Thursday, June 01, 2006

Boys will be boys...

I am accutely aware of stereotypes. Boys play "rougher." Girls play with dolls. What really captures my curiosity is: how much of this is nature and how much is nurture? I think I will need to be a parent of both a boy AND a girl before I can identify how I might treat them differently, but in the meantime, I am very affectionate with my son. One of my baby updates claimed that boys as young as 6 months were receiving less affection (hugs & kisses) from parents than girls. I find this so hard to believe. Maybe I'm just a very touchy-feely person in general...I love cuddling, hugging, kissing...and maybe I'm making an earnest effort to raise a sensitive son who is not afraid to show his feelings and love. But more than anything, how can one not hold their baby and shower him with affection?!?
Now, my son likes to play rough. He enjoys swinging at a very fast pace...and even tries to increase the momentum in his stroller by tossing his body forward and back. He likes to grab my mouth, ears, nose, FACE and rip it off! Seriously. And he'll chuckle as if causing this pain is some kind of mad joke. Very funny. Chris and I both have Drew injuries this week! He loves being tossed upside down, thrown on the bed, or spun around endlessly. He seldom cries when he falls - a real tough guy - and falling doesn't intimidate him to stop what he's doing. All of these behaviors represent a little boy to me. He doesn't want to cuddle (although he can't escape my hugs and kisses)as he hates to sit still; he wants to be free to pursue new adventures. My question is: Is this typical boy behavior? Are little girls out there doing the same thing? I don't know as I have yet to parent a little girl. I also wonder, am I encouraging this bold spirit...and if so, will I be the same parent to a girl?
I don't want to treat my child(ren) according to their gender. I think that's ridiculous. I want to raise sensitive, affectionate, independent, confident, strong people.
But I wonder if I will really treat all of my children the same?


At 2:19 PM, Anonymous Cheris said...

You'll treat them ("all" of them? how many we talkin here?) different because they'll *be* different, regardless of gender. Violet is very tough, always moving, would rather be swung violently upside-down than kissed, and has *never* been a cuddler. Cute/exhausting. I'm hoping the next one will be a lazy snuggly baby.

At 8:55 PM, Blogger brettnik said...

I have one boy who rarely cried and another who does. The cryer is also the cuddler. The non-cryer didn't cuddle until age 1 and then did a lot. One loves his parents equally. One prefers his mom. One plays rough and tumble. The other is a sensitive writer. Neither fit a single profile and they're both the same sex. Each kid comes out the way he does and we do little things to shape him, but most of it it just preprogrammed. It's amazing. Wait till you have your second.


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