Having three girls at home, my husband does occasionally get the sympathetic pat on the back that says “Things are going to get tougher when they are older, it would have been easier if you had boys?!”. As a woman I mildly resented the conclusion that the general consensus was that boys are a more easier group to raise. But saying this I do have the occasional friends who gush over my girls saying how blessed I’ll be to have my daughters around me in my old age. There’s many a playground moment when someone will vex at the fact that he or she has a house full of noisy unruly boys and what they wouldnot give for some beautiful quiet hours spent in the company of girls, having make believe tea parties and doodling in arts and crafts. The reality is that neither group is any easier to raise. Boys are loud, boisterous and unemotional but my son will brush away my forgetfulness at doing something he’s asked me to do. He pacifies my disappointment by saying “Next time, Mum”, whilst I know my daughter would have given me grief. At the same time, my daughters can be whining and demanding, but they are the only ones to bring me a hot tea and hold my hand when I’m down with a cold.
So therefore one cannot come to the conclusion that boys are more difficult to raise than girls or vice-versa. It all boils down to us, as parents, and how we decide to raise them. Should we throw our hands up in the air and allow the boisterous boy to cause destruction or should we entertain emotional meltdowns in our daughters. Yes I agree that each gender sometimes has to be raised differently, but that I believe is more to do with what ideas, beliefs and methods of behaviour we wish for them to pursue.
1. Expressing emotions: Most of the time we dictate how our children should express themselves emotionally. Boys are encouraged to hold back their feelings whilst it is acceptable for a girl to wail loudly at any instance. I personally would like to see all my children, whether male or female have strong emotional characters. I would like to see them express empathy when it is due and not be wailing at any instance whenever they can. Teach our children to express their emotions verbally, to be strong and to not let their emotions rule their behaviour.
2. Behaviour differences: Yes there are definite differences when boys play and girls. Boys will mange to even crumple some paper into a ball and start vigorous physical game of ball playing until someone is hurt and the surroundings are destroyed. Whilst girls on the other hand sit around in groups chattering, comparing hair bands or borrowing books, it’s a more quieter affair, at least that’s what we are thought o believe. Maybe boys play around in boisterous activities, because they are bored an require more stimulating play. Some girls or otherwise society labeled tomboys would love a game of play and catch. Do not give into societal norms, get boys to sit down once in awhile and do an activity that allows them to use their brains. Girls should be encouraged to be sporty, forget the hazards to skin and boy, let them be active, this will enrich their hearts.
Raising children, whether they be boys or girls is indeed a difficult affair. But I wouldn’t in my opinion say one is better than the other. The way children behave also is reflected on how we interact with them. Bad, insolent behaviour from either party might be a silent cry for our attention. Whether you are raising boys or girls, raising them right is all that matters. In parenting you only get one chance, do it right!
By Mayuri Jayasinghe