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Parent praised after revealing they are raising eight children without ‘gender roles’

Parent praised after revealing they are raising eight children without ‘gender roles’
‘It’s not controversial, it’s just the right way to raise a kid,’ one viewer says

A parent is being praised after revealing one of the “controversial” ways they raise their eight children includes not following or enforcing “traditional gender roles”.

The parent, who goes by the username @cptsdwhisperer on TikTok and Instagram, discussed some of their potentially “controversial” parenting methods in a three-part TikTok series.

In the first clip, titled: “Controversial ways I raise my kids,” the parent of eight explained that the family takes mental health days off school, their children are allowed to curse, which they do “a lot,” and that the family doesn’t “follow traditional gender roles”.

On TikTok, where the video has since been viewed more than 1m times, viewers have praised @cptsdwhisperer, who uses they/them pronouns, for their parenting, with many claiming that the techniques shouldn’t be “controversial”.

“This shouldn’t be controversial, honestly,” one person wrote, while someone else said: “We did all of these and they are better people for it. Good job momma!”

Another viewer, who identified themselves as an “educator,” also praised the parent for “raising tolerant, REAL little humans who learn to be their authentic selves unapologetically”.

“That’s just really good parenting,” another person added.

In a follow-up video created in response to a viewer who asked how the parent handles the gender roles, the TikToker explained that this means “we don’t have any”.

“It’s kind of just do as you want, what makes you feel good,” they explained. @cptsdwhisperer then used themselves as an example, noting that they were in the garage installing flooring while their husband was in the kitchen making dinner. “Do what makes you happy, that’s all that really matters,” they added.

In the second video in the series, the parent shared additional ways they parent that could be deemed “controversial,” with the TikToker explaining that their children “do NOT have to sit on Santa’s lap” and “their body, their choice,” which the parent noted “goes for just about everything”.

“Self-expression is encouraged,” they concluded.

The video prompted additional praise from viewers, with one person noting: “It’s not controversial, it’s just the right way to raise a kid.”

Others questioned if “their body, their choice” extended to the Covid vaccine, to which the TikToker confirmed that it does, but that all of their children chose to get the vaccine.

“You do what’s best for your fam,” they added.

In response to another comment from a viewer who said that they loved the series and wrote: “You are my inspiration, perfect mom,” @cptsdwhisperer responded: “Very far from perfect. I’m just trying to give my kids what I wish I had growing up.”

In the final part of the series, @cptsdwhisperer continued to share additional ways they are raising their eight children. According to the parent, this includes not requiring their children to hug or kiss anyone “unless they want to” and “gender identity is 100 per cent up to each individual child”.

The parent concluded the clip explaining that they consider their children’s grades in school “insignificant” as “effort is what matters”.

Despite labelling the parenting tactics “controversial,” the comments from viewers continued to be overwhelmingly positive, with many revealing that they agree with most of @cptsdwhisperer’s choices.

“You sound like a wonderful parent,” one person wrote, while another viewer said: “I swear, as a fellow mum, I agree with every single thing you’ve mentioned in all of these.”

Stereotypical gender roles and how they relate to childhood development is a commonly studied topic, with one study finding that these gender roles can contribute to “lifelong risks of mental and physical health problems”.

“Adolescent health risks are shaped by behaviours rooted in gender roles that can be well-established in kids by the time they are 10 or 11 years old,” Kristin Mmari, associate professor at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and lead researcher for qualitative research on the Global Early Adolescent Study previously told CNN.

The Independent has contacted @cptsdwhisperer for comment.