We are THAT Family
... you know the ones.
Boys may not listen as well as girls because their hearing isn’t as good from birth
Girls are rigged to be people-oriented, while boys are more action-oriented
Girls tend to grow up less confident and more insecure than boys
Boys are harder to raise early on, but girls become more difficult as preteens
Well, in my house I have one child of each sex with the son being the oldest. And truth be told, he is the less confident of my two. My daughter is so determined I know she will do whatever she sets her mind to. However, I have been called to be my son’s personal cheerleader. He is bright but not confident.
My son is more of the classic firstborn over-achiever (like his mother) than the daughter who is naturally bright and could care less about things.
My mother’s intuition tells me that the daughter is going to get WAY more complicated than the son in THIS house! *sigh*
Oh I definitely concur with the CNN article. I have two boys and two girls. Of the four kids, my oldest are boy/girl eighteen year old twins. Despite the fact that they are twins and have some weird bond that is unexplainable, except to other twins/multiples, I have watched this dynamic over the last eighteen years.
I think boys are generally rougher and cause more physical mayhem when they are younger. But let me tell you, I would take a quite moody boy, over the emotional tornado that my eighteen year old daughter is. Oh my goodness.
I suppose it doesn’t help that she and I are so alike, but let me tell you, the battles and the emotional upheaval is madness. ANd the boys, both 15 and 18 now, they wouldn’t dream of acting that way.
ANd even with my two year old little girl….she’s so much more emotional and sensitive than my boys were at that age. I noticed this with my twins as well. My daughter would incur some sort of hurt feelings and natter about it for hours and grumble and complain, whereas her twin brother pretty much has a quick blow up and it was over. The storm came in and went back out and didn’t linger like it did with his sister.
Girls are also much more demanding. Emotionally and physically.
I dont know when the turbulence of this period in my older daughter’s life is going to end, but I really hope it’s soon. I don’t know what’s going to do me in first…youngest’s terrible twos, of the eldests terrible teens!
Awesome post Kristen. Very thought provoking.
Boy 10 tomorrow!, Boy 4, girl 3!
And it’s a good thing cause we need all the help we can get with the last one?!
Boy’s were/are always more typically on an average very laid back…but this of course depends on the day of week!
I know that each are different in there own ways and this started right after birth…I wouldn’t have it any other way.A safer bet is our children’s charactor’s are molded but what we instill in them through HIM.
*by what we instill in them through HIM*
Well, I would have to say personality. I have 3 boys and 1 girl. 2 of my boys are laid back, easy going, but still very boyish. 1 of my boys is all energy and action. My daughter is a challenge, emotional and a blessing all rolled into one!
I only have 1 boy, so I really can’t say. While he is all boy, he is also easy-going, gentle, thoughtful, and affectionate. I think it’s just his personality, but also he’s spent the most time with me. He’s almost 9 and I am really encouraging my husband to do lots of one-on-one things with him and leave me out. I think it’s so important that he have plenty of male-bonding time.
My “first born” was identical twin girls…they are now 18, my son is 7.5. I don’t know how much of the turmoil of the girls was from being a single mom since they were 2 until 9 or that there was 2 of them, or just that they were girls. Having a son at this stage is great, no tights, no hair dohickies. He is more physical, but he is also very loving. And since I have a great hubby around this time too, well, tings are just different all around. What I will say is this, it is extremely different when there is only one gender present in the sibling line up. (As you observed too)
I agree with this point in the CNN article“Boys are harder to raise early on, but girls become more difficult as preteens”I think so much of it has to do with personalities though too. I have 3 girls and 1 boy. Our boy has been a pretty happy-go-lucky kinda guy. But the girls have all been very different.
I am yet to find out the difference between boys and girls. I have a 2 year old little girl and a 6 month old little boy. He is a very needy baby though. I think more than my daughter. And to think my hubby said that boys aren’t as needy!
