Having two toddlers is enough to make any mom feel a little crazy from time to time. They’re sweet -- most of the time -- but when they’re not on their best behavior, it’s twice as bad. You love your little girl and your little boy, but are they ever different! What works as a form of punishment for your daughter doesn’t work on your son, because raising girls and boys has its differences. Furthermore, now you know the cause behind those mysterious little gray hairs you’re seeing more often.
1. Different Parenting Styles Required
You know how your toddlers love to play with your television remotes and inevitably push something that completely messes up your television? You can use that as an example as to the differences in raising boys and girls. What works to reset the television in your living room doesn’t even come close to resetting the television in your den. They may be the same size and come from the same place, but they are nowhere near the same. The same can be said for your kids, so adjust your parenting style to fit the personalities of your toddler girl and boy. They are programmed differently, which means that you have to learn to work with them in ways that are effective to them.
2. Personality Differences
According to researchers from the University of California, little boys are far more honest than little girls. This is not to say that little girls are dishonest; it just means they are more polite. If you take your kids to Grandma’s house for dinner and serve them both Brussels sprouts and ask their opinion on the taste, their answers will be vastly different, yet say the same thing. Assuming neither of your toddlers likes the Brussels sprouts -- and this has nothing to do with the fact that Grandma has never been the best cook -- your son is more likely to tell you that they’re disgusting. Your daughter, however, is going to sugarcoat her dislike for the meal by telling you that it needs more salt or butter or lemon or chocolate chips on top -- kids have weird taste, so the chocolate chip suggestion probably isn’t too far off-base. They both told you they hate their meal, but your little boy was honest about it while your daughter was polite about it.
3. Actions Vs. Words
Clinical psychologist, Dr. Robin Alter, states that little boys respond far better to actions than they do to verbalization. According to Dr. Alter, little boys and little girls play differently, learn differently, and respond differently to one another. This is why most parents believe that their girls are more well-behaved and calmer than their sons. You might notice that your little girl plays well with other little girls. They play quietly, are more likely to share toys, and they become involved in imaginative games and activities. On the other hand, you’ll notice that your little boy is more likely to play with other little boys in a far more aggressive, much louder manner. They sword fight, yell at each other and are much more physical with one another. Before you start assuming that your little boy is a bully or a tiny little terror while your daughter is a perfect angel, just know that this is perfectly normal behavior for boys and girls this age.
4. Reasons Behind the Differences
When your little boy and little girl are born, you treat them the same because they are small, fragile and completely dependent on you. However, as your babies turn into toddlers, you start treating them differently. Think about it: does your husband wrestle with your son in the living room while you decorate cookies and play with dolls with your daughter? This is a primary example of how parenting differences toward your toddlers of the opposite sex encourage them to behave a certain way. They’re always going to be different, but you can help eliminate some of the differences in raising them by letting your daughter join in the living room wrestling match or asking your son to help you decorate cookies. They’ll still have their own personalities, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be treated equally.
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