Raising Boys and Girls

Tuesday, February 19, 2008
Parenthood is hard. Big newsflash, huh? Not so much. No owners manual, no instructions, just the on-the-job training experience from hell.

I do think that raising boys and girls is a different skill set, and that raising girls is much, much harder.

At least that's been my experience.

Not to be propagating stereotypes or anything, but here are my personal observations about raising boys and girls. Please note that my own children don't constitute a statistical universe, so your mileage may vary.
  • Girls are much more emotional than boys, especially once puberty sets in. This manifests in a variety of ways, including head spinning, pea-soup vomiting, and growling exclamations to "get out." While I believe that boys also feel things deeply, they tend to internalize it more. The skill set to deal with girls (calm them down, don't join them in the Court of the Drama Queen) is very different from the set needed to deal with boys (draw them out, don't allow them to internalize their emotions to the point where they explode).
  • The mistakes that boys make tend to be much more straightforward than girls. A boy will break a rule because they want to, and when asked why they made the choice they did, will usually respond with Bill Cosby's perennial favorite, "I don't know." A girl's motivation to break the rule will usually involve some sort of complicated internecine relationship-based justification that requires a Ph.D in psychology to interpret.
  • Boys are lazy, girls aren't. But don't try to make a girl do something she doesn't want to do.
  • Girls like to play the "who's fault is it?" game. Here's a hint: it's never their's. Boys don't play this as much, but will engage in the most stunning dumb-assery for no apparent reason.

That's my experience. Quite frankly, I'll be glad when it's over.

9 comments:

John the Scientist said...

Points 2 and 4 are related because girls want to be justified in whatever they do. Boys don't give a rats and will do something because it looks fun.

This does not change alot in adults.

Janiece Murphy said...

Good point, John.

Michelle K said...

Unfortunately for me, I remembering being a teenager quite clearly.

It was as if every emotion was coming in at full volume, and the noise was so distracting it was impossible to think coherently about anything else.

And you definitely have my sympathy, for dealing with one of each.

Jim Wright said...

There is a reason why boys engage in stunning asshatery - to impress the girls. :)

And the girls encourage them.

Jim Wright said...

Also, you left out a significant point, boy babies pee straight up during diaper changes - every damned time. They think it's funny.

As John observed - this does not change much in adult males :)

Janiece Murphy said...

I just need to get some perspective. My teens aren't any worse than any other normal teens. We're just having a rough week.

Michelle K said...

If you want some perspective, I can tell you horror stories about *my* teenage years.

Shawn Powers said...

My oldest of 3 girls is turning 11 in about a month. She already has days where she cries at the drop of a hat, and has more Soap Opera going on at school than daytime TV has going on at home... Ugh.

Janiece Murphy said...

Oh, Shawn. Believe me, it will get nothing but worse. Hold on tight - it's going to be a bumpy ride.