A few months ago, I made the mistake of looking at some click-baity parenting site about what my kid was supposed to be doing at 3MO, as though reading this crap would somehow elevate my own life by me being able to translate my kid’s skills into my own parenting letter grade, and instead I felt outraged. MY KID SHOULD BE LAUGHING!?
unsolicited tips from unwise parent: Five Ways to Motivate Your Kid Without Reaching for Your Wallet
Here are five things you can do to encourage helpful, motivated behaviors from your own young humans:
When your kid asks a question, answer it! If you don’t know the answer, speculate with them. Don’t just let them be the ones asking “why,” ask them your own questions back.
Keeping a dialogue open with your kid on the most earnest and playful questions they have will lead to a willingness to tackle more difficult conversations later on.
Your kid feeling heard means your kid will let you know when they feel unheard or misunderstood.
Two-way communication isn’t important to every parent; it’s important to me, though, because I believe that saying, “because I said so,” as a response to a kid is insulting. It’s not helpful to only talk and not listen. Model that.
#GenderNeutral largely maintains the status quo in the binary by defining a “neutral” place between the parties, affirming that pink is, in fact for girls and blue is, in fact for boys. It suggests, usually, that the garments are going to be gray. Gray, not just the color, but gray, the symbolic fuzzy space not quite defined yet by capitalists.
I didn’t do this because I’m an expert on kids, and you shouldn’t trust my advice at all or even read it, probably. I wrote it because I enjoy reading about how other people are screwing up their kids and I want to share my own variety of irresponsibility. Flavors of life, man.
Their gendered names are things they can change if they identify differently as they get older. Chastise me, praise me, none of this affects people outside of our own family, so please respect our parenting decision and take comfort in knowing if we fucked something up, we will listen to our kids when they tell us we fucked up. My point here is that for this first part of my kid's life, we are calling them him/he because Felix was born with a tiny penis. As for Felix’ gender and his own chosen pronouns, he can figure that out later. Iris did.