It Boy, boy, and then girl. I totally think boys are harder simply because they are so busy! I can see how one boy would be laid back, but put two boys in the house and chaos occurs! They are alway trying to make something to knock down or wrestle or torment their sister.My daughter the baby is much easy because I’m a girly girl and so is she, it makes things easier. She will sit and listen to a really long book, the boys fidget.I really think this will change when the boys are older.But most of all I am really thankful to have them all!
We have a lot of rough housing and action in this house! Two boys about a year apart makes for some interesting days. Wrestling, running, pushing, pulling, etc. makes our world go ’round. As far as I knew before I read your post, everyone’s life was like this! I suppose it’s not…. Y’all are missing out.
Interesting question. In our house I would say it’s the personality that creates the challenges. I have one girl who is very easy going and one who gives me gray hair. My son has been a huge challenge since day 1.
Having boy/girl twins really highlights the differences between boys and girls. It’s hard for me to believe sometimes that I raised both of them. They act like they’re from different planets.
I have only a girl, so I don’t know about the differences. However. I have been reading a book called “The Female Brain” in which the author looks at the structural differences between the male and female brain. It’s fascinating and might help you to answer your questions.
Oh you have hit on one of my most asked questions?? This topic is one I have thought about A LOT. Being a police officer and being in the class room for so many years I wonder enviroment vs genetics….I too believe in birth order and that it plays a major role. But I have no good answers. My son, 1st born, very laid back, very strong convictions in his beliefs (black/white very little grey…. he is a police officers as well!) was super easy to raise until his Jr/Sr. Year. He was not in trouble but personality changed when he got involved with girls. We are very close in relationship, and values. My daughter was high strung from the beginning. Strong willed, goes against my belief system, speaks her mind freely, pretty high confidence level, but gets involved with people not of best character. Has a big heart to help them, but gets hurt in the end. She has been and continues to be very hard to raise/help in adulthood. Love them both, but can’t figure them out. So I have to think all three factors make up our children plus enviroment. Did that help you any at all????? No, I doubt it.
I have 2 girls (5 & 3) and then our 3rd child is a boy (1). I say personality is more noticabel in our family…but I can also pick out the birth order things and the gender, too. It’s hard to tell yet…but you can see Micah’s boy come through even at 1. My middle child, Emmy, is a srongwilled child and that puts an interesting twist on things. I grew up being the oldest of 3…the other 2 boys. There was a lot of “boy” things as you mentioned happening in that home! And my husband is 1 of 4 boys like your friend. And same there. So I think all 3 things interweave to make each home so unique!
Mine are in the exact same order as you. Girl boy girl. I sometimes feel sorry for the boy because my girls have very strong personalities. He was never the get into everything, get into dirt, major rough & tumble kind of boy. But get him together with his cousin, wrestling ensues! He is 9 now and mellowing out. 6, 7 & 8 were some rough years. I agree with the listening well, or lack of listening. That has been a major problem
I have three girls, 10, 6 and 17months, and in my house it seems to be a mixture of personality and birth order. Alot of the birth order stuff pegs my kids right on but then…they just have that individual thing going. But I love having girls and some tell me that the preteen thing is what you make it so I am praying really hard for grace and mercy to us in a few years.
One girl: 13Three boys: almost 11, 8, 6
The girl is the nurturer. She’s a wonderful mother-like figure to the boys. But the mother-daughter dynamic between us? Yikes: rough.
The first boy is sweet and gentle.Would wear fleece yearlong if we let him.
The second is what all my friends call typical middle child (and that phrase bothers me.) He has never yet worn underwear and doesn’t like other clothing much more. Will do whatever the oldest brother says.
The youngest is painfully shy and a cuddly guy. Will do whatever the middle brother says.
I do think personality is THE factor, but there’s influence from their siblings, too.
I’ve got twin boys, 4, an almost 3 yo boy, an 18 mos. girl, and a girl on the way.
I think our house would be loud either way.
My three boys are sweet, but they’re all boy. We’ve encouraged it. I’ve got one running around with a cape and sword as I type this. I’ve had to learn to let my boys be boys. Now that I have a girl, she’s a different beast all together. She holds her own with the fellas, but she’s… calmer, somehow.
