Labelling our children

I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately.

People tell me that my baby is very calm and super chilled out. I just say thank you and move on from conversation.

Now usually a mother would love to hear lots of positive things about their children.

I’ve seen that River Island advert where one of the models is 100% gender free. I think personally that implies gender is a label maybe.

I’m not saying it’s a bad or good label, but lately I’ve seen a lot of things on gender free.

I’ve read that boys should play with prams and dolls, but there are some of the opinion this is gay (a label) or not boyish.

I personally don’t give a crap what my child plays with. If he’s happy and enjoying himself then go to town playing with a pram if that’s what he wants to do.

I don’t personally think that makes him gay or any less boyish or whatever other label there may be.

What I’ve been pondering is the question of whether personality in itself is a label.

Psychologically speaking, there are personality tests you can take and fit into categories.

You are an introvert or extrovert as well as other different elements to determine your personality.

What would we be if every single label was taken away? The good ones and the bad ones (does anyone really want their child to be the troublemaker?)

Also, I was wondering, is my baby super chilled so he takes the world in his stride, or does he take the world in his stride because he super chilled?

I guess in terms of the nature/nurture debate it could be a bit of both?

I do understand the labels we give our children, sometimes I personally think it helps them understand who they are/might want to be, after all, as parents aren’t we teaching them about the world and their feelings about things? If a child was never labelled ‘good’ or ‘naughty’ I wonder if they would know what was ‘right’ from ‘wrong’.

I suppose this all a socially constructed element of what society finds acceptable really, so in the other argument of being label free, who’s to say what is ‘right’ and ‘wrong’.

I do notice in myself however, that I don’t like other people telling my child what is ‘right’ and ‘wrong’. Some people find him sucking his fingers disgusting, whereas I think it’s just an important phase in his life right now where he is exploring everything with his mouth. I wouldn’t let him pick up anything off a dirty floor and stick it in his mouth personally, but I don’t mind him sucking his fingers or toys etc.

Each to their own, we all have our limits and what we personally find acceptable and I think that’s ok for everyone to be who they are.

I guess I’m finding that I don’t know what the answer to some of these questions are, but I do find it interesting to think about and hear what other people have to say and think too.

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