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View Full Version : Parents Keep Child's Gender A Secret Following Birth (and other incredulous stuff)



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rfisher
05-25-2011, 03:36 PM
I haven't had a good track record with home-schooled kids being tossed into my classroom in high school. At the moment, I'd score it 0 for 10. I blame the parents, though, as the main problem was that the kids were too sheltered.

But since a lot of home-schooled kids go on to do very well in college and life, I think "un-schooled" (IF DONE CORRECTLY AND WELL) kids could be successful as well.

My record is 50-50. Two students home schooled through high school. One did well academically, the other struggled except for his writing skills. Both had significant problems adjusting socially to college and particularly to being in a health care field although one of them did show substantial improvement. She also said she'd never home school her kids.

my little pony
05-25-2011, 03:43 PM
My record is 50-50. Two students home schooled through high school. One did well academically, the other struggled except for his writing skills. Both had significant problems adjusting socially to college and particularly to being in a health care field although one of them did show substantial improvement. She also said she'd never home school her kids.

did you have any that were unschooled, co slept and were not allowed to reveal their gender?

agalisgv
05-25-2011, 03:44 PM
I think "un-schooled" (IF DONE CORRECTLY AND WELL) kids could be successful as well. There's one program in SoCal where the school district partners with children schooled at home. It's called independent learning as opposed to home-schooling because teachers partner with parents to offer parents direction to teach at home. Once a week or so all the kids come together to get feedback from the teacher and to have the opportunity to engage in academic discussions with their peers.

Anyhow, the kids are tested on state proficiency exams just like public school students, and the school has one of the highest student proficiency rates in the state.

gkelly
05-25-2011, 03:48 PM
The couple plan to keep Stormís sex a secret as long as Storm, Kio and Jazz are comfortable with it.

My guess is that sometime around age 2-3 Storm will express an interest in revealing his or her gender, at which point I'm sure there will be family discussion. If Storm is really not comfortable keeping it secret, I see no evidence that the parents will insist on doing so.

oleada
05-25-2011, 03:56 PM
How well would the un-schooling play out for college or future employment? Do the parents plan on the kids living on a commune for the rest of their lives? :lol:

As for co-sleeping, that's a cultural thing, however, most cultures that practice this are families that live in one-room dwellings.

And/or they can't afford anything else and would kill for their own beds if they could.

All the homeschooled kids I've met have been SO WEIRD and socially awkward is puttIng it mildly. Some succeeded academically and some didn't.

rfisher
05-25-2011, 04:04 PM
did you have any that were unschooled, co slept and were not allowed to reveal their gender?

I don't ask those types of questions because I don't want to know the answers. :lol: I suspect some of them may co-sleep, but again, it's best not to go there. I do know about the home schooling because they have to have a GED to get into college and they are very quick to let you know it's because they were home schooled and didn't drop out of high school.

Satellitegirl
05-25-2011, 04:07 PM
In a rare event, a yahoo poster summed this up:

one should not conduct social experiments on one's children.

Agreed.

skatesindreams
05-25-2011, 05:12 PM
My guess is that sometime around age 2-3 Storm will express an interest in revealing his or her gender, at which point I'm sure there will be family discussion. If Storm is really not comfortable keeping it secret, I see no evidence that the parents will insist on doing so.

I hope that it works out this way, for Storm' s sake; but, with parents who seem to be conducting a "social experiment", you never know.

genevieve
05-25-2011, 05:27 PM
And how are they are going handle it when he hits puberty and talk amongst any girls he's friends with turns to who's gotten their period and who hasn't (a la Are You There, God? It's Me, Margaret)?
probably the same way that any parents of little boys whose friends are mostly girls would.


How well would the un-schooling play out for college or future employment?
Again, probably as well as homeschooling - if the parents and kid are really working it, I imagine it will work fine.

I don't know why people are assuming that the baby's gender is going to be kept sekret all throughout its childhood - into puberty even. I see this as parents wanting to give their kid the opportunity to NOT have society's expectations of gender heaped upon him or her for as long as they can stave it off, and to let the kid like what it likes and act how it acts without emphasis on which gender role is "correct" (according to society). It definitely pushes the envelope, and maintaining a positive atmosphere where people you know (and lots of people you don't) seem enraged by your choice is an uphill climb, but there is no reason that this child is being set up for failure.

