Friends, People, Everyone.

Please, stop saying “boys and girls” when addressing a group of children. There’s two reasons I want to touch on here. First, is their gender important in this instance? I’m guessing it isn’t. Second, do you really only want boys and girls, or do you want all of the children including the nonbinary ones? I’m guessing you want them all.

Now I can hear someone saying, but there aren’t any nonbinary children here. That’s an assumption you are making. Maybe there is, and you just don’t know. Maybe there is, but that child doesn’t have the language yet to explain this to you. You need to make space for those kids. As an added bonus you will also be modelling inclusion for all of the children.

So does that mean we should never say “boys” or “girls”? No, sometimes you will, when gender is relevant. You might have a trans-boy or a trans-girl in your group and for them it can be important to validate their gender by using boy or girl sometimes.

I’ve offered “Friends”, “People” and “Everyone” as some alternatives. Some people question “friends” because we aren’t all friends. That’s fine, if that doesn’t work for you choose something else. Have fun with it. Some times you might use more random words like “Superstars”, “Cool Cats”, or “Bumblebees”.

Is “guys” ok? No. We often use “guys” to refer to people of all genders, but really it’s a gendered term and means boys/men. This is really hard for me to stop using, but it’s really best that we do.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *