Raising nonbinary or agender children is a unique joy—with unique challenges. While each of our children encounter gendered cultural expectations as they grow up, nonbinary and agender children encounter a more intense struggle to even have their identity recognized or respected at all. In addition to working on understanding how our nonbinary or agender children perceive themselves, we are entrusted to help them create avenues of authentic self-expression and healthy, vibrant well-being.
In her groundbreaking first book, Gender Born, Gender Made, Dr. Diane Ehrensaft coined the term “gender creative” to describe children whose unique gender expression or sense of identity is not defined by a checkbox on their birth certificate.
I believe there are preconceived notions of how raising a child will go in terms of gender. We prepare ourselves in completely different ways when we learn we are having a boy or a girl and this is reinforced and policed from the second a child is born and beyond.
Conscious parenting means being present with your children and taking the time to understand their point of view, especially when it comes to supporting their exploration of gender identity. Using this mindful method, you can support and guide your children as they discover their authentic selves.
Gender is the primary organizing category that individuals utilize in society today. However, because of the prevalence of normative masculine and feminine gender expression, these expression have become problematically linked with biological narratives.
While Deysach and her partner feel they’ve been supported in parenting a non-binary child, that isn’t the case for everyone. That lack of support can have serious effects on a child’s well-being, particularly if the shortfall is coming from school.