These days, gender is a much more fluid and discussed topic than ever before. But how do we discuss gender fluidity in the classroom environment? At Playgarden Prep we embrace all types of children with varying genders, race, religion, and ethnicities- which is why we think it is important to speak further here about how to accompany children and aid them in their gender journey.
What is Gender Creativity?
Children are inherently imaginative and creative and some of this often finds inspiration in how they view gender. The Montessori style of teaching emphasises letting children find their own way of learning and embracing who they are through natural exploration. Gender creativity is a great term to use when speaking with parents or colleagues about a child whose gender doesn’t fit easily into any classically identifiable terms, such as male or female.
How Do You Help Children Embrace Gender Creativity?
If you’re a parent or teacher wondering how you can help a child explore their gender creativity, there are a number of things that you can do;
- Books: There are a number of books out there today that break down social barriers and “old norms” while simultaneously exposing children to ideas they might not have come into contact with otherwise.
- Normalize Your Pronouns: This can be helpful for those who don’t identify as simply male or female. In our modern society, some individuals choose to go by “they” rather than “she” or “him.” Demonstrating comfortability with these pronouns is an important way to help children feel more comfortable about who they are, and how they choose to identify.
- Let the Child Be the Leader: When it comes to gender expression, let the child lead and demonstrate where they want to go and what they want to do. It’s also important to be aware of conversations between children surrounding gender roles, and offer guidance whenever necessary.
Last, but certainly not least, it’s important to be prepared for these conversations if you’re a parent or a teacher. It’s important to be ready to address negative responses and be supportive of children who want to be more fluid with their gender, use different pronouns, and follow their own gender journey.
Contact us today to learn more about Montessori education!