging with girls doesn’t make a boy gay. Stop listening to your emotionally inept family members.
If doll play is so damaging, girls shouldn’t play with them either. A four year old girl doesn’t “need” to practice mothering either.
Let’s raise children who don’t have to heal from their childhoods.
Respect =/= fear.
Take that out of your parenting tool belt.
The things that damaged you as a kid will probably be harmful to your children. Break the cycle.
You can prepare your son for the harsh realities of the world without crushing his spirit. In fact, you should.
Let that boy play with dolls. You might have a playwright in your womb if you don’t extinguish the gift.
Let your daughter play basketball if she wants. I know it sucks, but odds are she wouldn’t grow up to be a princess anyway.
This morning’s messages come to you from a woman who hates dresses and who hated dolls and who has spent literal decades (20 of my 28 years) trying to figure out how to perform “girl.” Ever since a girl told me that girls don’t play the drums when I taught myself. Her words coupled with the stares I received until I started again at 25 (thank God for my time spent at Shekinah) crippled me.
Your words have power and they shape your children’s lives.
Your silence is also meaningful.
I woke up feeling liberated this morning so I thought I’d pass that on.
Free people free people.
“This is a true confession of a life learned lesson I was sent here to share with y’all.” India.Arie