Parenting is parenting, right? Boy, girl it doesn’t matter your job is still the same. To provide a loving nurturing environment for your children so they grow up to become productive members of society. But over the years I have come to the realization that no matter how I parent, boys and girls are just different.
Here are some of the things I have noticed since becoming the mother of a little boy.
Boys Are Different
I had two girls before I had my son. But in our house we always allowed them to have cars and trucks and there has always been horseplay or wrestling with Daddy. My husband is a very involved father who has shared all of his interests with all of his children, even the girls. Fishing, shooting, and wrestling being some of his main interests. And don’t get me wrong, the girls enjoy all of this stuff just as much as any boy ever could, but the thinking with boys is just clearly different.
- Everything is turned into a gun. If it looks even remotely like a gun he will “shoot” you with it.
- If it has a motor he has to see it. Like absolutely has got to see it. Construction vehicles he could watch all day long in front of the house. Garbage days he runs to the window to watch the garbage truck. He has even expressed interest in being a garbage man.
- He takes everything apart. He is forever unscrewing things. If someone is fixing something he is right there watching everything.
- And tools, they go hand and hand with above, but he absolutely loves tools. Power tools are fun, but his personal favorite are just regular old screwdrivers.
- Tying knots. My son will tie string around everything. I am sure he will absolutely love boy scouts and working to get the knot tying badge.
- Action movies are already an interesting genre to him. He stops whatever he is doing to watch.
Now The Girls
Of course I have 3 of them with 3 very different personalities. But they really just seem to naturally gravitate towards certain things.
- All of my girls love dolls. Caring for, feeding them, nurturing them.
- Doll strollers have always only been used by them as a baby stroller. Not a ramming device or race car. Simply a means to push their baby dolls in.
- They have little to no interest in how things go together and come apart.
- Instead of tying knots with string they would rather turn it into a pretty bracelet or braid it.
- They do play with cars, but it definitely does not hold their interest as long as my son and they care very little about the garbage truck, except that it makes their brother light up.
I wouldn’t consider myself a gender neutral parent by any means. I have no issue with my son slipping into high heels and clomping around the house in them. I have no issue with my girls putting on work boots to clomp around the house in. My son has been dressed up as Snow White, worn nail polish (he begs his sisters to paint his nails), and expressed interest in having long hair and bangs like his sister. I do draw the line at growing his hair long at this time in his life.
My girls have played with cars and trucks. They enjoy fishing and will even touch the worm and put it on the hook. They enjoy shooting arrows. They will wrestle and roll around in the dirt.
I encourage my daughters to do whatever interests them. There is no such thing as for boys only or girls only in my mind and my children are always allowed to play with or do what is typically boy or typically girl, but just the way boys and girls approach things it has been my experience that it’s just different.
Do you think the differences between boys and girls is more nature or nurture?