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Sunday, November 11, 2007

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My opinion is that all children are hard to raise properly and whether they are boys or girls is pretty much irrelevant. Any parent doing their job properly is going to have such a hard time that there really isn't an easier.

Of course, I don't have any kids yet, so ask me when I do, my opinion will likely be radically different. I've been an elementary school teacher and that is so difficult that I can't imagine how much harder it must be to do it full time and have the full responsibility.

Yes, they both present challenges. I've heard teenage boys are easier than teenage girls. I certainly hope so because I have two boys and after the toddler/preschool years I think I will have earned a break. ;)

Boys are physically harder; girls are emotionally harder. Just like everything else that has been and will be said, that's a generalization, and somebody's kids somewhere will contradict it. But it's still true :-D

That's a tough one. I guess I figure they're all going to be difficult. However, when I look ahead to the teenage years? I'm betting daughters are going to be a tad more difficult. But I also seem to remember when I was elementary school-age that the boys were the bigger trouble-makers.

So yeah, I think I'll stick with the "They're ALL difficult" position.

Uhhh, Arwen? I think you just posted, um, half a blog entry...you can't end a post without a punctuation mark of some kind. And also, I would like to point out that I actually WAS sitting angelically in my room getting a head start on my homework, thank you very much :-p

I think each has their own unique challenges. We have a daughter so I am worried about the teenage years.

I think kids are just hard to raise. FUN!, definitely, but hard. Just because it's a BIG BIG job.

Hope all is well!

I have to say that I always have feared raising boys because I am such a girlie girl and know nothing about boys, etc. But the prospect of raising a girl who is confident in herself (appearance, intellect, etc.), demands respect without being a wench or a princess, etc. is a big one. And both genders have their challenges in the general sense (the message this morning was on this, so it's been on my mind today) that they both need to be raised to be strong in their convictions (religiously and morally and intellectually). What a challenge parenting is these days, regardless of which gender you have!

I've always been disturbed by the thought of babies in "ho-clothes". There is just something wrong about dressing your 10 month old or toddler or whatever like a prostitute. String bikinis? mid-driff baring halter tops? Why? Why can't we let them be kids while they are kids?

Interesting things to think about! I am equally disgusted by the clothing selection for girls and pre-teens and especially by the bratz dolls.

My particular girl is harder than my particular boy, but I think that may have more to do with birth order than gender. Lands' End has one piece suits for toddlers/preschoolers, albeit pricey ones.

I used to get really irked by people who said girls were soooo hard because they're soooo emotional...probably because as a child and adolescent, I wasn't. I was a parent's dream in that department -- no drama. So I always hold out hope that my own girls' teenage years could be drama-free as well.

But yeah, raising them to be confident and godly amid our culture that is so eager to sexualize them at a young age? Terrifying. Last week a mom at preschool was complaining that her first grader's Halloween costume made her look like a hooker, and I wanted to smack her and say YOU ARE THE PARENT. When parents are only mildly bothered (but not enough to, you know, say NO to their daughters) it blows me away.

I have to add, though, that I'm a fan of skirted tankinis...for purely practical reasons. When your kid has to get out of the pool six times to go to the bathroom (during a 30 minute swimming lesson!) it sure is nice to not have to take off a wet one-piece. ;)

I thought something seemed off about the post, but I didn't want to say anything. :)

As far as bikinis for little girls go, I think there is a line there. A string bikini on an infant? That's completely unnecessary. Tankini's or ones that just show a little tummy seem a lot more convenient to me. I have never in my life worn a bikini, but I LOVE tankinis. So much easier when it is time to go to the bathroom, and it still doesn't show any stomach or anything. Best of both worlds! (But I totally agree that clothing for young girls is just ridiculous, and I hope to be able to raise my own daughter to share that opinion with me.)

I agree with you -- it's HARD to find nice clothes for little girls that aren't trashy. And the Bratz dolls? UGH. Who thought those were a good idea? Scary prospect.

Whenever my dad's coworkers would have a new baby and it was a girl, he would say, "Congratulations. This will be the best 13 years of your life." And I was an EASY teenager!

I noticed that your post was only half finished when I commented, but I was trying to be nice by not mentioning that. I figured you would notice later and fix it (and you did).

Oh, and I banned Bratz dolls in my classroom when I taught second grade because I thought they were disgusting.

Someone once said that when you have a son, you have to worry about the little devil for the rest of your life. When you have a daughter, you have to worry about all the other little devils for the rest of your life.

That said, I agree with the other poster who said that boys are physically harder, girls emotionally harder. If you want a generalization. And if you have several boys who feed off of each other, especially in the wrestling/burping/taking things apart departments, it's just that much more so. Not that I'm speaking from experience or anything.

Totally, totally agree. This may sound horrible, but one reason I was a bit relieved that our second child was another boy was I was still freaked out about having to raise a daughter. You know, figuring she'd be at least a LITTLE like me ... complex as hell and full of inconsistencies and all that sort of thing. My husband seems so much more cut and dry. Although my brother was a total PITA, so who knows, maybe it IS a child-by-child kinda thing. But still, the whole modesty issue is WAY harder for girls, like you said.

