"Boys get easier, girls get more difficult as they age" - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 24 Old 11-03-2013, 08:57 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm posting in this forum because I want to hear it from parents of teenagers (or close-to-it).

 

As a mom of two adventurous, active girls, I have always been irritated by moms of boys when they drop comments like "he climbs all the time--such a boy" and other "boyisms"  It irritates me because my girls loved to climb.  They are energetic, often rough and tumble girls and people comment to me how much "like boys" they are.  Grrrr.  Now, I'm not blind that I don't see some *general* differences between boys and girls.  But that's a whole other conversation (or is it?)

 

So, why I'm posting here....

 

Lately I hear from moms of boys that they are glad to get the trouble over with because "boys get easier and girls get harder" as they grow up.  (*Moms* of boys, no less.)  The idea is that they are more difficult as children, while girls are easier at an early age but become more difficult.

 

So, what do you think?  Is there any truth to this generalization, in your experience?  Or is it one of those things that is far too personal and relative?  

 

My girls are still 7yo and nearly-9.


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#2 of 24 Old 11-03-2013, 09:25 AM
 
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I have a 16 yr old girl, 13 yr old boy, 10 yr old girl, 7 yr old boy, 2.5 yr old girl and am expecting a boy in Feb 2014. I haven't found either gender to be more difficult than the other. Teenagers are about equivalent to toddlers when it comes to difficulty but I find the teenage tantrums more annoying. They are louder, bigger, and just as irrational as they were at 2 yrs old. The toddler begged for candy at the grocery store, the teenager still does that plus begs for an iPhone because "all their friends have them" - yeah, not happening until you can pay for your own data plan. The expense of raising a teenager is significantly more than a toddler. My DD runs varsity cross country for her high school and team booster club dues + running shoes+ running clothes + state entry fees+ doc appointments and physical therapy rehab for when she sprained her ankle = BIG $$$. A friend of mine just spent $200 on a bat for her son on the school baseball team. Both genders are moody, messy . . . teenagers.


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#3 of 24 Old 11-03-2013, 09:42 AM
 
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I can only speak for myself but my daughter was super easy as a tot. Sure, she was adventurous and active but she also listened to me when I told her it was time to settle down. Gosh, 10/11, those were golden years for us. She was easy until 13.5 and then puberty. We were in choppy waters for sure. We couldn't seem to communicate. Hormones all over the place. Negativity that was largely pointed at me, her mother. We were both emotional wrecks trying to cope with the changes (though I did try to keep it under control outwardly.) Then, things sort of settled down and we're doing fine (though our relationship is very different than it was prior to puberty.) She's 16 and we're going through all the college app stuff which is tense but we are managing with not too much conflict. I feel lucky as many of my mom friends are ready to kick their teenage daughters out of the house (not really... just tearing their hair out.)

 

My son was rough in the beginning. So impulsive. So uninterested in what the gym teacher or people in the doctor's waiting room thought. I used to wear the knees out of my jeans every few months because he was so active. He fought me on everything and left me emotionally drained and exhausted every night. Man, he was my LESSON. With my eldest, I thought her stellar behavior was due to my superiority as a mother lol. Joke was on me when DS came along and I was that mom with the crazy, defiant kid all over the place. That turned around about 6 and he's been a dream ever since. He's 13 now and in the throws of puberty (growing facial hair, voice changing, breaking out, moody, all that) and yet none of his angst is pointed at me. Will that change in the next year or so? Maybe. However, all the teen boys we happen to know are still pretty close to their mothers and if there is any friction, it's with dad.

 

Certainly personality plays it's part but generalizations don't often come from nowhere. It could also be about "how" things are hard. I get annoyed that my teenaged son is revisiting his impulsive years and breaking things, making reckless choices, ect. However, for me, that is WAY easier to handle than the emotional roller coaster my daughter put us through.


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#4 of 24 Old 11-03-2013, 09:54 AM
 
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Honestly I've always thought this saying had something to do with our screwed up ideas about responsibility and sexuality. It's seen as no big deal, and even applauded,  when boys hormones start them being interested in girls and beginning to be interested in sex. But if girls start being interested in boys it's a catastrophe. Therefore girls are harder during those hormone infused teen years as they must be protected from their sexuality and their sexuality needs to be feared. While you don't need to worry about boys because that's socially acceptable for them. I see this even going so far as worrying about the possibility of pregnancy much more for a girl than for a boy, because our society makes it seem okay for a teen boy to just walk away from that situation.

 

Edited to add - I've even heard it stated so boldly as "When you have a boy you only have to worry about one swinging d*ck. With a girl you have to worry about all of them."


