This week Lucky Mother of Boys asks us – Are there gender rules for children? It’s a topic that comes up again and again, with everything from the pinkification of girls to the stereotyping of boys being dissected and discussed.
So here’s what Alison, a mother of three boys and our Blog of the Week, has to say on the subject….
There is a sort of unwritten code when raising children. A list of gender rules which we are all aware of and wonder (and sometimes worry) if they will be true for our kids. As a mother of three boys will I be subject to a house full of bad smells and occasional grunt responses or maybe just maybe will things be different?
Help me out. What is your experience? Here are some of these rules for you to think about.
Little boys love their mothers the most
Little girls are more independent
Boys are rowdy, dirty and loud
Girls scream and have tantrums
Boys don’t like public affection
Girls are more thoughtful
Boys don’t communicate
Girls are ‘Daddy’s girls’
Teenage boys are easier
Teenage girls are a nightmare
Grown boys leave home and rarely call
Grown girls are always in contact
A son is a son until he meets a wife
A daughters a daughter for the rest of her life
But here’s the thing. I know of young girls who love both parents but are clearly closer to their mothers. I know of grown sons who, with their own families, remain closest to their parents. And, formally being a teenage girl myself I don’t think I was too horrendous!
I know the response will be that these rules are generalisations and don’t apply to all so, problem solved. But, who made them up? And, do they really apply to the majority of children or, by repeatedly saying them, do we give them more validity in real terms? They may be dismissed as harmless comments but to the father of all girls I bet it grates just a bit to hear for the millionth time ‘I pity you when they are teenagers!’. Perhaps it would be better for all if we just let our individual children dictate their own course. They may surprise us!
My children are still young so whether or not these rules will actually be true for them is yet to pan out. But, I do know that each of my boys has his own unique personality and is therefore unlikely to follow the same path, like the same things or act in the same way. Therefore, instead of worrying I look forward to watching how each of them develops and inevitably how our relationship will evolve (not to say that I don’t at times wish I could keep them as little ones forever!).
So, don’t tell me that my son is destined to become distant, moody and rarely call me in my old age. Ok, it might happen but that will be down to my son’s individual choices not because he is following a predetermined code. In truth, I hope that they all make good choices and remain thoughtful, caring and confident boys. If this means breaking the rules – they’ve got my blessing to go for it!