My first child was a boy, Though I was very happy then, however, I was apprehensive a bit about him due to the stories I have been hearing about the difficulties of raising male children. My first child Tim who is now 4 years old did not even give me that much problem like I was expecting. Yet, I was guiltily happy when I knew my second child would be a girl. Then in my naiveté, I was thinking my baby girl would turn out to be a cakewalk for me in terms of handling a kid, but was I wrong? In my initial ignorance, I was very happy with the thought that she would be easier for me to handle. But when she threw her alarming tantrum on the day she first met her baby sister, I began to feel unsure of my initial perception of easily raising a girl. What made me think about the difficulty in raising a boy? I recollected that I used to pity mothers having many boys as children in their families. Before I got pregnant, I was imagining how difficult it must have been for such mothers in having to deal with all the rowdiness, mess, and rough play from their male children. But what I didn’t know at that time was that every parental situation is always different for each parent, child, or family. Kids do have individual personalities and the fact that we mostly have a perception or stereotype about a particular gender in children doesn’t mean it’s going to turn out that way for every child. The fact is that the experiences of raising boys or girls will always differ in some cases.
Now my case was indeed different because I only had a boy and a girl at first before having my third child who was another baby girl. And for a fact, my boy loved indulging in rough plays and being noisy while growing up. In fact, he would always trouble his younger sister by stealing her toys and trying to perform tricks on her. Remember I mentioned something about my female child also having her attitudes right from childhood. Well, it turned out that as sweet as my daughter was sometimes, she could also be rough during her period of mischief. I sure loved it whenever she came to me for cuddles or urging me to teach her in making up for her dolls, and sometimes even herself. She could truly be a delight and real angel at times whenever she wanted to be. Yet it seems that the more she grows, the more emotionally complicated she becomes. This minute she might be all funny and cute, then she’d suddenly turn sullen or irritable the next minute, especially when she thought she was being ignored. My boy on the other hand only cares about his toys, rough plays, food, and small electronics. And he could also get nasty at times especially when he couldn’t find a favorite toy or games of his, or becoming angry sometimes when he got too hungry.
But above all, what I truly discovered is that each child, whether boy or girl, does have individual behaviors, sweetness, and bad attitudes. And judging from all my parental experience so far, both my male and female children can prove to be both a handful and blessings at times. While my boy usually prefers to be straightforward with his request, my girl prefers for you to wring it out of her. So the bottom line is that none is easier to raise between the two genders.
ON COPING WITH RAISING EITHER A BOY OR GIRL
This age-long question and so many recent gender arguments up the remembrance of an early 19th-century nursery rhyme that goes to this way:
Snips and snails, and puppy dogs tails,
That’s what little boys are made of.
Sugar and spice and all things nice,
That’s what little girls are made of.
Now the above rhyme can be contradictory as well as misleading in its literal interpretations by most people in today’s societies. In fact, this issue of which of the human genders is mentally, socially, and academically better as children, spouses, social individuals, or as parents have sparked a lot of debates both on scientific and social discourses.
A survey by financial resource site, MoneyTips, as exclusively released to marketwatch.com portrayed that more than 500 parents say it’s actually the girls that cost you more to raise than boys.
According to the parents, the estimate it costs, on average, is up to an additional $2,160 a year to raise a daughter versus a son through age 18. Also, parents in a survey by British site LoveMoney.com revealed that raising a daughter is costlier, though they estimate it at only $200 extra per year.
Also in another survey by Childcare.co.uk, two-thirds of British parents (66%) were alleged to have stated that it is a lot easier to raise boys than girls.
While two-thirds of the parents who took part in the survey would rather raise boys than girls, 17% of them said that girls are easier to raise, 13% said both genders are difficult to raise, while 4% said both sexes are easy to raise.
According to 66% of the 6,225 parents and guardians of children aged between 6 months and 15 years who took part in the survey, boys are the easier gender to raise based on their emotional needs, communication, behavior, and resilience:
36% said boys have more manageable emotional needs,
29% says boys are more resilient
25% says boys communicate better
10% says boys are generally better behaved than girls
In another related survey from the United States by global analytics firm Gallup, 54% of American parents also agree that boys are less difficult to raise as children than girls. Since 1947, Americans have consistently said that boys are the easier gender to raise.
THE TRUTH OF THE MATTER
The truth of the matter is that the perceived stereotypes of managing a boy or girl child are really reliant or determined by your own parental experiences and situations just like mine. Though you as a parent still need to know that there are, in truth, certain distinct behaviors that each gender will exhibit. It has been proven scientifically that males and females are biologically different. This is why they are expected to exhibit different attitudes, behaviors, and knowledge towards their environment as they grow from infants. On the other hand, this is not saying that “a typical girl or boy behavior” cannot be manifested in either gender.
How difficult you find it has as much to do with your temperament as your child’s. This is because, for instance, boys are already expected by societal stereotypes to be fascinated with rough plays, too loud and rowdy, being messy and unruly around household items, physically aggressive, mostly having an annoyingly short attention span to details, etc. While the perceived good sides of having boys as children are their low maintenance in terms of clothing, being easier to feed, not needing their room, toys, and items to be changed to an array of colors, etc.
As for the downside of a girl child, they are usually perceived as being too persistent, petty, or picky with their foods, clothing, and everything else, always wanting things to go their own way, having emotional rollercoasters, etc. The guess is that most of these behaviors listed above are likely what many of the parents in the surveys have been going through and hence why they concluded their female children are expensive to raise.
The bottom line of all these is that raising children is hard work, regardless of gender. If we are to look at all the scenarios of boy and girl child behaviors, it is logical to say that children’s unique characteristics are mostly determined by their inherent temperament and how their parents raise them. Of course, the different hormones in boys and girls may have some influences at times, but that doesn’t mean it is generally instrumental in directing a boy or girl’s behavior till adulthood in the end. It is very logical to believe that situations and family backgrounds differ and these factors are much more influential than their gender positions. Some kids are just more challenging than others, and for those, parents have to work together, adjusting their style accordingly
The best advice is for parents to take cognizance of each of their children’s abilities and dispositions, and focus on developing them towards positive directions. I have been able to take cognizance of my own children’s behaviors and that is what I have been using in handling and taking care of them. I can guarantee you that this is the best approach because it will surely reduce your parental stress instead of basing your expectations on what others think girls and boys are like and should be. In other words, whether you’re raising a male or female child, there’s always more than enough difficulty to go around. So every parent should look for the joy buried in the tough stuff and run with it. Also, train them to be appreciative of whatever your budget gets them. This will help them as they grow up into adults and learn how to be responsible with resources instead of just wanting to get every other thing kids like them are getting.
And lastly, the key to successful parenting, whatever your child’s gender, is to figure out what makes him or her tick and how to make the child’s personality work with your own. You also need to recognize that the behaviors you find challenging can also have positive qualities.