I know with this new little girl coming I’ve got drama on the way, big time. E. is dramatic enough, I can’t imagine adding more estrogen to the mix.
The nice thing is, I’m not responsible for this mix. This is what God gave us and I know He’ll give us the grace to handle the hodge-podge.
Sorry, can’t help you out on this one. I was an only child and I only have one child.
Three boys 11,3,and 19 months amd there is a LOT of rough housing most of the day (in fact, there is crying right now in the background, but no blood).
I grew up with in a family with 3 girls.
Comparing the two, I don’t have a definitive answer, because birth order played a MAJOR role w/ me and my sisters, but I see personalities driving my sons thinking, doing, habits, etc.
OUR home was totally girl oriented for nine years. Then our son now 5 3/4, son 5, son 4 and son 2.
Our daughter is now 15, but even with the moodies she has been an easy child to raise! People tease that she is our perfect child! She helps out tremendously around the house and is a commando to the boys! ha ha
BOYS ARE DEFINITELY MORE OF A CHALLENGE – at least in our house! My boys are inquisitive, rough, loud, fly by the seat of their pants guys! We have found that our boys choose to act before they think – a trait of most boys. Then there is the loving side – in receiving love from the boys, they tackle you and then give big kisses and hugs. They like to be the only one on mommy or daddy’s lap at a time – they are very competitive in EVERYTHING they do.All in all – I wouldn’t change my children’s gender or individual personalities. One girl – strong people oriented personality; boys – each are differnt – my oldest son is head strong and determined; second son is vying for oldest sons position, but not as sure of himself, third son is very emotional and fourth son is always moving and head strong.
I just entered a household of three stepsons, ages 16, 12, and 10. More noise, dirt, and creepy crawly creatures (read: pet tarantula) than I ever imagined. And lots and lots of wrestling, yelling, fighting, and chasing. Since it was just my brother and I growing up, I didn’t really have the same issues. But I do notice that birth order seems to make a difference, as the middle boy is definitely the even-keeled peace maker, the oldest is the caretaker, and the youngest is the instigator. He just loves to poke the hornet’s nest with a stick to see what happens…
I have two girls…So I have no room to talk about my “boys” and say that they are hard to raise or that they are tearing down my house or that they are sweet little angels and I have no idea why people label them this way. But I will say that my friends who have boys claim to me when they do something and I just quiver they say “that’s a boy for ya”. I couldn’t imagine all boys acting this way. I imagine it has a lot to do with the way the boys are raised in the begining. We are rougher with boys by nature and I think that in parenting them it shows. Although I would love to have a little boy to throw into our mix of 3 girls in this house and then my poor husband!
I have to say, I think it comes down to personality. I would say neither sex is harder, per se, but they are incredibly different. My 2year old boy is last after a 13 year old girl and a 4 year old girl.
Let’s just say that after two girls, I was less than prepared for the realities of a boy.
We have 5. Boy, girl, boy, boy, girl…and they each present their own challenges.
I would say my boys require more direct attention from me at this stage, but my daughter is starting to hit the pre-teen stage and that is rapidly changing.
Birth order, to me is the biggest molder of personality. My oldest two, are both so much the oldest children like I was. We have a middle child who seems to have the same middle child syndrome his father had. And then we have two youngest kids who we work hard not to spoil.
Mostly, I try to survive them. They outnumber me…and that’s never good.
I have two little boys (3 & 1). I’m always surprised at how BOYLIKE they are as young as they are. They’re both outgoing and friendly, but the 2nd one – man OH man! He’s SO independent. Have been talking with lots of other parents lately who say their seconds are, too, regardless of whether they’re boy or girl. I’m excited to see how they change as they get older!
This is so interesting. I’ve been thinking about this same thing this week!!
I have one of each, my daughter being older by just 17 months. They are now ages 4 and almost 3. I don’t know which is more difficult. My son is tough because I simply don’t understand boys. Also, he’s a moody, stubborn insomniac. But my daughter is the queen of all drama, not to mention volume and bossiness! I love them both for different reasons and struggle with them both for different reasons.
