Last week I overheard a woman in the park talk to her partner as she watched her three year old son ducking and diving between the swings. ‘Girls are so much EASIER!’ she sighed. ‘All you gotta do is give ’em a doll. That’s all they want!’
Meanwhile, every cell in my body had risen, bolt and upright, like millions of hypersensitive meerkats.
Yes. Girls do like dolls. But to certify that THAT is all they want is like saying that the only thing man wants is a club to batt down his kill for dinner.
I’ll give you an insight into the world of girls.
They want the doll but they always want it to wear THAT outfit which is stuck under the sofa or they want you to redo the plaits cos ‘they’ve gone a bit funny!’ Or they simply want the doll that their sister’s got and no outfit, or doll replacement, will make up for it because that is the one THEY MUST HAVE!
Girls tend to whine. A LOT. You know you’re having a bad day when after the umpteenth time of your child hollering at you because you (cruel witch) HAVE NOT bought them an Elsa doll or a Peppa Pig tea set you find yourself lecturing your child about non existent money trees while standing by the bread aisle in Morrisons. And it’s all happening before 9.30 in the morning!
However, I wasn’t going to judge the entire young female species solely on my own experience so I decided to broach the topic on a Mum Facebook page.
And the majority of answers from people who had both a boy and a girl stated that their girl was ‘more hardwork’. It was apparent that, yes, boys can be challenging but it was the emotional issues and dramas that mothers of girls have to deal with which are the MOST draining.
However, how far have we based our judgements on gender stereotypes? Are we still EXPECTING boys to be boisterous bold and strong and so when they don’t exhibit ALL of these characteristics, we deem them to be ‘chilled’, ‘more laid back’ and ‘loving’? However, if girls suddenly grow out of the ‘helpful’ and ‘people pleaser’ phase, when they articulate their needs and desires with far more passion (some might say venom), do we just label them as ‘stroppy’ and ‘defiant’? Is it because the noise and the conviction from a four year old can just get ‘a bit too much’?
We are barely up in the morning for ten minutes before the daily gripes are voiced loudly. ‘Charlotte’s got my dolly.’
‘Charlotte’s on my sofa!’
‘Emily went bong on my head, mummy!’
‘Emily’s not doing as she’s told! MUMMY!
MUMMY! I’m talking to you!’
Needless to say, many other mums had much to say on the matter. One mum wrote of her daughter,
‘She’s more independent… not in a good way. She does everything my son never did & all the things he did she does worse! She’s the one that’s had trips to a&e. She puts more holes in her clothes. Loves the dirt. It’s endless.’
To me, this is a child who is strong and likes learning for herself. But then I haven’t got to leave the house with her in ten minutes. She could become the next Oprah Winfrey; or she might force her mum into therapy. You just don’t know.
One mum added, ‘I find the girls harder emotionally and the boys harder physically! They [boys] are always on the go and have the attention spans of goldfish. The girls are more sensitive and emotional and their problems appear far more complex.’ This is further illustrated by the idea that ‘as the more compliant and people-oriented gender, girls tend to grow up less confident and more insecure than boys.’ (Parenting.com)
Therefore, the crux of the matter is this…
Do you prefer to deal with complex emotional problems which will result in barrels loaded with Whine (ing). Or do you prefer jumping around like an oversized robotic tigger to keep up with a boy? The irony of this post is that even if we did have a preference, we certainly don’t get a choice.
All I know is that I need to ensure that my daughters become independent and happy individuals takes a deep breath no matter how ‘hard’ it may be.