Girls or boys, which are the easiest to raise?
High heels and high chairs
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Gender wars, they are all around us and as I discovered three years ago, due to impending parenthood, it starts as early as conception. As soon as a mother-to-be announces to the world she is expecting, the number one question she is asked is what sex, girls or boys, does she hope she want to have.
The ‘lucky parents’ according to the majority, is to be blessed with a pigeon pair, a boy and a girl. Or as I like to say: one for mum and one for dad. But as I am considering dipping my toe back into the baby making game and am pretty happy with my most-of-the-time delightful little girl I have to admit that the norm can bite me.
I grew up with four little brothers and was deprived of knowing how wonderful a sister would have been. I should point out that it was not for lack of trying on my mothers behalf, she brought little girl dresses in desperate hope for the last two pregnancy’s, and may or may not have let her 12-year-old daughter dress at least one of the boys in the little lacy frocks just to see how they would have looked. Those photos got the appropriate amount of laughs at my big burly tattooed rugby playing brothers 21st birthday.
But back to the tough topic on what sex is easier to raise, I’ve found myself hoping for another lovely little girl, not just for me and ease of the hand-me-downs, but because I’d love my daughter to know the strong bond of a sisters unconditional love and have a lifetime of two wardrobes to choose from.
Having said that, apparently it’s never been tougher to raise girls according to best selling Australian author Sharon Witt.
“Girls are trickier,” Sharon explains “Its more tricky for them to grow up. Boys have a fight or say something nasty, or even get physical, but then it’s all over and they move on. Girls fester; they gossip and drag the issues out. They are not quick to let things go.
“Girls are much more complex with a lot more intricacies. Boys say sorry and move on. In 20 years of teaching and working with teenagers I’ve barely had to deal with boys’ issues,” she says.
I have to say, Sharon’s answer didn’t surprise me, mainly because after being blessed with four boys, despite what she hoped, my mum reminds me often that she would take four teenage boys over one teen girl any day of the week.
But it is so tough raising girls that Sharon has recently penned two new books focusing on the tween market. Girl Wise: A Girls guide to being you and Girl Wise: A Girls Guide to Friendship.
“Parents were begging me to write a series for young girls and not just for the teen market,” Sharon says. “Growing up today is probably more complex for girls than it have ever been. We are increasingly seeing the early onset of puberty and girls being more aware of body image. This is closely related to the bombardment of sexualised images in the media, magazines, television and music videos.
“It seems that everywhere our girls look, there are messages that tell them they need to grow up quickly, care about how they look and that sex appeal sells.”
Sharon continues with the kicker, “plus those hormones do horrendous things to their bodies. They can go from 0-10 in seconds. So yes, it’s a mass generalisation, but for girls the hormones do make it a lot harder.”
Does this new knowledge of what is in front of me change my hope of a darling pair of daughters? Not in the slightest, I’ve got the boarding school forms ready to go, it’s going to be a breeze. I’m kidding, kind of.