I never thought I would want a boy, but I’m very glad God chose, in His perfect wisdom, to give me one of each.
I have two little girls. The oldest is very sweet, empathetic, more of a follower than leader (most of the time).
My youngest is a wiggly, happy baby who’s constantly on the move! She’s very energetic!
They’re still so young for me to decide if birth order has any effects on them since the oldest is only 3. Time will tell!
Oh I have to agree with what Colleen said about the 2nd baby being independent. That’s my Abigail! INDEPEDENT with all capitals. Never let me hold her, even as a newborn. Had to sleep on her own, though the night (yeah, we suffered through it! LOL).
Aboard our ship we have 5 Pirates in a row and then The Princess. The eldest Pirate was a mere 16 months old when the second Pirate showed up, so I don’t know how to raise just one Pirate. The Princess is at once harder to deal with and easier to teach than any of the Pirates ever thought about being. Yes, with Pirates there will be more wrestling, dirt, blood, and noise. But far less ‘tude and sass. I don’t mean the back-talking kind. I mean the prissy thing bosses the Pirates around like a MamaChick. And she’s pretty convincing ‘cuz they sometimes listen!I’m convinced that there is a lot to be said for heredity. The Pirates are, most of ‘em, most of the time, pretty laid back, like their dad. So, it follows that The Princess would be more of a handful, if we apply the same rule.
I wouldn’t know. I have 3 boys and have no idea what it would be like to raise a girl. But each of my boys is unique and I wouldn’t trade them for anything. But I am hoping to get to help out with granddaughters someday – that should be easier than daughters anyday!
Wow! Well, I have two girls, so I can’t help you with the “who’s harder to raise” part. However, my thoughts are, I think birth order does have some signifigance, but for my girls, as well as for me and my sister, it is personality that plays the biggest role. I had two c-sections, not by choice, and from the womb my girls were like night and day. My first came out quiet and content with her eyes wide open soaking in the new world around her and looking right in my eyes while I talked to her (as they put my innards back in place). My second arrived screaming and flailing. After she was wrapped up and brought to me she continued to scream–LOUDLY–with her eyes squeezed shut. I don’t think she could even hear me talking to her because I could barely hear myself. Now that they are 5 and 3, they play together (nicely most of the time with intermittent whining, screaming, crying, and tattling) but their personalities make them who they are and when it comes down to it, God made them both very unique and I couldn’t love them more if I tried )
I have 3 girls – count em – 1 2 3 – wow! I don’t know if raising boys could be harder – but raising any flavor child is SO DIFFICULT! Mine are all different, especially my middle odd ball child – she is so high strung and mean sometimes, yet so delightful when she is happy. My oldest is 15 (Yuk on teen years!), my middle child is 10, and my baby is 8. Teenager – nuts! No fun- can’t wait til it’s over. Baby – awwwww, the baaaby…! Middle child – middle child. Catch her on a good day.
Regardless – i know that my job is to train my children so that they can move on from depending on Mom & Dad, to depending on God! I need His help to do it every day!
I’m a Believer!Laura
I have a 4 year old boy, 2 year old girl, and 1 year old girl. I think birth order and gender play a part, but I also agree each is uniquely created. My son is very verbal, cautious, legalistic, and over all pretty easy. My 2 year old is fearless and independent. My one year old is VERY easy going and low maintenance. I am excited to see the people they grow up to be. God is good!
Just wrote about this today…
I have three — girl, boy, girl — just like you. My son is the one who causes my hair to turn gray. He doesn’t “roughhouse” to the extent that a boy with a brother would do, but it’s an accident every two seconds. So much more physical than my girls. He’s also much needier — maybe the right word is “higher maintenance.” But, I fully expect that to change as he grows older (he’s only 3). I’m sure that’s when the girls will become more of a challenge.
I have 3 children, a son 20 years old, a daughter 15 and a son 8. My daughter by far has been the hardest to raise, but I don’t know if it has anything to do with gender I think it’s just her personality. She’s fiesty, spirited, can be defiant, she likes to argue a point, even when she’s lost an argument she will go on and on…..the boys are laid back. If there is ever a fight in the house involving the kids, it involves One of the boys and their sister. Dee
I have two – a girl and a boy. And we dont’ see a whole lot of wrestling and rough housing between the two of them. But when my son has his best friends over, it’s a different story. LOL!