I SOOOOO agree about the clothes for little girls. It kills me. For that reason alone, I worry about raising a girl.

It's hard to decide which is harder, because of course once your baby is here, you can't imagine your life without them, girl or boy.

On the subject of girls attire, how about the Halloween costumes this year? I can't be the only one who thought I had teenage prostitutes ringing my doorbell on Halloween night. I was absolutely stunned at the blatantly sexual costumes worn by young girls. I even witnessed two grown men trying to pick up two young (and very underage) girls dressed as Playboy Bunnies. Luckily, one of the neighbors stepped in. I just can't believe I live in a society where any of this is acceptable. It floors me.

It's quite a dilemma, trying to be a woman in the world, and thus of course raising a daughter. I can imagine that raising a son to be a loving, respectful man who is both comfortable with his masculinity yet able to stand with women who request they not be sexualized is quite a challenge as well. It seems all parents have quite a task in front of them, raising children who will do what is right...

It's an intimidating prospect, boys or girls. I mean, you can have some say in a girl's wardrobe. But what can you do to prepare your boy for the amount of flesh he's going to see on display? The harm goes both ways.

In general though it does seem like boys are just more physically exhausting and girls more emotionally exhausting. At least, I know I was emotionally rough to raise, and my son is already exhausting to keep up with! But the world needs good men and good women raised up by thoughtful, concerned and responsible parents...so I'm glad you have a daughter, Arwen. I'm glad to know that there are parents like you raising your daughters to be confident, modest, intelligent and sensible women. And I'll do my best to raise my son to be the kind of good, responsible, compassionate man that the women of the world need more of.

Deal?

:-)

Oh my gosh, I totally agree with you, especially regarding sexy clothing for little tiny innocent girls. It just hurts my heart to see what some parents allow their children to wear.

Math makes me dizzy.
Seriously, it does, but
Why advertise that?

I'm more scared of boys.
Teaching them to respect girls
Who don't respect selves.

No sexy kid clothes,
No Bratz dolls will pass our door
And Eve will know why.

Ugh, yes, it is getting ridiculous. It's bad enough for adult women. I do not own jean shorts because I cannot find shorts that go more than a centimeter past my butt. Forget modesty (which is still highly relevant), it's not even attractive. It makes your thighs look bigger and fleshier than they are it's uncomfortable. The only jean shorts I can find are in Misses sections and they go up to my belly button and that's uncomfortable for me. I can't win. And now girls are getting immersed in this younger and younger. Little girls are even wearing makeup. Why? They're adorable and beautiful as is, and their parents let them get makeup when they're, like, 5? It makes me sad that no one takes the time to appreciate the beauty and innocence. It's all rush, rush, time to grow up. I grew up too fast. It's not glamourous or fun.

This comment is to show that I commented.

The sweeping generalization I've heard is that boys are harder when they're toddlers/preschoolers and girls are harder as teenagers.

As for clothes, I'm involved in the WAHM sewing/diapering community and there are so many cute, age-appropriate things out there hand-sewn by great moms and for girls, I would make much more use of those than with my boys. I do a lot of trades for my knitting to make it more affordable. Also, I'm a huge fan of Hanna Andersson clothes (we've got an outlet nearby), which go from baby to teen. They have tiny clothes in bright, fun, not blue or pink colors and clothes for older kids that are fun instead of trashy.

Interesting topic. I think I agree with your brother-in-law and, now, you. Your mom summed it up quite well, actually.

Sorry that you have to concede this one to your brother-in-law, though. Hopefully the next debate topic will go to you. :)

I've only got girls, so I have no idea if boys would be harder. My girls are pretty difficult - they seem to have inherited some attitude. I have no idea from where.

About the bikini thing, once Milla is potty-trained and needs to use the potty 400 times every time you visit the pool, you may want to give tankinis a try. I love them. So much easier than trying to pull a one piecec suit up. When mine were babies, I got a few binkins, but in all honesty it didn't matter, with their pale Irish skin, they were wearing tshirts over the suits anyway. My girls aren't allowed to have anything made by Bratz - and the president of the company made it easier for me - he commented on how his Bratz would "beat up Barbie on the playground" since my girls LOVE Barbie, it is a no-brainer for them. BTW, the Barbie movies are excellent sources for showing girls a strong female role model who uses her brains to get out of difficult situations. She never waits for the knight in shining armor to come and save her. I love that.

well... I think that they are both hard, but if pressed, I think girls are harder.

I was fortunate to find the cutest tankinis for my little girl when she was a baby. No string bikinis for me, no way! But two pieces are definitely easier on mom when you have a baby girl, or a toddler girl, or a preschooler girl - especially when learning to use the potty!

and yes, it is 4:12 a.m. in the central time zone. I just finished printing out my son's paper. due tomorrow. He finished ages ago. There is no rush to go to bed, because I am currently experiencing the horror of horrors. which I will write more about on my own blog, instead of continuing to hijack your comments.

