I write about raising boys. I’m not in the business of raising girls; if I were, perhaps this would be a more balanced space for parents and parents-to-be, but this is what I have. This is what I know. And though I try not to make generalizations about gender and instead try to point out that there are so many variations within a group instead of between them, the truth is, my observations and experiences have lead me to draw several conclusions about boys.
They need to move. While my mama friends with girls would sit and chat next to me on the couch, their little girls would often stay close by and seem genuinely interested in what we had to say while my boys tore around the house, flitting from one thing to the next and sometimes quite literally climbing the walls of the house. The need for boys to move often comes at a price when they are in a traditional school setting and are no longer able to move freely about. This may be why many more boys are diagnosed with ADHD (and subsequently medicated) than girls.
They are not as aggressive as you might think. Sure, they are physical, but a lot of that touch is hugging, wrestling, and all around sweet. My boys will be tackling each other one minute, hugging the next. There is a push-pull that occurs as they learn to find their own limits and the limits of their brothers and peers.
They cry. A lot. Seriously, I had no idea how much crying there would be.
They get over it. I am continually amazed by how quickly my boys move on from hurt feelings or hurt bodies and forgive and forget. They never stay mad for long, which is so refreshing.
They need male role models. Obviously, this is the same for girls. What has surprised me about boys is just how closely they pay attention to the male adults in their lives. They seem to hear everything our male friends say, and to notice everything they do. This is a case for being selective in the male role models you allow into your inner circle. It’s also a case for keeping the radio low during an election year… eh, ehm.
How about you? What are your observations in raising girls? Boys? I’d love to hear your thoughts!