I went to college with someone whose gender I still don't know. I *think* Terry was a he - but I'm not certain. But I realized quickly that it didn't matter, and if I was uncomfortable not knowing, it was a reflection on ME, not on Terry. Terry was popular on campus, successful in school, was brilliant at languages (learning and teaching) and is a successful adult. I guess s/he didn't get the memo that not having a well defined gender identity meant that s/he was doomed to a life of social shunning, inability to get a job or achieve success.

AxelAnnie
05-25-2011, 05:35 PM
A couple of years ago my students were collecting data for a research project with children. There was one 5-year-old who participated in the study and my students could not determine whether the child was a boy or a girl. At first I thought that the students made a mistake when entering the data into excel - i.e., erroneously left the gender column empty for this child, but they told me that they had no idea after interacting with the child on several occasions for 10-15 minutes at a time. The teachers presumably knew (unless the child was completely independent in the bathroom), but respected the parents' wishes to not make the child's gender known to others. Not a choice I would make for my children, but seems to have worked out OK for that child, at least while the child was at that particular school - no teasing, questioning, etc. Actually, the school has a policy of not using the terms "girls/boys", everyone is called a "friend". It's a bit weird at first, people quickly get used to it.

I have a problem with calling everyone "friend". Everyone isn't your friend. Sure you should be respectful, kind, etc., but I think it is very important for kids' opinions to be honored.

And, hey, I live in/near San Francisco............I see adults, and I can't tell if they are boys or girls!

aliceanne
05-25-2011, 05:40 PM
Fannie Flagg's latest book (I Still Dream of You) has a character who was a girl but raised as a boy (late 19th/early 20th century) in order to beat an inheritance entail. It's hard to imagine how you could pull it off, but I wonder if somewhere at sometime someone has?

I get that social conventions are sometimes limiting or even damaging, but how do you form relationships if there are no understood standards of behavior?

mag
05-25-2011, 05:44 PM
I have a problem with calling everyone "friend". Everyone isn't your friend. Sure you should be respectful, kind, etc., but I think it is very important for kids' opinions to be honored. ...

ITA with this. I have always made it clear to my kids that they are not required to be friends with everyone. In fact, they don't even have to like everyone, they just need to be polite to everyone. It is sort of like the "sharing" thing parents do with young children. You know, the "share your toy with little Tommy" when actually what the parent really means is give up the toy you are playing with and give it to Tommy. Drove me nuts when my kids were young. Sorry, ranting a bit off topic.

Back to the article. Interesting read. I'm not really sure what I think about it. I think you can allow your kids to be who they are without making such a big deal about it. Sure, some parents really lay on the roles, but lots just let their kids be kids. Both my girls played with boys and girls when they were young. Now they are older (teen and preteen) they still hang out with both. One likes typically girl type clothes, the other like sweats in black, black, and well, black! Toys were just toys in our house. They played with what they wanted and the ones that were never used went to goodwill.

I guess I think these parents, by making such a big deal about not making a big deal, are really making a mountain out of mole hill. JMHO, of course.

LilJen
05-25-2011, 05:52 PM
Well, if Storm is a boy, he'll discover his boy parts around age 2 or 3 and that'll be that.

I appreciate the parents not wanting to pigeonhole their kids into rigid gender roles--the predominance of pink and blue baby clothes (almost exclusively at some stores) makes me want to barf. But sex and gender are NOT the same thing, at least in my mind. Sex is fixed and gender isn't (necessarily).

Co-sleeping? I just don't see how anyone gets any sleep. Or creates additional children. :)

my little pony
05-25-2011, 05:53 PM
I guess I think these parents, by making such a big deal about not making a big deal, are really making a mountain out of mole hill. JMHO, of course.

ita, i think they are drawing more attention to it and making it an issue when it doesn't have to be.

my aunt who is now almost 70 started living as a boy when she was in jr high. the family just let her now him be who he wanted to be and started calling him by the name he chose. to his parents, it was all about the child. something about this article in total makes me feel like this is about the parents.

Jenny
05-25-2011, 05:58 PM
I guess I think these parents, by making such a big deal about not making a big deal, are really making a mountain out of mole hill. JMHO, of course.

Agree. The fact that they are also giving media interviews about it says a lot - they say they want their kids to find their own way and they boast that they make their own decisions, and yet they have decided to create this situation around them, and to enlarge it by telling the world about it, complete with pictures of the kids and intimate details of their lives.

I think you can let kids be kids and find their own identities without making such a big deal about it. Yeah it's true we are judged/treated differently based on our genders, but we are equally judged/put into slots based on many other factors too. Their choice to isolate this one issue says to me that they are more focused on showing others (and themselves) how progressive and different they are than on creating an environment where their children can grow and flourish and be happy.