Book Review: Parenting Beyond Pink and Blue

Beth Averill

4 Stars

March 31, 2015

When I fouWhen I found out that I was pregnant with my second child, I was elated. My first was a girl, and I thought it would be perfect if she had a little sister to play with. There was this silly "curse" among people who work with my husband, they apparently only have girls. A few weeks into the pregnancy I just knew it wasn't another girl, and I was disappointed. Looking at clothes in baby stores depressed me, and I felt a large distance from this boy I was growing inside of me. My daughter had so many beautiful and colorful clothes, and when I go to the boy section, it's all dark colors, with the occasional lime green or bright orange shirt with a camouflage set of pants. It all just disgusted me. Why did I have to push trucks, wrenches and firetrucks and gender stereotypes on my son, but my daughter could just wear a nice shirt with chevrons or sparkles on it, without a coupe or oven on it, or some other ridiculous tool she should be using as an adult. It's a battle I seem to have every time we see family.

My perspective, which is different than a lot of parents around me, is my children should like what they like, and that's it. If they would like to try new things, or someone wants to introduce them to new things, it will not be with a shirt. My two year old loves Mickey Mouse, so we have lots of him in our house. We started getting her shirts with Mickey or Minnie, or Goofy, and of course the toys. Before she showed interest, we generally did not buy anything with a gender. We got her shirts with puppies because we have a dog that she loves, or bright colors, or happy looking clothes. When she showed interest in something, we ran with it. We didn't push her to like anything because that's what her gender thinks she should like. In the picture above my daughter is wearing a cute yellow top with some crochet around the top, and my son is wearing some Mickey Mouse. 

I think that when you have an infant it's very much about your preference. If I don't like a shirt, I'm not going to put it on him. I don't like the look of dump trucks, so I don't put them on my son. He usually wears puppies, or Mickey Mouse because that's what my daughter likes, and she tends to like her brother more when he wears characters she likes.

In reality we should be spending a lot less time pushing these stereotypes on our children that boys misbehave, and need big toys (like dump trucks and power tools) and girls need to be in the kitchen. I know so many happy little boys who love cooking with their mothers. Or fathers. My husband cooks for our family.

The thing I took away the most from this book was in the beginning when Brown stated that these stereotypes are holding our children back. It's keeping our sons down in deadbeat-father-land, where it's okay to abandon your children, and keeping our daughters away from being the first female president. I think reading this book and taking away from it a few key thoughts will really help us all become better parents for our children. I hope that I can inspire my babies to grow up into strong, independent and competent adults. I think this is a great read for parents of children, not parents of sons, or parents of daughters, but everyone.

We need to stop holding our children back from what they can be simply because they were born with a certain set of genitals.

You won't regret picking this book up and reading it for your children. 

Parenting Beyond Pink and Blue by Christia Spears Brown:

I received this book for free in exchange for my honest review