Many kids are uncomfortable with the kind of messaging that assigns them certain gender roles, or certain attention paid to their gender: they internalize the pressure to conform, and police those who don't. So do parents, even unwittingly. Many studies have shown that parents treat kids differently based on sex, with separate and unequal rules and expectations, many studies have shown.
Gender-expansive children living in unsupportive families might be miserable or even in danger quarantined at home. For some such children, school was their safe place. But there are many kids for whom school presented daily anxiety and dread. Now at home with their affirming families, they're flourishing. And they're helping parents see their experience in a new light.
Lisa Selin Davis writes, "Embracing ambiguity has become not just a novel idea but a mandate for all of us. There is no more cognitive closure. We don't know when this will end, or what the long-term impacts will be. None of us knows when we'll get sick, or how that sickness will manifest. It's one thing to wonder who your child will grow up to be. It's another to wonder if the life you thought you'd provide that child with will ever be available to you again."
But it’s possible that many of the differences between young boys and girls come from the way we approach child rearing, and the messages kids get about how boys and girls should look and behave: the cultural stereotypes we impose on them that become self-fulfilling prophesies of sorts. “It’s almost entirely cultural,” Brown says. Natal sex, in other words, is less predictive of who your children will be than of how you will treat them.