With transgender bathrooms now a federally required provision in public schools, I’ve realized how gender roles are naturally investigated by children who look to their parents. My realization was birthed while staring at a family portrait, snapped while we were on vacation.
The photo illustrated an interesting family dynamic. While my son held my hand, his eyes were fixed on his dad; while my daughter held dad’s hand, her eyes were trained on me. The symbolism was rich.
As my son held tight to the assuredly unconditional love of his mother (renowned psychologist, Dr. Emerson Eggerichs discusses this dynamic in his book Mother and Son), he appeared to be intent on observing his dad for direction. While my daughter leaned into the reliable and protective grip of her dad, she looked to me, her mom, for feminine cues. I understand it doesn’t always work this way, but let’s get the takeaway. Our kids look to us. They observe our actions. They translate our cues. It’s an age-old adage: the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, but the tree needs to remember this… lest the apples fall unnoticed.
Boys looking to dad and girls looking to mom is not an absolute. I have widowed friends who must be both mom and dad to their children. I have friends with only girls or only boys, which doesn’t mean one parent gets excluded entirely when it comes to being emulated. I have friends whose kids are one of the 0.3 percent of Americans who struggle with gender identity. So, my photo example is not a hard and fast rule. However, I think it contains a reminder for all parents.
View Rest of this blog at: http://www.1corinthians13parenting.com/transgender-bathrooms-parent-identities/
Wife of Mike
Mother of two teenagers, Otis and Georgia
1 Corinthians 13 Team Member
Executive Director, ChannelMom Media & Outreach and Host of ChannelMom Radio on 94.7 KRKS FM in Denver and also at channelmom.com. – See more at: http://www.1corinthians13parenting.com/teaching-kids-black-white/#comment-145695