The not-so-easy task of raising kids
Whether raising a boy or girl, parenting is no easy feat because there are challenges with both. Find out what some mums and dads are saying about which is easier.
Raising kids isn’t easy. In fact, it can be down-right hard at times. Also, being a parent is the one thing that will bring you some of life’s greatest joys and heartaches. Another truth about parenting is that it is something that is going to go on and on until the end of time. But, have you ever wondered why? Well, other than the obvious; continuation of mankind!
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When I asked a random group of mom and dads what the best part of raising kids was, their answers included:
- The incredible, indescribable love you feel for your children--knowing that kind of love is what makes life so worth it
- Being there to help someone become who they are supposed to be--that’s quite an accomplishment
- Being able to be a kid with your kids
- Seeing life as a child again
- Raising kids is every parent’s chance to give the world the best thing to come along since iced tea
Raising kids isn’t all fun and games, though! Every parent knows that. But when I asked this same group of parents what the worst thing about raising kids was, this is what they had to say:
- My kids are all grown up and out on their own. So looking back on the whole experience, I’d say the worst part of it all is knowing I could have done better but can’t go back. All I can work with is now.
- Wanting to do more--give them more and know you just can’t.
- Trying too hard and falling flat on your face.
- Knowing that even though they are going to grow up and make their own choices, how they grow up is going to be a reflection on you. It’s scary. I’m just starting out, so I hope we don’t screw this up.
- Knowing that every day your imperfections are blatantly reflected in the words and actions of your kids. But this is also a good thing--it holds me accountable.
The boy-girl debate
What debate? The one that says raising boys is easier than raising girls--or the debate that says raising girls is definitely easier than raising boys. So which one is it?
The answer to that question is ‘boys and girls’. That’s right--the answer depends upon:
a) Who you ask
b) What has happened at home on the day you ask; and
c) How old the children are when you ask
The case for boys
Raising boys is said to be easier than raising girls for the following reasons:
- Boys are up-front and out there. They may be loud and rambunctious, but they aren’t plotting and there is usually no ulterior motive in their actions. Not generally so with girls.
- Raising boys keeps you fit. Loading truck load after truck load of blocks across the yard or through the house burns calories.
- Raising boys usually requires less of you psychologically. Now, before you accuse me of saying that raising boys is a no-brainer, think about what I’m saying. If a boy is angry or upset with his peers you know it. The wrestling and black eyes pretty much tell the whole story. But girls--they prefer to bully emotionally, secretively and vengefully using rumors, social networks and rejection.
- Raising boys is not the emotional roller-coaster that comes with raising girls. It’s a scientific fact that while boys and girls both go through hormonal changes during the growing-up years, the changes in boys are more physical than emotional, so they are easier to deal with.
It wouldn’t be fair to say that raising boys is a walk in the park, though!
- Boys are generally loud and rowdy. For moms who weren’t raised with boys, who are more quiet and refined or who live in a small apartment or in an area where running off all that energy isn’t easy, a loud and rowdy little boy can be nerve-racking.
- Boys don’t connect emotionally very well and are not usually very talkative--especially about how they feel. Communication is vital when it comes to raising kids--boys or girls. A boy’s lack of willingness to communicate can obviously make this difficult, especially between moms and sons since women are naturally more communicative.
- Adolescent boys will often go through periods of trying to treat their moms disrespectfully. This is the dominance-hormone ‘thing’ coming into play.
The case for girls
Raising girls is thought to be easier by some parents because:
- Girls are usually gentler, more mild-mannered and much quieter in their play
- Girls are more emotional, so can generally be reasoned with if you reason with their hearts
- Because moms still do the majority of the child-rearing, girls tend to enjoy spending time doing things with their mom.
- Girls usually develop quicker than boys mentally and emotionally. This allows parents to connect quicker.
But, raising girls isn’t always easy. There comes a time (usually about the age of 10) when girls become a mystery, even to most moms:
- Girls are emotional alright--overly emotional in most cases. This is especially true when those hormones start kicking in.
- Girls are vengeful and territorial. They will fight to the bitter end (and it can be very bitter) for what they feel should be theirs.
- Girls are much more prone to falling for all the lies the media feeds us in regards to how they should look. Parents of girls often find themselves in a constant battle with the media and their daughters when it comes to keeping them emotionally and physically healthy, happy and confident.
Now that you know...
Now that you know, you know that it’s all a matter of perspective. Moms of boys will usually say boys are easier--that they couldn’t imagine trying to raise girls. Moms of girls will usually say just the opposite. Moms of both are the diplomatic geniuses; saying there are pros and cons to both. I think we can all agree, though, that raising kids--boys and girls--is the best thing you’ll ever do.
NOTE: Some readers my find this article a bit sexist, but it is not meant to be. The pros and cons listed are based on physiological facts.