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#5 of 24 Old 11-03-2013, 10:00 AM
 
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Originally Posted by JollyGG View Post
 

Honestly I've always thought this saying had something to do with our screwed up ideas about responsibility and sexuality. It's seen as no big deal, and even applauded,  when boys hormones start them being interested in girls and beginning to be interested in sex. But if girls start being interested in boys it's a catastrophe. Therefore girls are harder during those hormone infused teen years as they must be protected from their sexuality and their sexuality needs to be feared. While you don't need to worry about boys because that's socially acceptable for them. I see this even going so far as worrying about the possibility of pregnancy much more for a girl than for a boy, because our society makes it seem okay for a teen boy to just walk away from that situation.

 

Haha, the sex part never crossed my mind. I don't really see that honestly. I'm not saying it's not an idea that prevailed for many generations but I meet as many freaked out parents of boys who are starting to date as parents of girls. I don't know anyone who thinks it's socially acceptable for boys to walk away from a pregnancy but maybe that has to do with the circles a person socializes in.


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#6 of 24 Old 11-03-2013, 04:52 PM
 
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My oldest boy is 13 right now and my daughter is nearly 12, so not quite a teen.  I had this conversation about girls as they age compared to boys with my mother just last week after feeling all confused about my daughter's moody outburst.  My mother said she thought the difficulty had more to do with what it's like between a parent and a child of the same gender rather than gender itself.  I think she was on to something because if I'm honest with myself both of my older kids are moody right now, but I feel like it's more personal coming from my daughter.  And if she fights with my husband, it doesn't seem to annoy him nearly as much as from one of the boys.


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#7 of 24 Old 11-03-2013, 07:34 PM
 
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My girl teen was super easy. My boy teen has been very tough.
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#8 of 24 Old 11-04-2013, 07:04 AM
 
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Originally Posted by pattimomma View Post
 

Teenagers are about equivalent to toddlers when it comes to difficulty but I find the teenage tantrums more annoying. They are louder, bigger, and just as irrational as they were at 2 yrs old.

 

Oh, my gosh, yes. We have also found that when DD1 became a teen, she essentially reverted to her toddler behavior in a lot of ways. It will be interesting to see if DD2 does the same. Hope so! She was a mellower toddler. LOL.


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#9 of 24 Old 11-04-2013, 07:36 AM
 
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Maybe there is something to the stereotype if you average everyone. But I know so many exceptions to that "rule" that, then again, maybe it's just completely wrong. I never got moody or melodramatic as a teen... One of my nieces does, the other doesn't. My son has gotten easier with every passing year though we haven't quite hit the teen years yet.

 

As kids hit their teen years, their sleep needs go up. Maybe part of the problem is kids not getting enough sleep.


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#10 of 24 Old 11-04-2013, 03:45 PM
 
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Just to add to the pile of anecdotes…I would say parenting my older DD through the teens was harder than parenting my DS.

 

DD is great  - she has good friends, good grades and in general makes good choices.  Ds has ok friends, acceptable grades and makes acceptable choices.  DD is frequently moody, grouchy and argumentative.  It is possible her perfectionism in the outside world is hard on her and she bottles it up and takes it out on us - we are a safe place.  Ds is mellower, by far, which makes him easier in many ways.

 

I think it is more temperament issues than anything else - but who knows?


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#11 of 24 Old 11-05-2013, 07:18 PM
 
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I only have girls, so I can't compare on gender. Both of my daughters were horrid to live with when they were 13. I fantasized about boarding schools.

 

But by 14 1/2 or so, they started improving and now (they are 15 and 17) they are lovely. I really enjoy their company.

 

So the "girls get more difficult as they age" was not true here. It was just a really bad phase that seemed a lot like bi-polar disorder, then they turned into lovely young women. I'm glad they did -- I can't image what it would be like if they had gotten stuck in that stage. yikes2.gif

 

 


but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#12 of 24 Old 11-06-2013, 01:39 AM
 
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I really wonder about all that as well.  I have 2 boys so far, but am expecting a girl.  Most of my friends IRL have boys, but the few that have girls...it definitely seems the girls are more cooperative, more verbal and more emotional.  I feel like my boys are not as rough and tumble as I've seen other boys be, but they will jump on each other or play much rougher with toys and other kids than the girls I know.  Like out of the blue throwing things at each other or jumping on each other (no matter what I tell them).  I think, partially, the girls (I know IRL) are less impulsive and when Mommy says enough or redirects, they're more likely to comply, whatever their personal desires are.  I remember being quite a tomboy when I was a kid, but then I don't remember wearing all the cutesy outfits that I see girls wearing nowadays...I always climbed trees and preferred playing with boys until I got into middle school or so.  Maybe it depends a bit on the parents' expectations...some of my friends who have girls, dress them very cutesy but in clothes they're not supposed to get dirty and have very high expectations of their social interactions.  I let my boys kind of fend for themselves socially rather than following them around and making sure their feelings aren't hurt.  Not that my ds1 isn't a sensitive child, or dramatic at times, but I don't dote on that...maybe I would be more protective of his feelings with other kids if he was a girl?  I do remember being very emotional as a teen...and my mom tells me I was an easy child until then.  I'm kind of curious how it will turn out with my daughter, because I want her to climb and play hard and not be a drama queen.