It's not even so much a problem with the baby/kid wearing this stuff (although I agree 100% about dignity and all that) but you have to wonder about OTHER people out there. Sickos and perverts who will be leering at your child in the string bikini and thinking I don't want to know what whilst they do.

I have a 1 year old daughter and my husband doesn't even like the idea of her being dressed in pants that have stuff written on the bum when they're older. I agree on that as well because um, who are you advertising to? Even if it is supposedly cutesy.

I came from an all girl family and always thought that girls would be "easier" in that I had experience with little girls and could understand them, etc. Now I'm a mom of a boy, and I must say I love it. I would love to have daughters, too, but there's a lot about boys that is simpler, and not just the clothes and social issues. Girls play a LOT of mind games with their parents, their friends, each other, themselves. It's really tiring. Boys are much more WYSIWYG. Yes, there's the burping and so forth, but it's all very straightforward. They also (in general) let you baby them longer.

I so agree about the baby bikini thing, make that a little girl bikini thing. We were on vacation a few years ago when my daughter was a bit younger and I needed to find a bathing suit in a pinch. I couldn't find a modest one at all, so i figured letting her swim in her diaper was the best option. I'd rather have her in a diaper than a gold bikini. go figure.

I'd always thought that boys were harder hands down because of the whole tearing the shingles off the roof thing...although upon reflection, I think I gave my mom the most headaches, so it seems my evidence may be faulty. :)

In Japan, I found most parents saying that girls were way harder, which surprised me, but the problems mentioned seemed to revolve around it being a culture that's even more sexualized then our own.

Ugh with the Bratz! And my daughter goes nuts for them! I think raising a child of either sex is a challenge,I have one of each, but the girl will probably cause me more sleepless nights.

I have no children, so I have no idea. But I'm secretly hoping for a brood of boys...

I think both genders bring their own set of potential worries, problems, etc., and the grass is truly greener, depending which side of the fence you're on. But I beg all of you that are offended and dismayed by the hypersexualization of young girls (which is damaging to little boys too, by the way) to COMPLAIN. Go to the store manager, write a letter, don't buy those hideous dolls that look like streetwalkers, just resist. Please!!

I've actually had the same thought while clothes shopping. Not that I'd turn down a girl, you understand, but from what I remember of my own growing up, my sister and I had more emotional drama in a year of our adolescence than all three of our brothers have, well, ever. My son is only two and I imagine pretty much anyone that age is a pretty straightforward personality, but I've occasionally been grateful for having a boy while sifting through "Naughty Angel" and Bratz shirts while clothes shopping.

First of all, I really dislike the idea that we are categorizing toys into gender. Why are dolls for girls and toy cars for boys? There is no reason that my daughter should not play with cars and that my sons shouldn't play with dolls.

As far as the Bratz dolls are concerned, let us not forget that we (or at least I) grew up in a world of platinum blond Barbie's with giant boobs, thin waists and super long legs. I am not saying that this justifies Bratz in any way, just that ridiculous toys that form the way young girls think about themselves and what young boys learn to view as "appropriate" for girls have existed and been a problem long before Bratz came along.

And, problems exist in the world of typically boy toys as well. It disgusts me that the toys my sons have to choose from (according to society's standards) are monsters and soldiers. We are much better off buying 'genderless' toys like Lego's that encourage thinking and creativity and leave gender stereotypes behind.

I think that so much of this has to do with the socialization of gender that our society finds appropriate. Why are girls expected to play with those ditsy dolls while the boys get to build things with Legos? Why are the Girl Scouts inside doing crafts and baking while the Boy Scouts are learning how to start a fire with a flinch, pitch a tent, and build their own functioning rockets out of two liter bottles? Why is it typically the son that is outside working on the car engine with dad while mom and daughter prepare lunch and fold the laundry?

Why are our sons more physical and our daughters more emotional? We socialize them to be!

What I am really trying to get at is that both sexes (as gender is acquired through socialization and is not biological) are equally difficult to raise. Whether or not those 'dreadful' teenage years are so 'dreadful' is up to us, as parents.

I don't think that I have expressed myself as clearly as I would have like to...hopefully someone can understand my point!

Rachel,

Gender is biological. Never doubt it.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Reimer

Kate

Ugh I'm really glad I'm not the only one grossed out by the baby bikinis. We saw babies in bikinis at the beach this summer and I was like, "Umm... does anyone else think that's just wrong?"

Whatever happened to little girls being little girls? I was a huge geek in high school, but I never wore anything remotely "sexy" until I was at least in my early 20s. I just didn't feel comfortable dressing that way, nor did I like the attention it would have incurred.

It's really scary to think of the world that little girls are growing up in, and I can finally understand why my parents didn't let us watch MTV or R-rated movies while we were growing up (although I hated them at the time for it!)

I hope catch-up comments are allowed in the previously-mentioned contest. Because, well, I've had my hands full with a newborn and being stranded in a hotel in a new state waiting for some gov't office to tell us we can take our newly-adopted baby home. Since she has her days and nights mixed up, this has not been fun. Which explains the awful hour of this comment. Up with the until-recently-screaming baby.

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