Raising Boys and Girls

Over the weekend I was able to spend some quality one on one time with kids—each had a sleepover leaving the other all to me (and my husband, but this isn’t about him!J).  And with each child of mine—one daughter, one son—I noticed our time together went quite differently.

Raising boys is NOT the same as raising girls, despite what my college self thought. Okay, what my college self argued, rallied against and completely refused to accept, even well into her twenties! Forget the fact that my best girlfriend was having children and speaking from actual experience—oh, no. That wasn’t enough to sway me from my position. I was a double psychology major.  I knew that boys and girls were different because of socialization. You remember the old nature vs. nurture debate, don’t you?

Yes, well, I’m here to tell you boys and girls are born different. They come spitting out of their mother’s body with a unique set of features and I would say, a unique disposition as well. And for those of you speculating, yes, I do believe in astrology. When Aries stop leading the charge and Sagittarius stop proving to be the life of the party, I’ll reconsider. Until then, I’m going with it!

With time, I’ve come to see our personalities as a mix of nature-nurture.  My daughter wants to bake and talk.  She wants her hair combed with your fingers.  She wants to know if her outfit looks all right. My son doesn’t care what he’s wearing or that it’s covered in wrinkles or mud. He wants to ride his bike fast, catch air over dirt mounds—with me watching of course. He does enjoy an audience. (Now is that his Leo moon or the boy himself? Not sure.)

But my son likes to talk—something I tell him the girls are gonna love! While he could care less about girls he does like to gab, gab, gab and usually about things he “knows” all about.  He informs me of facts and figures, stats and stunts. He tells me how much air he caught, how it’s higher than anyone else, ever. In addition to “knowing” things, I’ve noticed that boys like to be the best at everything, too.

But he’s a lover. (Of course he is—he’s a Scorpio!) At night he wants to snuggle with his mom. He wants me to lie down beside him as he puts his head to pillow and if I would, sleep with him all night long. While it sounds excessive, it’s a far cry less than he used to want, stealing through the house at night, slipping into our bed, tucking himself safe and secure between his father and I.

My daughter rarely made this trek.  And while she wants you to play with her hair at night, she wants her space. A good thing, because our bed isn’t big enough for the four of us! 

Though at times I wish it were…  I’m a snuggler and would much rather cuddle with my children than sleep a full eight hours alone.  As to raising boys and girls, I love that my kids are unique and distinct. Slow and soft makes a nice ride through life while fast and hard keeps it thrilling!  How about you?

Posted on August 29, 2011, in Blog Posts. Bookmark the permalink. 13 Comments.

  1. I always wanted two boys and after the birth of our 2nd boy, our doctor said, “So now you’ll find out how much can break in your house.” We did. It was definitely pedals to the metal in and out of our house.

    Yet I always thought my husband missed out on the experience of raising a daughter. You know, daddy holding a shotgun in his arms and waiting on the porch for his teenage daughter to get home from date. 🙂 But now that our boys are grown, I’ve discovered I was the one who missed out on the female companionship a mother shares with her daughter(s). So now I wait for my yet-unknown future daughter-in-law and pray and hope that we love each other like a mother and daughter.

  2. Dianne,
    As the mother of both a boy and a girl, I can relate to the vast differences between the two. It gets even more exciting as they enter their teenage years. 🙂 Like your son, mine is very chatty, spouting all kinds of statistics that mean absolutely nothing to mean. It’s quiet here in the house with him away at college. I miss his prattling–most of the time!

    Great post!

  3. Ditto, ditto! Yes Diane, it is so true. Your post brought back the memories of watching them and never ceasing to be amazed by their wonderful differences. Even as grown adults … my son makes a great living with that magical tongue and my daughter would not be seen in a rainstorm without coordinating rain gear. She the Leo and he the Sagitarius, they are both exciting and thoughtful, confident and careful. From one ex-psyhc major to another … continue to enjoy them.

  4. Good morning, Dianne! I, too, have one boy, 17, and one girl, 12, and YES they are so different it’s unbelievable! My son used to be a talker until he turned 15 or so, then he became quieter and less chatty, reserving that for when he was with his “bros”. My daughter and I hang out together and I DO enjoy doing that with her, hoping that she will not follow in my son’s footsteps when she turns 15, but I’ll have to wait and see! Both of my kids are very affectionate and my son was the one who slept between my husband and me for years, not my daughter. Part of that could have been because my husband had had enough disrupted sleep after 4 years, so my daughter had to stay in her own bed. My daughter has been interested in boys for several years now and my son could care less – go figure. I’m learning all this on the fly, so to speak, and trying the best I can to raise them well; but there sure is no book to follow and everyone’s advice has to be taken with a bag of salt since every child is different.

  5. My son may take the same track but hopefully I have some time before my daughter decides she wants the attentions of a boy….Daddy isn’t looking forward to that day, either! 🙂

  6. Have a stepson who’s now 21, but I’ve had him since 13. His teen years were very different from my daughter’s who is now 16. Like your daughter, Dianne, she is all about clothes and decor and having her hair just right…and loves me to play with it LOL! He was a sweet boy that was possessed by aliens at sixteen, and they left us a moody smelly irritated teen that wanted nothing to do with anyone. Now that he’s of age and going out to clubs, he’s all GQ and has to look perfect, which cracks me up. My daughter is at the alien stage too though…she may be all about the cool stuff, but she changes personalities by the minute. I can go to in her room twice in 15 mins and get two different girls…lol

    • Aaaaaggghh! The hormones have landed and abducted our children’s personalities! LOL Oh I can SO wait another few years before THAT begins!

  7. Well, that makes me feel a little better since at times my son is Chatty Kathy and at others he’s morose and uncommunicative and I feel like I’m living with Dr. Jekyl, or is that Mr. Hyde – can’t recall.

  8. So funny–I have a son and daughter also! Boy, they couldn’t be more different! I thought I was a superior parent because my son was so easy going. God gave me my daughter to prove me wrong! She has never been easy since she started talking. As my son wades into the teen years things are changing fast. He’s moody with the surges of hormones, but the sweet kid is in there somewhere. She amazes me with her maturity and outlook on life. What an adventure raising them has been!

    • Opposite here. I would have had a third child but after my son was born, I simply didn’t have the energy. Granted I was “old” to begin with (starting at 35) but this little boy never slept, screamed his head off unless he was nestled in my arms, then once he could move about on his own, he was so full of energy I couldn’t keep up! A definite “chili pepper” for those of you who keep up with my garden blog… 🙂

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