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#13 of 24 Old 11-07-2013, 05:01 AM
 
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I have one son and two daughters. My son was pretty easy as a baby, so he didn't fit that stereotype. He is pretty messy and distracted most of the time, but he doesn't ever have a bad attitude or get "mouthy." My girls were much needier as babies because they were so social; they wanted to be with me every second of every day. They are now 13 and 15; while we have a great time together, they can be very moody and irrational in ways I don't ever see in my son. I have taught middle school and now teach high school. In general, girls are toughest around 11-13 and turn "human" again around 14. I well remember that age too- that feeling that nothing could make me happy and I wanted to crawl out of my skin. I think boys are said to be "easier" because they don't have quite the hormonal swings that girls do. I also think the definition of easier depends on the person. My girls clean up after themselves, never forget anything, do all their homework without any reminders, and are pretty independent. My son is pretty much the exact opposite, but when I remind of things, he is pleasant to deal with.

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#14 of 24 Old 11-07-2013, 01:30 PM
 
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I'm posting in this forum because I want to hear it from parents of teenagers (or close-to-it).

 

As a mom of two adventurous, active girls, I have always been irritated by moms of boys when they drop comments like "he climbs all the time--such a boy" and other "boyisms"  It irritates me because my girls loved to climb.  They are energetic, often rough and tumble girls and people comment to me how much "like boys" they are.  Grrrr.  Now, I'm not blind that I don't see some *general* differences between boys and girls.  But that's a whole other conversation (or is it?)

 

I was an adventurous active girl, and have a 21mth old girl who is showing signs of taking after her mother...and two older very active brothers.

 

But here's the thing....my boys were always running off, climbing, adventuring. I began to notice that the parents of girls had it easier...for the most part, they got to sit down, they could take them to public places, lets say, to the library,  and the girls would actually behave, sit down, and listen to the story, or, sit quietly playing  with something using fine motor skills or pretend play. The only times other kids were like mine,  ie not interested to sit down, was when they were boys.....thats all. So  speaking as a mom of boys, many of us work very hard when they are younger. I never got to sit down, the other parents did. I sort of resented it, but thats just what i had to do...chase after my boys.

 

There are always exceptions, but ive noticed, they tend to be exceptions.

 

That doesnt mean girls cant be adventurous, and ive seen them, i am one, so is my daughter.

 

 For moms of boys at that stage of life, its harder. So please dont be judgmental. When you have a boy, then you can have an opinion about it.

 

As for your overall question, i have the same question actually, because i have heard the same thing. So i am interested to hear what others' experiences are about it.

 

If there is anything i can do now,  to prevent what  can turn into difficlties later with girls, then i would like to know.

 

All i know is, as a mom of boys, it just seems harder than with girls ive seen...so far.

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#15 of 24 Old 11-07-2013, 01:36 PM
 
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Honestly I've always thought this saying had something to do with our screwed up ideas about responsibility and sexuality.

I have a feeling you may be right about this, and that is why im a little dubious that a girl gets harder just because shes a teenager (and therefore fertile)

 

Speaking of exceptions, i was one. Ie, i was an easy teenager. Did well at school, never got pregnant, and didnt do drugs. I dont remember arguing with my parents, and got on with them well. We saw eye to eye so to speak.  We were pretty free to do what we wanted, maybe that had something to do with it.

 

But then again, i was a very difficult toddler...so go figure. I still have  vivid memories of the hell i gave my parents, and that was a long time ago.

 

Having said that, let me go back to reading this very interesting thread....

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#16 of 24 Old 11-07-2013, 01:38 PM
 
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Honestly I've always thought this saying had something to do with our screwed up ideas about responsibility and sexuality. It's seen as no big deal, and even applauded,  when boys hormones start them being interested in girls and beginning to be interested in sex. But if girls start being interested in boys it's a catastrophe. Therefore girls are harder during those hormone infused teen years as they must be protected from their sexuality and their sexuality needs to be feared. While you don't need to worry about boys because that's socially acceptable for them. I see this even going so far as worrying about the possibility of pregnancy much more for a girl than for a boy, because our society makes it seem okay for a teen boy to just walk away from that situation.

 

Edited to add - I've even heard it stated so boldly as "When you have a boy you only have to worry about one swinging d*ck. With a girl you have to worry about all of them."

I want to quote you again, because you put this so well. I think you are right. You have to worry about a  girls burgeoning sexuality, but not a boys. How is that not a double standard and therefore compete nonsense?

