Sunday, May 20, 2007

Oh Boy!!!

Is there really a difference between boys and girls? I mean, besides the obvious.

Some people say boys are easier to raise than girls. Others argue girls are by far the simpler species. While still others say boys are easier until the teen years, then your sweet little girl becomes a rage of hormones and there is no hope for peace. And there are those who say kids are kids, regardless of gender, and if you can understand one you can understand them all. Yeah, right.
I'm here to say, there is a difference. I see it in my own kids every day. But I got the biggest kick out of the differences I saw in other people's kids this weekend.

Friday afternoon Joshua asked if he could invite his best friend over to spend the night. Spur of the moment plans like this one don't often work out, but this time it did and Joshua's friend came over to visit. This little boy is so well-behaved and polite I am happy to have him over any time. He is also so well-behaved and polite I don't always think of him as a typical boy. He changed my impression Friday night.
After we'd watched our Friday night movie and they'd had a chance to play awhile I told all the kids it was time for bed. Of course they were reluctant, but they eventually made it upstairs and got settled into bed. As I came back downstairs, expecting them to go to sleep soon (oh, silly me) I sat down to talk with my husband and got an ear-full from upstairs. The boys - all of them - were making the biggest, juiciest farting noises I've ever heard. And you should have heard the laughter accompanying the noise. The thing is, I think Joshua's friend was the biggest instigator of the whole event. My husband and I just looked at each other, laughed, and said, "They're boys!"

On Saturday, the big event was Matthew's birthday party. He turned seven on Friday and was excited to be having his first ever "friend birthday party." Creating the guest list for his party was a task Matthew took very seriously, and he thought it wise to consult with his older and more experienced siblings.
Matthew wanted to invite one little girl from his class, who is his good friend, but he wasn't so interested in having any other girls come. Elizabeth and Joshua avised him this little girl might feel odd, being the only girl, and thought he should invite other girls or at the very least inform this friend of the fact she was the only girl on the guest list. Matthew went with the second option and was pleased to report back that this girl "was OK with it." I'd heard opinions from other parents that this girl wasn't very "girly" and wondered how she would compare to the boys.
Let me say, "girly" or not, she confirmed for me there is a difference between boys and girls even before the teen years. This young lady was the first guest to arrive and she promptly followed me past the hanging streamers and floor covered with balloons into the play room, found a book and started reading. She told me how much she enjoys sitting and reading books, and I thought, Oh, how peaceful.
Within moments, the other guests started arriving. The boys came into the house, ran back and forth between the rooms which had streamers hanging in the doorway, found the big bouncy balls and started jumping on them. They were loud and having tons of fun just yelling, for no apparent reason except to see who could be loudest.
When it was time to play a game, the boys were all pushing to be first and the little girl said, "I'll go last." Similarly, when it was time to open presents the boys were eagerly saying, "Open mine first," and even ripping into the presents themselves.
I sat back observing the situation, not thinking badly of the boys, just marveling at the stark difference I saw between the two genders. We are all created in the image of God. How can it be we are so different?
I don't think I'll ever understand the answer to that question, and I'm almost resigned to the fact I'll never really understand boys. Oh, I'll keep trying. Rumor has it there are some good books out there which would be helpful. And I can always ask my husband, "Is that just a boy thing?"
But for anyone who really believes kids are kids and that's that, I beg to differ. And for those who say boys are easier to raise than girls, I disagree. OK, maybe I'll change my tune in a couple years when Elizabeth becomes a teenager, but for now I am a proponent for the Girls Are Easier camp.

What's your opinion???

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A Captured Reflection said...

Oh at this stage, I would definatly say girls are easier, but then I remember myself as a teenager and hope and pray.... I have just ordered your book from Amazon by the way. Can't wait to get it.

Jen @ irrationallove said...

I don't have boys...just 4 girls all under age 9. My cousins have 5 young boys between them and they all live in close proximity and we've been able to observe the differences. So yes, I believe there are HUGE differences. Although my girls are very active...wildly active at times and every single one of them could win an Oscar for their dramatics...I'm still in the girls-are-easier least for now!

