With Respect to the Gender Debate – Currently I am travelling around New Zealand (will do a
travel blog as soon as I get back!), and I have seen many a relative, tourist, local, and generally families spending time together during the holiday season. The observations and conclusion I’ve come to, is, I’m so glad I have boys!
Before I had children, I was happy with whichever gender I got. I didn’t know what I was having until I saw them in the flesh crying and still attached to their umbilical cords. But every day, I am thankful for having my caring, thoughtful, helpful, funny, inquisitive, active boys, even as we have everyday struggles and head into the teenage years (believe it or not, my boys are now 12 & 14!). I ‘tongue-and-cheek’ say to many that girls are karma (:-0)
I couldn’t cope with the ten different pairs of shoes, the excessive hair brushing and styling, the ‘dressing too old for your age’ that girls seem to go through, the grudge holding, and the countless other mood swings girls tend to go through. Through these travels, I’ve seen hyperactive girls do things that are more dangerous than most boys, I’ve seen parents tell their daughters to make sure they are wearing underwear in front of boys, I’ve seen girls in shopping malls have tantrums , but then I’ve seen a seventeen year old girl who left home and looks settled and happy. Whereas the boys I’ve seen, have played well together even if they are strangers, they are travel savvy, they don’t care what they wear, they share, they go with the flow, most of the time they don’t argue or talk back to parents and they are always willing to give their mum a hug.
There are sayings like ‘mummy’s boys’ and ‘daddy’s girls’ that probably make sense to me in many ways, as I tend to see more boys look after their mums in their older age than girls, and girls tending to their father’s needs (or both parents to show the mother she’s not left out). I know large families where the sons have stayed close to the mother, whilst the daughters go overseas and interstate. I have seen sons of divorced parents who tend to stick to the mother’s side, whilst their sister runs off to be with Dad. But all in all, I do believe that those who have a happy upbringing will stay close to their parent/s, whilst those who have disdain and had had expectations thrusted towards them will either stay around with resentment or discreetly move away for work, a love interest or have the travel bug.
I think that’s the key to it… treat your children well and they will always be there for you. Treat them harshly, with either physical punishment, emotional abuse, sexual abuse or psychological abuse, and they will run away. I’ve always said to my boys that respect goes both ways… It doesn’t matter what age the person is, every single person is ‘a person’. We are all equal. An older sibling is not superior to a younger sibling, a boy is not superior to a girl, a grandparent is not superior to their grandchild. The only thing someone older has is experience over anyone younger, and with a caring, nurturing voice, earns the respect of their grandchild explaining life through their experiences. And thus the grandchild earns respect from their grandparents for listening and taking in those experiences.
I had a really kind comment from my 12 year old yesterday that showed me that I’m doing ok as a single mum… he asked my why I can do so much for them (he and his brother) when so many other parents can’t for their kids? And I just said that every parent does the best that they can do. Some parents think about what they are missing out and resent their children because of it, others struggle with what life gives them, but still try to give their children what they can. I think I put it in perspective to my little one exactly how much I do do for them. And at the same time, I can see that he’s grateful. As a daughter, I know that whilst I was grateful for many things that I had the opportunity to do in my childhood, I was equally resentful for some of the things that happened to me and were said to me.
As for the boys vs girls debate, I will always be happy that I had my boys. We are very close and they are very protective of me, and that’s all I can ask from them 🙂