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Should a parent encourage a child if they say they want to change gender?

I want you to have a listen to this email.

Hi Niall, I have heard you discuss topics on gender before and used to listen with curiosity and honestly as a liberal person used to think why we can’t all just accept people for who they want to be.

That was until it came to my doorstep. Let me explain what I mean. Last week by 10 year old son came home from school and told me about how his friend Maria is now Mark and how he was told by the teacher that they all need call Maria Mark now.

Apparently Maria has been going through the process of becoming Mark without surgery and now the parents want the school to call her Mark.

My son came home completely confused and to be honest I didn;t know how to explain this to a 10 year old child. I went to the school to talk to the teacher about it and she said that the children needed to understand how society is changing and becoming more accepting and that Maria is to be known as Mark from now on as a request from her parents.

I left feeling frustrated because as much as I understand that this is a difficult time for the young kid and their parents trying to understand what is the best thing for Mark.

I can’t help but think that I do not want my young son exposed to this. He came home from school during the week and asked me is he a girl because Maria is a boy.  I told him that he is a boy and tried my best to explain this to him but it was difficult and I know he still doesn’t understand it.

I can’t help but think these parents are encouraging this behaviour and a young 10 year old cannot possibly understand gender reassignment and transgenderism.

I believe they should have told her that she is a girl at least until she got a little bit older.

I spoke to my husband and we are considering taking our son out of the school.

I think it might be the right thing to do because he is too young to be confused about gender and this situation is causing it in my opinion.

I would like to hear a discussion on this. Are the parents wrong to allow this child to identify as a different gender at such a young age? Or are they right to embrace it.

What do you think of this email?

Do you think the mother is overreacting wanting to take her son out of this school?

Or would you feel the same way as her?

It is a complex situation when young people identify as a different gender because as a parent you have to make a decision as to whether to go with it or tell them that they are wrong.

Either one could be the wrong decision in the long run.

What do you think a parent should do in that situation?

Should they embrace the gender change? Or should they stamp it out and tell them that they are the gender they were assigned at birth and not entertain it?

I want to know what you think –

So – are these parents right to embrace a gender change at such a young age?

Remember you can find more stories on the Niall Boylan Facebook and Twitter pages and remember #IrelandTalks4fm

 

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