Anonymous said...

I certainly think that anyone who says gender differences are nonexistent or created by parents has certainly never had children! I think boys can certainly be more rowdy, but I can handle rowdy better than a sassy teenage girl. My girl is only two, so I am already praying that I will make wise decisions now to help avoid some of that!

Jenileigh said...

My oldest daughter is almost 17. I have two others who are 11 & almost 6. I don't have any boys YET I'm still petitioning the Lord for them! :)

So my opinion is a little biased but I have to say that my girls to this point have been so much easier than me and my sister were at those ages and much easier than my brother who is now almost 25. I kept expecting my oldest to blow up or change into this hormonal monster but by the grace of God it never happened. Maybe the difference is pleading the blood over her? Binding the spirit of rebellion? Maybe its just *her* nature? Maybe its the combination!! I know my 11 yo is so different than my oldest daugher I have a feeling she'll keep me on my knees far longer than her older sister! :)

But either way, aren't they all a joy? I hear my best friend tell stories like this one you shared of your son and I long for the days of boyhood. Not that I don't LOVE the girls, dress up, make-up and dance. But you know what I mean.

I'm amazed at how time flies and often the thoughts of them being all grown and gone brings such a sadness. Bad days-good days they are all great.

Carol said...

They are different. And at different times...of their lives, of the month, of the year, of the day. They're just plain different.

Which is easier when may also depend on the parent's idea of easy. For some, going to the mall is easier than going to a ball game. For some, building a tree fort is easier than perming hair. Again, it depends.

And each is wonderful in very special and precious ways!

Sherri said...

You ask, "How can it be that we are so different?"
I have one word for you that SUMS IT UP! Testosterone!!!!!!!
Girls and boys are different for the simple reason that they were given different hormones. Also, our brains are wired has been proven. Put these two components together and there is no way that one can say that girls and boys are alike or meant to be alike. The myth that we make our children who they are by the toys and such that we buy them is, well, just a myth. We are who we are because of hormones and because our brains are built that way. The LARGEST factor, though, is the hormones...specifically testosterone.
I have two boys and a girl. Honestly, the boys are easier, but that is mostly because girls are so emotional and need so much more than boys in the way of clothes and shoes....stuff like that.
They are both equally as wonderful!!!

Annie said...

Your comment cracked me up, I thought you were seriously considering an easier plan and then it took me a minute... okay, yes I am a blonde...
anyway, yes, the genders are very different. With three girls and one boy around here I see it so much. I think as far as teens the boy is easier so far. He's such a sweet little guy and no drama (well not much).

Corrie said...

How funny! I have no idea what it will be like to "raise" my boy, as he is only 4 months old right now. My girls are 4 years & 4 months, so I can't really compare past the infant stage. My son is a very compliant baby, which is a blessing since he is a twin! I am looking forward to the adventures...although I'm not big on bodily noises...ha ha. I guess I'll have to get used to those!

Robin Green said...

I agree that there is a difference. I think that girls are so much more emotional. I think the hormones start raging and girls get moody or weepy and the boys deal with anger. Boys and girls are both wonderful and I wouldn't trade motherhood for the world.

Jenny said...

My head coach used to coach boys until last year. He says "I'm 49, and I'm just now seeing there is a difference between boys and girls!" I just laugh at him!! As far as easiest, I just don't know. My 13 yr old son has been great, but he has a wait-&-see attitude, very cautious, and not into girls yet. It's been fun so far. My 10 yr old girl is spicy and into boys, which is one reason I'm homeschooling until she's 30. But she's been fun so far. She's just getting to the emotional stage, and I don't like it, only 'cause it takes hubby away from consoling me while I'M crying!! :) Let's revisit this issue in about, say, 10 years. Do you think we'll still be bloggin' then?

Anonymous said...

Right now, all I can say is that each child regardless of gender is wildly different from the others. I don't want to point out particular differences to try to illustrate my point (I don't want to make any of them feel singled out or compared), but I would have to say that I see fewer gender differences than individual differences, and those are dramatic.