Friday, December 08, 2006

Boys will be boys!

I often wonder if we ought to raise boys and girls in the same way. In the old times, girls were raised with gentleness, delicacy and softness. And boys? They were let loose to play with frogs and spiders and all types of creepy crawlies. Girls who displayed a love for ‘disgusting creatures’ were tamed – to behave in a more feminine fashion.

I wonder if there was any merit in that?

And before, feminists out there can shove their pitchforks into me – let me explain.

I was raised in a rather conservative family – where girls were expected to behave in a certain way. All through school and college – I lived under the belief that – children were like wet clay – you basically had to mold them – to get them to behave in the manner you saw fit. So girls were ‘molded’ to become soft and gentle and feminine. While boys were ‘molded’ to be masculine and aggressive.

That is until I had a son.

From his birth until now – I have been his primary care-giver. So he eats, sleeps, plays with me. And so far – no complaints. He enjoyed being with me. We read books together, we tried to colour together. I even got him Play-doh, to get him I touch with his creative side. And to get him in touch with his feminine side – we played ‘Ring around the roses’ – much to hubby’s consternation and wild protests. I would call for hugs – and there he was beaming and running towards me – to give me ‘big huggie’. Of late – we’ve even progressed to wet licks – which pass off as kisses.

But I have been noticing for the past few weeks – my son has changed. He isn’t the ‘mamma’s boy’ that he used to be. He now waits to play with his father. And what do they play? Racing cars, wrestling – where hubby basically pins him to the ground and tickles him mad, jumping from the couch, climbing on the table and all such ‘manly things’. And while they are playing – he ignores calls for ‘big huggie’ :(

The other day I raced from the kitchen upon hearing sonny’s screams. Turned out hubby was twirling him around, throwing him in the air, like a lil doll my sonny was being buffeted around. “Stop it”, I screamed, “you’ll break my baby”. “Just look at his face” hubby said, and sure enough, sonny was screaming, but asking for more. Completely chastened, I slunk away.

So I have been wondering – are boys just wired differently? I mean do they have a basic, intrinsic need to be aggressive and wild? That no matter – how much you try to give them a balanced upbringing they will end up ‘being boys’. That they will prefer the boll over the stuffed toy?

So then I wonder – were our forefathers right in raising boys and girls differently?


At 3:15 AM, Blogger the mad momma said...

I hate to say this but maybe they are wired differently. even i began with great plans of unisex toys etc. but i see him wanting to play ball with his father, getting attracted to noisy toys and enjoying any rough and tumble games the OA comes up with. Lets see if the next one is a girl or boy and whether he or she takes on gender specific habits or not...

At 5:51 AM, Blogger That Armchair Philosopher said...

yes yes yes. they are fundamentally different. all the experiments with letting them play with dolls and girls with cars - fail when the doll is pulled apart to be used as a gun (leg - barrel, torso - palmrest) and the girls have a baby car, dad truck and a mommy van. its inherent.

of course, there are the others who get beaten up by (what i assume are) over-testosterony girls. exceptions abound, of course.

At 5:57 PM, Blogger Alan said...

Despite what the PC crowd would like us to believe, boys and girls are wired differently. Neither is better or worse that the other, it's just the way it is. The differences is what makes life interesting. :)

I remember reading about studies of placing boys and girls in a room with toys. The girls naturally migrated toward the dolls and the boys toward the cars and trains.

At 5:39 PM, Anonymous NZ said...

Think so too, I am raising my son and daughter equally, I think, but silently I do notice that Ishita would want to play playstation the moment aman starts it but her interest lasts only a few minutes and the remote goes back in Aman's hands. And Aman tries to play the games she likes just to humour her or because I sometimes ask him to give her company. But as TAP said, there are always exceptions !

At 10:05 PM, Anonymous rooma said...

hey there..... just happen to stumbble over your blog... though not a mommy yet, I enjoyed reading your posts. :) I am gonna blogroll you and read them all at ease. :)

At 11:47 PM, Blogger Something to Say said...

mad momma - I pray you have a daughter - just like you want.

Armchair Philosopher - I guess this is the way nature intended us to be different. After all research also proves, that boys do pick up math faster while girls take the cake at languages.

Alan - Differences make life interesting - very well said and so true.

nz - bet you are seeing all these researches right in front of your eyes :)

rooma - welcome! and thanks for the encouragement. Do keep visiting.

At 5:48 AM, Blogger artnavy said...

Anush seems to be proving quite a boy then ....she prefers cars and balls and ruf and tumble stuff

At 1:35 PM, Blogger Something to Say said...

art: Just wait for her to get together with some girl friends - and then see her attraction for dolls....

At 4:27 AM, Blogger artnavy said...

Any doll is ok but Barbie is going to be taboo

At 4:27 AM, Blogger Gauri said...

Much as I hate to admit - that does seem to be the case. Boys and girls do seem to be wired differently.

I have a daughter and a son and have been the primary caregiver to both - and the differences are quite evident.

But that does not mean that I have a diff set of rules for both of them. Nope - the disciplining factor remains the same but from what I see moms need to go that one extra mile in enforcing the rules with boys.

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