Some parents swear that their little girls were a dream to raise, while their little boys seemed to take it upon themselves to give their parents a hard time. Other parents would absolutely disagree with this and say that their sons were so much easier to handle than their daughters. If parents with sons and parents with daughters had a face-off, who do you think would win?
We know the grass is greener on the other side, but the truth is that the gender of your child can have an impact on your parenting. If you’re wondering who’s easier to raise, then read on because we’ve broken it down for you:
The Challenges Associated With Raising Boys
Parents who have boy babies will relate — raising a boy child can be exhausting at times, and here are all the reasons why:
So Much Aggression!
When it comes to aggression, boys come out stronger than girls in most cases. This has to do with the fact that boys tend to produce more testosterone than girls, and their brains are more inclined to roughhousing than girls. Parents who have boys often have to worry about their sons falling down a couch or the stairs and jumping on every possible surface in the house. You never know what a blessing baby-proofing your home can be unless you’ve had a baby boy! This isn’t to say that girl babies can’t be aggressive. In some cases, you may notice that your little girl enjoys rough and tumble play as well, and that’s normal too. It’s just that, on average, boys are a lot more aggressive than girls in this area (1), (2).
Girls are so much easier to communicate with — there are studies to prove this fact. You’re more likely to have a conversation with your daughter about her day at school or about the latest episode she’s been watching than with your son. Even during a conflict or when your boy child is going through a tough time, communicating with them can be challenging. Boys generally take a lot more time to open up and confide than girls. This also has to do with the fact that society, unfortunately, expects boys to be “tough” and “keep it all in like a man”. It’s unhealthy and ridiculous to impose such beliefs on your child, so if you have a son, feel free to tell them that it’s okay to cry and to let you know what they are going through so you can help them better (3), (4).
Brawn Vs. Brain
Ideally, boys win when it comes to muscle power, but in the academic forefront, girls shine brighter. It has been observed that, on average, boys pick up a language and fine motor skills a tad bit later than girls. Girls tend to have a lot more linguistic prowess than boys, and the fact that girls usually begin talking before boys is a testimony to this fact. It is safe to say that boys prove to be a lot more challenging than girls when it comes to academics. On the other hand, boys are more inclined to do sports than girls (5).
The Challenges Associated With Raising Girls
While boys have their own set of challenges, it won’t be fair if we don’t highlight all the problems you’ll face when raising a girl child. Here are the most common challenges associated with raising girls:
Girls can be a lot more emotional than boys, and this has to do with the fact that girls are allowed to express their emotions, while boys are asked to “suck it up”. You may notice your girl child boomerang from happiness to sadness to anger and back to being happy again in a matter of minutes. A lot of parents have observed their happy-go-lucky, sweet girl children turn into sullen adolescents overnight. The change isn’t as drastic when it comes to boys (4).
Constant Worry About Safety
Let’s admit it — the world can be a dangerous place, more so for a girl or woman. Girl children and women have been at the receiving end of several crimes, and safety has always been a concern. This isn’t to say that boys have it easy; boys and men have been victims of crime and danger, but women are more at risk.
As a parent, it is normal to worry about your girl child venturing out at dusk. Parents worry so much about their girl children when they go on picnics or come back late at night after a party. In fact, the United Nations Children’s Fund has stated that the world today, despite all its progression, is still highly violent and discriminatory for girls (6).
Bullying And Peer Pressure
When it comes to bullying and peer pressure, girls have a more challenging time dealing with it than boys. In the case of boys, it usually comes down to blows and fists; and the next thing you know, they’re all friends again. However, when girls are subjected to bullying or peer pressure, it can take a more severe toll on their mental health. Girls face a lot more shaming, judgment, and scrutiny doing the same things that boys do. For example, during teenage years, when a boy has a girlfriend, it’s usually considered “cool”. However, if a girl is seen with a boy, in some cases, she is easily classified as a “bad influence” (7).
So, who do you think is harder to raise: boys or girls? The truth is, parenting is hard, and raising a child, irrespective of their gender can be one hell of a ride. Having said that, based on facts and the way the world is, we can agree that boys are difficult to raise in their early years, while girls are harder to raise during their adolescence. It’s best not to go by stereotypes, though, because at the end of the day, each child is unique.
We can agree that raising a child is fun, challenging, overwhelming, and profound. You can throw in as many adjectives as you can think of because they’ll all most likely apply to your parenting journey — no matter the gender of your child. What are your thoughts on this? Let us know in the comments below!
- Boys’ and Girls’ Relational and Physical Aggression in Nine Countries
- Is testosterone linked to human aggression? A meta-analytic examination of the relationship between baseline dynamic
and manipulated testosterone on human aggression
- Sex differences in early communication development: behavioral and neurobiological indicators of more vulnerable communication system development in boys
- Gender Differences in Emotion Expression in Children: A Meta-Analytic Review
- Gender differences in individual variation in academic grades fail to fit expected patterns for STEM
- 25 years of uneven progress: Despite gains in education world still a violent highly discriminatory place for girls – UNICEF
- Long-term effects of bullying