Well, I only have one child, a girl. She definetly is not people-oriented. She’s very independent. But she is also only 3. She hates dolls, princess things, and pink. lol. She likes to get dirty and play with tools and trucks. I think every child is different and has their own personality. I think gender and birth order do play a part. But a small one. I raised my niece and nephew for 3 years, and my niece was definetly a girly girl, but she was not people-oriented either. My nephew was born mentally and physically handicapped (my daughter actually has delays as well), that’s why most of the time, I resist in commenting when people talk about these things… because my situation is different. But I’m starting to get over that. I’m just starting to find my voice, and trying to get it into my head that just because my situation is different, doesn’t make it irrelevant. Thanks for listening to my ramble. lol. Have a great day.
in our house ~ HANDS DOWN my daughter is far harder to raise than my son. he is 9 and she is 4. she has been BUSY since the first time i felt her move!! we just thought it was a second child thing??
“Boys may not listen as well as girls because their hearing isn’t as good from birth” NOW i understand why all the men in my house seem to ignore me when i want somethin’. i am queen of my castle with boy*boy* & man
and embarassing enough to admit…i hold my own in the department of strange noises!
thanks for the email info btw!
I agree with what’s being said, that both birth order and gender and personality can all combine to produce every variance, which is why the world is full of billions of unique people. And then again, the hardness or easiness of any child, boy or girl, is all subjective to the person raising them. A similar personality could be both easy for one person and hard for another, it’s all relative.The point is that some people get kids that are easy for them, some get kids who are hard for them. I think most kids are hard in some ways and easy in some ways (at least over time), it just depends on what you focus on.
I’ll have to agree with the last statement from CNN: Boys are harder to rasie early on, but girls become more difficult as preteens.
We have 21 yr boy, 13 yr girl & 9yr girl.
Our boy was hyper & busy, busy. Into EVERYthing. But he mellowed out in his early teens. He’s still very busy & active, but with a very laid back & easy going personality.
Our girls were still very much in motion when they were little, but nothing like their brother. The preteen years are going to kill us though. And we are dreading the teen years. The emotional roller coaster of girls is too much drama for me!
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I’m not sure who is harder to raise. I have one boy sandwiched between 4 girls. It is not unusual to find him in heels with his nerf gun and ball cap!! (his daddy won’t let me post a pic of that one…..)
I have only one child, a daughter, and though I have been told countless times by mothers of more than one how easy I have it, it can be challenging for me and lonely for my girl.Every family is hard. Every family is perfect. It’s all in the moment.
We have one of each. My girl is fun, but strong willed since birth and dramatic…oh the drama. My boy is laid back in personality, but into everything…I think all and all it will be equal
Having had one of each, I totally think boys are easier. Potty training is a breeze, just throw some cheerios in the toilet and aim away. Teen angst is easier, SHE is over 21 and is still full of angst and drama, HE is 18 and is a dream. Of course he may have saw what I went through with her and decided I had had my share of rebellion.That being said, having a little girl is so much more fun that a little boy. And now that She has a little girl, I am just sitting back and waiting for her teenage years to arrive.
We have two boys that are 17 months apart and have heard they are harder now but will be easier than girls in the teen years. The oldest is three and can get rowdy and loud. I find myself saying “calm down” “inside voices” a lot! I think birth order, and personality play a big part in dispositions but gender is very important. Dr James Dobson has a great book about raising boys (Bringing Up Boys). We have to remember God made each gender differently and we have to raise our boys to be men.
My step-mom has the same set up you do – girl, boy, girl and it sounds like the personalities are similar. There is a 2 year age difference between each kid – yet the oldest daughter plays mostly alone while the younger two almost always play together.
I have twin girls…and have noticed a bit of birth order behavior anyway. I read that it’s because parents treat the older twin like the oldest child – but have made a concious effort not to do so…still the older tends to try and be the ‘boss’ way more than the younger.
