10 Mar Talking about “gender” with your children
March 10, 2016
From the Desk of Laura Bunker
There are some things we just plain dread. We put them off, dance around them, do anything to avoid them. Such as having to write this alert about the confusing world of multiple genders. And such as parents having try to explain that confusing world to their children.
Gender issues are something parents, educators, and lawmakers are all struggling with. In South Dakota, the legislature recently passed a bill that would have required students to use bathrooms and locker rooms that matched their sex at birth, but it was vetoed last week by the Governor.
Three days ago, Tennessee lawmakers proposed similar legislation, “allow[ing] schools to make single-stall restrooms available to students who aren’t comfortable using restrooms designated for their biological sex while also protecting the privacy rights of other students.” The bill’s sponsor stated, “honestly it’s not fair to young ladies and young men to violate their privacy.” We agree.
But the world our children are growing up in may include different genders, pronouns, behaviors and dress. For example, public schools in California, Nebraska, Texas,Oregon and Virginia have been teaching a “genderbread” curriculum – that gender is merely a social construct, and that no one is 100% male or female, but everyone lies somewhere on a multilevel “gender spectrum” that is fluid and changing from day to day.
So how do we prepare and guard our children against these concepts that go against nature itself? How do we help them navigate school bathrooms, locker rooms, and other public spaces?
We invite you to read today’s UFI’s weekly alert by Carrie Hunt, as she shares her concerns that “what once brought purpose, clarity, definition and identity to a child both individually and socially, now comes in so many varieties that many children struggle to find their grounding.” Carrie reminds us that “merely living and hoping is not enough. . . we have an obligation to teach our values about gender and sexuality to our children.”
Remember, parents are still the #1 influence in their children’s lives. It is better to face those dreaded gender conversations with your children, than to send them out into today’s world without knowing what you believe.
Faithfully for Families,
United Families International, President
Teach Clearly to Your Children that Which Can No Longer be Assumed
by Carrie Hunt
Yesterday I was having a conversation with my teenage children and mentioned that there were now seven or more official genders. Until my sweet 9-year-old son perked up with the query, “there are?” I had forgotten he was even in the room. I quickly answered, “no son, there are just two, boys and girls.” I never imagined I would have to clarify something so biologically obvious, so innately true, and yet I did.
A group of youth teachers at a church meeting I was in recently shared with me how many of their students are confused about the issues of gender and human sexuality and the legal rights regarding those preferences. In a family discussion the issue of abortion came up. Later that evening my 11-year-old daughter and I talked for a while about abortion as she was going to bed. We talked about how babies come into the world and how people take them out of the world.
My husband and I have six children at home. We believe in family where a married father and mother strive and struggle together to raise their children. We try to show this belief to our children in the way that we live and work naturally together as a family. The way we constantly try to get better and fix our problems, say sorry, learn patience and practice compassion.
We hope, like most parents, that our children will look at our lives and the way we organized our home and learn from our examples that this is what life is all about. That family is a place to raise children in order to help prepare them to be married and have children of their own one day. In this way, the cycle of building communities and nations continues one family at a time. I see now that merely living and hoping is not enough. I cannot assume that my children will understand the value of human life and what a family is – I must teach them clearly. It is my right to do so. It is my obligation to do so.
A FAMILY by any other name
It may be historically fundamental, but the family’s place as the defining characteristic of civil society is no longer so easily defined. When setting up a Facebook account there are 58 gender options to choose from. What once brought purpose, clarity, definition and identity to a child both individually and socially, now comes in so many varieties that many children struggle to find their grounding. It is often offensive or illegal to even identify a person as male or female anymore.
Despite the overwhelming evidence to the contrary, many do not see the advantages of monogamous marriage and childbearing on their happiness, health, economics, and society.
We seem to be stabbing ourselves with the sword of justice called human rights. We should be aware of political and legislative issues regarding life, family and freedom. But let me suggest the first place for the Pro-Family individual to start.
When we read we begin with A, B, C
Those that support complete sexual freedom and the individual right to define gender, work tirelessly to preach their idea of sex education to our children. Do we work tirelessly to teach what gender and marriage are and what they should mean to our children in our own homes? Have you ever had that conversation with your children? What does it mean to be male or female? What is the purpose for sex?
Have you allowed the tangled and contradictory messages from outside your home define that for your children? We have the right and the responsibility to know what is being taught to our children. We have an obligation to teach our values about gender and sexuality to our children.
Those that seek to objectify and animalize human bodies and human sexuality flash their images and sell their message as harmless and natural. Do we as adamantly preach the purpose of human bodies and life to our children? Do we explain what pornography does to harm them? Do we explain what it does to harm their future family?
Our society likes fast food, quick entertainment, easy schools, quick money, no fault divorce—in other words, we want our needs met with as little effort on our part as possible. Do we preach to our children that marriage and family is a life time commitment that takes work, sacrifice, patience, compassion, love and forgiveness in order to reap the great rewards of family love, unity, emotional closeness and support? Do they see in our homes that it is worth it? Do they know how to communicate, economize and help others?
Cover their Eyes?
I used to think that just showing the good to my children and covering their eyes to the bad would be enough. Unfortunately, that cannot be so anymore.
Sunshine, green grass and the innocence of youth? Yes! By all means yes! Protect their childhood, make your home a place of laughter, make believe, and childhood exuberance. But please, make it a place of learning too. And not just spelling and the multiplication tables. Teach the basics of the Family, for they will not learn it anywhere else. There is no need for our children to be confused.
So yes, my sweet 9-year-old boy, there are just two genders (male and female). But not everyone sees it that way. And you need to understand this. I am sorry to have to explain this to you. But I will. I will not hide in the naïve hope that by simply living in our family where we believe in natural marriage and gender roles that you will get it. I will not assume you will figure out. I will teach you about marriage and I will teach you about family.
Carrie Hunt is a wife, mother to six children and a student majoring in Marriage and Family Studies at Brigham Young University-Idaho. She currently resides in Arizona with her family. In her “free” time, she enjoys hiking, camping, the beach, cooking, going on dates and trips with her husband and reading to her children.
© This material is copyrighted by United Families International