Most couples these days opt for having one child only, but since we always wanted a bigger family we decided to have two children. Couples who want both a girl and a boy need to know the differences between raising a boy and a girl child.
“When you have two children then you’re more a referee than a parent”, goes a popular saying! In my case of being a parent to two kids with an age gap of 2 years – One Boy and One Girl – I can absolutely vouch how true this is!
When you’re raising two sons or two daughters, you don’t tend to dwell much on the differences, but when you have one of each in the house – the differences are startling. With the raging gender debate and new age feminism aside - it just can’t be denied that there are stark differences in the way male and female bodies function.
Being a feminist myself, I wouldn’t want anything less for my daughter – but there is absolutely no harm in admitting that raising a boy is different from that of raising a girl. Let’s look at the differences between how a girl and boy develops.
Also Read: Raising Your Little One in a Joint Family Vs Nuclear Family
7 Differences between raising a boy and a girl child
Is there a difference in the behavior of a boy and a girl child? Yes, absolutely Girls tend to mimic more, while boys are comparatively more fearless. In spite of all the gender-neutral conditioning, You will observe that boys are louder than girls and girls are more sensitive than boys. While girls tend to respond to a talking voice more and establish eye contact sooner, boys love to look at faces in a crowd.
Developing self-esteem and confidence is critical for all kids growing up. Girls are more compliant and the people pleaser gender, they therefore look more for validation from outside. Hence unwittingly a lot of them grow up less confident and more insecure than boys.
Parents can help their daughters increase their confidence by consciously complimenting them for their mind and not just for her looks or example, next time instead of saying “You’re so pretty!” or “You’re so sweet!” say “You’re so smart.” Encourage your friends and family to ask her about her interests and her favorite toys instead of just admiring her new dresses.
It would be stating the obvious that boys and girls have different body type. A baby girl’s private parts are more sensitive and require a more thorough cleaning as the risk of infections and bacterial growth is higher. Girls also generally mature faster than boys.
Boys privates are easier to maintain but also require regular cleaning. Yeast infections and body discharges are associated primarily with a girl’s body - so be sure to keep an eye.
This has to be the most controversial topic in our society today! It is said that women are from Venus and men are from Mars. Boys’ minds are more action-oriented while girls’ minds are more empathic and creative. So instead of trying extra, extra hard to raise a tomboy or a feminist son, let your child grow into their own personalities.
Personally, I’ve never been a fan of toys being gender specific. As parents, we should not try to impose toys of specific kinds based on gender. It isn’t important that guys play with cars and girls play with dolls. As parents, we should be broad-minded and let our kids choose.
Since girls love to listen to talking voices and do maintain eye contact, you should continue to help them develop their social skills. For boys, this may require some encouragement, so make an effort to ensure that he wishes or greets any new people who visit your home - but never force him.
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Most boys tend to lag behind girls when it comes to developing attentiveness, language and fine motor skills - all essentials to excelling at academics. An area where girls lag behind boys is in spatial learning and subjects like geometry. Girls tend to use different part of their brain to process space perceptions than boys. It could also be because we have traditionally pushed our boys towards blocks while encouraging girls to play with toys.
#7. Physically Harder/Aggression
No matter how much we deny it - boys are physically stronger and so is the aggression. Boys tend to be more physically active than girls, from infancy to childhood. Any exhausted parent of a boy will testify to the fact that boys kick, swing and race more than girls.
Research has shown that the sex hormone levels do not differ very much between boys and girls till puberty hits. This suggests that parenting and peer influence is a major factor amplifying the disparity between boys and girls. Mothers tend to discourage physical aggression and risk-taking behaviour more in daughters than in sons.
To conclude, gender is a huge part of who we are but it is just a part. While nature has her role to play, your child’s personality will develop over the years in the environment he/she is brought up. So, don’t worry too much if your son doesn’t make eye contact much or if your daughter is more interested in talking than activities – just let them develop at their own pace.
Enjoy spending time with them and creating memories as they grow up. We hope this list of differences between raising a boy and a girl child will come useful for you.
Also read: 10 Principles of Good Parenting
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