I also have a 5 month old girl – it will be interesting to see how she fits in as she gets older!
I have 4 children. 3 boys and 1 girl. B#1-16yr, G#1-14yr., B#2-9yr, and B#3- 5 yr. I would have to say that ,even during pregnancy, it was also easier with my daughter. Up until she was about 10 or 11 she, in comparison to the boys, was way easier to raise. Then came the hormones! I would rather be in a house full of dirty, stinky, hungry boys (of any age mind you) than to be in a room/house with more than 3-5 preteen girls. My goodness I just can’t handle the drama…… That is one reason my daughter does not have slumber/sleepover parties any more. I would rather her not invite more than 1 or 2 friends at a time……. UMM all I can say is enjoy the not so drama life while you can.
My two boys are now 21 & 20. My daughers are 12 and 5. Still, at these ages, the boys ARE MUCH HARDER! I think they were born rebels and trouble makers, but still very loving and kind and sweet with me and their sisters. We’ll see in a couple of years I guess if it still holds true, when my daugher gets older.
If you have to ask this question, you have at least one girl in your household. They have clubs for those of us moms that have only boys!
I had 3 boys in 3.5 years and I firmly believe that 1 boy + 1 boy = 2 boys, but 1 boy + 1 boy + 1 boy = 6 boys. Somehow, when you combine the 3rd boy with a lack of estrogen in the household, you are suddenly invited to join the nut farm. (I received my charter membership card in the mail just the other day.)
Seriously though, I love being the mom of 3 boys!
I say they are both equally hard in their own way.
With girls you have the whole drama thing as they start into the pre-teen and then into teen age. ANNNDDD you have to deal with them falling “in love” with boys.
With boys its just full out action, non-stop all the time. THENNNNN you have to deal with them calling all your daughters girlfriends HOT! and following them around and causing overall chaos with the girls in the house.
I’m sorry I just describe the scene at my house last night.
My girl, the oldest, is the most laid back, easy going child there is. My son, the baby, is the most demanding, structured child. By that, I’d say my girl is the easiest. However, my girl is also very internal. She isn’t as open with us nor forthcoming with conversation. My son, on the other hand, tells all. He loves to converse & is curious enough to ask questions. TONS of questions. With that, he is easier to raise because I know what’s going on with him. I just can’t pick one over the other on “easiest” to raise. Both of mine are but then they aren’t.
I have three boys (7, 9 & 12) and I’m not even kidding when I tell you that Im typing this in the middle of a Nerf gun war between my two yougest and my husband. Boys are different species.
I have to agree with the CNN report. I’ve heard that so many times, that boys are more work up front…rambuncious, competative, high-energy. But not alot of sassing and drama later on. Im going to have faith in that thought!
I also notice that they feed off each other exponentially and when one or two are out of the mix, they are different children. I think that has alot to do with the dynamic of the family.
What a great topic…that’s for the post!
I had my son first – he kept me busy – always on the go and full of life. All my friends had girls and I thought -man they have it made – THEN I had Marah! If she was my first she would have been my last – I say that in love. She is so easy going but what a head case she is. We love her to death but looking back now – my son was easier than she was….They both are such a blessing to us and Keep us going
In my house the boys rule – 3 boys ages 5, 4 & 2-1/2. Most days are a struggle. They roll around on the floor and fight, they chase each other, they drive cars around my kitchen, they dig holes in my yard, they make messes and walk away knowing eventually mom will clean it up. My cousin has 3 kids – girl, boy, girl – 5, 4, 1-1/2 – she came for a visit and said I thought one boy was tough, but you have 3 and don’t stop for a second.
I love my boys dearly no matter how much they TEST me. And when everyone asks, are you going to try for a girl??? I say, why, I have been blessed with 3 wonderful boys!!!
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HI! I'm Kristen. I'm here to encourage you as a wife and mom and remind you there's a little bit of THAT family in all of us. I write books, run Mercy House and try to remember I am third (God first, others second). I'm glad you're here.
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