Sad story of 6 year old rejected by mother.
To begin the discussion of this article, it is first important to recall what a 6 year old is capable of. From the PBS website for child development (see also the subpage on science, and social and emotional growth):
- “Shows ability, though not consistently, to support claims with evidence”
- “Recognizes that a living thing has needs and that those needs must be met if the living thing is to survive”
- “Begins to recognize that each living thing goes through a cycle that includes birth, growth and development, procreation and death.”
- “Scientific discovery for children this age is affected by their tendency to straddle the world between make-believe and reality.”
- “start to display an increasing awareness of their own and others’ emotions and begin to develop better techniques for self-control.”
- “Sense of security is reliant on relationships with close adults.”
- “Describes self based on external characteristics, such as physical attributes, name, possessions and age (e.g., says, “I am six and I have brown hair.”). Often evaluates own abilities highly (e.g., when asked if he is good at painting, he looks somewhat mystified and says, “Yes, I am a good artist.”); such evaluations can be inaccurate or based on limited views. Copes poorly with failure and does not take criticism well.”
- Mature understanding of sexuality and sufficient reasoning to make complex sexual decisions.
Oops, that last one isn’t on the PBS website, but it is implicit in the news article. Apparently, instead of correcting her sons mistaken notion about his masculinity when he first “started talking” (according to the article), the mother reinforced this view. Instead of teaching her son to love his body, she taught him to reject it.
This Gnostic like rejection of the physical world as exemplified in ones own body is bad enough, but to not correct a child who still “straddle(s) the world between make-believe and reality” seems more like abuse than acceptance of a non-standard identity. Like never telling the child that the Easter Bunny is just a story and going along with it for their whole life, even so far as getting the government to release a statement as to the Easter Bunny’s authenticity. How cruel! Children at this age say all sorts of weird stuff, that doesn’t mean we should accept what they say as truth.
I don’t mean to imply that gender identity needs to be correlated to specific roles or colors.
But rather I mean that male is good. Female is good. We shouldn’t reject our own bodies, our own selves, and instead we should love ourselves. We need to be who we are, and no one else. Because of the unity between body and soul (after all, one is a singular person, not two parts stuck together) our body tells us something about our soul. To reject this boy’s body and to go along with the fictional story that he’s really a she is to reject this boy’s person. For a mother to reject her own six year old is quite a wicked event. Sadly, by rejecting this boy’s masculinity, she does just that.