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A Guide to Parenting From a Teenager

No child is born a racist, sexist, homophobic pig, but somehow Donald Trump exists. There are many factors that contribute to someone’s opinion; however, children’s opinions are commonly influenced by their parent’s. Although people are not born racist, growing up hearing racial slurs and things about white supremacy ultimately affect the mindset people have. Therefore, parents must be inclusive and accepting while teaching their children.

Since I am fourteen, I do not have the most eligible experience of being a parent. However, I do have some advice on raising a decent human. Gender roles, a seemingly common problem in today’s society, are used frequently in parenting. When a child is born, they are distinguished by their sex. Sex, the biological characteristic of someone, is completely separate from their self-identified gender. Since gender and sex do not correlate directly, parent’s should not assume gender stereotypes based on the sex of their child. Accordingly, sex does not correlate with color. Using pink and blue to distinguish female from male is a regularly used stereotype.

Buying your female child pink dresses and barbies, while signing your male son up for basketball and soccer, creates degrading gender roles. Do not refer to boys as “rowdy” and “tough” while telling girls they are “delicate” and “sweet.” By using gender roles to unrealistically force social norms on children, people refuse to include individuals who do not identify as either a boy or girl. A person cannot be expected to behave in a certain way because of their label. Do not teach your daughter how to apply makeup while telling your son not to wear it.

Heterosexuality is not the only sexuality, nor the normal sexuality. While asking your daughter about her “crush,” do not exclusively ask about boys. Allow conversations about sexual orientation in your home. Gay is not a curse word, and sex is not a topic off limits. Provide information about consent and different religions. Opposing political opinions should be allowed, and ideas should be shared.

Every family believes in different things, and parent in different ways. However, creating a safe space for a child is essential. Gender does not affect favorite colors, and your daughter may like other girls.

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Anna Trainum
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14. Obsessed with huskies and Obama. Incredibly short. ?

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