• petrinaohalloran

Who are we rearing?

I celebrated Valentines Day last weekend by meeting up with my NCT group for dinner. As per our usual coversations we caught up about all the things are little ones are now into. But on a deeper level we talked about the difference in raising boys and girls. We have roughly an even mix of each in our group so it was interesting to hear other’s opinions.

Phrases like dads telling their girls something was not ladylike to do is a typical example of how sometimes we can shelter and overprotect girls a little bit more than boys. Of course all of us are usually doing this subconsciously as we are all akin to some sort of bias depending on how we ourselves were reared. But it does give food for thought in this age of #metoomovement #bekind and #boyscancry do we need to adjust our bias accordingly for the gender we are rearing? And how exactly do you rear a gender neutral child when most parents usually follow the examples from previous generations?

I have noticed my other half is more overprotective of Isobel than I am, and at times he has even said “she is just a little girl”. Is it because I am less so because I had brothers and he never had a sister? Even when I enjoy rough play with Isobel such as jumping on the bed or letting her run across the couch, he starts to twitch. I have tried to explain to him she is just learning and exploring and we just need to set the boundaries of what that looks like. Rough play has been proven to help toddlers develop, regardless of their sex.

So would I be treating Isobel different if she was a boy? At the moment I am not really sure, I just try and encourage her to be interested in her surroundings and take her lead from there. From that she has shown me she is completely fearless from dogs, jumping from a height, and bouncing on the bed. As long as I am there to pick her up from a fall, kiss her knees better and show her how to nicely pat a dog I feel any bias at this stage is minimal.

What’s your bias rating, have you ever heard yourself saying “Big boys don’t cry”?


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