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MANN: Is it easier raising boys or girls?

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August 23, 2018 - 11:24 AM

 


OPINION


When I found out I had a daughter, I was excited.

I thought about all the things I was going to teach her, and do with her, and how I could improve on her life by making sure I took every mistake from my life and stop her from repeating history.

I was going to help her develop into the best version of herself.

I would be able to understand her struggles — difficulties in school, difficulties accepting her appearance and difficulties surviving a breakup.

I could protect her because I would be able to see any problems before they came to fruition.

I would help her to feel strong and empowered and successful.

Then of course I started thinking about the things I wouldn’t be able to protect her from, because I won’t always be in the right place at the right time, and I can’t control who she spends her time with.

And that scares me.

After my daughter I had a son.

I always believed I wouldn’t be as worried about a son as I would a daughter.

A son wouldn’t require any worrying at all.

After all my daughter seems so much more fragile, innocent and nurturing, and my son is strong and boisterous.

But I can honestly say I don’t know who I worry about more. I suppose it is right down the middle.

The world is an interesting place right now, and some days I catch myself wondering, is this world easier for a boy, a girl, or neither?

Girls have their own challenges.

They are thrust right into a world that equates success with beauty, and sometimes a version of beauty that is unattainable, or comes with a serious cost.

They are constantly jumping hurdles (not literally), trying to navigate relationships and jobs; having to make difficult choices regarding families and careers.

And quite often they aren't sure whether or not they made the right choice.

Just when they think they have reached some kind of balance, the scales tip.

But boys also struggle.

They too are bombarded with measures of sometimes unattainable success.

They are asked to be tough and stoic, yet gentle and chivalrous.

And it doesn’t stop there. Every worry I ever had for my daughter has now transferred to my son.

How will they handle teasing, peer pressure, failure, defeat, heartbreak, tragedy and disappointment?

I joke with other parents about the differences between raising a son and a daughter.

My son eats a lot more than his sister, he crashes a lot more and he gets easily frustrated when something doesn't go his way.

But he gives great hugs and adores his sister — his best friend (for the most part).

I think about getting my children through their teenage years and into early adulthood, and all I hope is I to get them there with the least amount of bumps and bruises (physical and emotional).

So in the end, I don’t know the answer…who is life more challenging for, boys or girls, or does it all come down to the individual?

— Becky Mann is a 30-something, red haired, mother of two, trying to navigate this life as best she can. She enjoys talking to people and discovering their stories. Still trying to balance her personal and professional life, she juggles work and play. In her spare time Becky can be found visiting with friends, spending time with her family and saving time by reading while walking, She knows there is so much more to come and is looking forward to the continued adventure.


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