Be it a boy or girl, raising a child comes with certain responsibilities and (a whole lot of) sacrifices – from feeding duties and endless diaper changes to sleepless nights spent stumbling around your home like a zombie as you frenziedly attempt to pacify a wailing baby. Then fail.
These are simply a few of the dilemmas faced caring for a baby. The gender of your little love, however, brings a whole set of different problems.
The Testosterone Connection
In a study conducted by Dr Simon Baron-Cohen, author of The Essential Difference: The Truth About the Male and Female Brain, it was found that there are distinct differences in the wiring of male and female brains. Baron-Cohen was able to conclude that the average male brain is better at systemizing and predicting outcomes whereas its female counterpart is relatively better at empathizing with others.
This study sheds light upon the generalizations made by society decades ago: boys are louder and more aggressive while girls are more composed and attuned to their emotions. Do not be surprised if your little one does not demonstrate behavior associated with his or her gender. Baron-Cohen stresses upon the fact the descriptions of ‘male’ and ‘female’ are nothing but averages and it is highly possible to come across a loud girl or a shy boy.
The following are the most widespread characteristics noticed by mothers who have raised sons:
Boys are aggressive and physical.
Boys are infamous for their daredevil antics that can cause them or/and their surroundings serious damage. Mothers often complain that leaving their sons unattended for even a short period can lead to grave consequences. Whether it may be a broken bone or broken furniture, boys do not seem to calculate the consequences of their actions. This is confirmed by scientific research: higher testosterone levels in boys make the average male brain more prone to roughhousing than the average female brain.
Communication is a challenge
According to Baron-Cohen, vocabulary development for children between the ages of 18-24 months was a lot slower for those children who possessed a higher level of testosterone. Boys tend to look at every task like a competition to display their superiority and exhibit their alpha male instincts. This can present as a challenging dilemma for mothers when her two sons just won’t give in to each other.
Now don’t underestimate these angels; girls too come with an equal set of formidable issues.
Girls talk back more.
In a study by behavioral neurologist Norman Geschwind, the higher the amount of fetal testosterone, the faster the right side of the brain develops. This helps understand why girls seem to learn to talk at an earlier stage in their life since they possess a relatively lower level of testosterone in their body. The benefit of this fact is that girls are able to tell you exactly what they are thinking. The drawback? Prepare to be pestered by your little detective.
Girls are emotionally high maintenance.
This problem does not seem to kick in until your daughter’s adolescent years where she suddenly transforms from a happy child to a petulant teenager. Girls struggle with all the physical changes that are part and parcel of becoming a woman. This usually means that parents have to face the brunt of their frustrations. And their journals of course.
Parenting is tough. Let nobody fool you into thinking any different. However as they say: the sweeter the fruit in life, the tougher the endeavor. And parenting is a testimony to this fact. After all, your reward is the rarest commodity in the world – pure, unconditional love.