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#17 of 24 Old 11-07-2013, 01:40 PM
 
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As kids hit their teen years, their sleep needs go up. Maybe part of the problem is kids not getting enough sleep.

This is brilliant.

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#18 of 24 Old 11-09-2013, 07:13 AM
 
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Edited to add - I've even heard it stated so boldly as "When you have a boy you only have to worry about one swinging d*ck. With a girl you have to worry about all of them."

I hate this saying and I always retort with "Yeah but I only have one uterus to worry about... And therefore one pregnancy and one baby mama at a time. With a boy there's the potential for two or more, at the same time." It usually makes them stop and think wink1.gif

But in the case of my brother and I this was not true, I was the easier one both when little and older. He was harder at all ages.

And I know many many many others where this is the case as well.

I don't put much stock in it.

My children will be who they are at every given moment and I will deal with who they are then. And yes I solve most of our problems with "more sleep" wink1.gif
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#19 of 24 Old 11-09-2013, 07:32 AM
 
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I don't have any girls and my boys are young still, but I do get stopped often when I'm out and about because of my 3 boys. They're mostly well behaved, but still, well, boys. Usually it's older people who stop me (in my area usually an old Mexican grandmother, which is important to note because traditional Mexican families have a lot of kids, especially in our area) and tell me how God blessed me with 3 boys and how I'm so lucky and blessed to have all boys. My parents said that my brother was way easier to raise than me (in a loving way, lol, I know I was hard to raise). So I don't know if it's true or not but it is certainly the prevailing opinion and definitely scared me off trying for a girl!


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#20 of 24 Old 11-09-2013, 08:04 AM
 
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But here's the thing....my boys were always running off, climbing, adventuring. I began to notice that the parents of girls had it easier...for the most part, they got to sit down, they could take them to public places, lets say, to the library,  and the girls would actually behave, sit down, and listen to the story, or, sit quietly playing  with something using fine motor skills or pretend play. The only times other kids were like mine,  ie not interested to sit down, was when they were boys.....thats all.

 

I've had trouble maintaining a healthy weight ever since I had kids, and both my kids are girls. One of my frien-emies, who only has boys, once commented that she didn't see how any mother could be overweight since mothering is mostly running after children.

 

My DD's liked to bake cookies and cut out paper dolls. They seldom ran anywhere.

 

So, in a twisted way, I think boys may be better for weight control.


but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#21 of 24 Old 11-10-2013, 12:34 AM
 
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I would say that *both* my kids (dd [17] & ds [15]) became easier for me and DH as they got older.  For both kids,  there was a while when their puberty was starting and they got a bit testy or cranky, but not a big problem.   However, the issues seem bigger - choosing educational paths and careers are much bigger deals than things they faced as young children. Also, they have some friends who are dealing with tough issues and problems and they (my kids) have had to learn how to be supportive to their friends in a healthy and helpful way.

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#22 of 24 Old 11-10-2013, 06:09 AM
 
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I want to quote you again, because you put this so well. I think you are right. You have to worry about a  girls burgeoning sexuality, but not a boys. How is that not a double standard and therefore compete nonsense?

 

Just to chime in.  I have not worried about burgeoning sexuality.  My daughter was more dififcult than my son duiring the teen years because she frequently had a lousy attitude that made her difficutl to deal with.  There were/are reasons for this…but none of them have to do with burgeoning sexuality.

 

That being said, my son, who has been easy for many years is actually slightly more diffiuclt than my older DD these days.  He is 17 and 3/4 and the transition to adulthood is both scary and exciting.  It also comes with some serious choices and adult responsibilities.  


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#23 of 24 Old 11-10-2013, 01:05 PM
 
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Dd is almost 19 and DS is 14 and a half. Dd has always been more cooperative than DS, but I think she's simply more rational, too.

Ages 12-15 dd's moods were simply exhausting, because she was in tears and anxious a lot of the time, and I worried about her. DS is moody, too, but it takes the form of defiance and rudeness, which ticks me off.

Edited to add, because I didn't have time to finish my thought. To whomever emphasized that ultimately kids are their own selves and it's best to approach them this way, I agree. It's really important to keep this in mind when assessing your children. My daughter and son do behave in some typically female and male ways, but I have to remind myself not to get lazy and unobservant with them.

Worrying about their own burgeoning sexuality: I haven't worried about that. The only thing about sex that 'worried' me is the tremendous sadness I felt when dd was 15, 16, 17 y.o. and was learning how inequitable life is for women, how simply unfair it is, how women have to learn to be safe, how women can be sexually abused and humiliated for the sake of society's entertainment and pleasure.

Someone moved my effing cheese.
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#24 of 24 Old 11-12-2013, 07:09 AM
 
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I only have girls, and I have found that of course personalities vary. My oldest has always been a High Need child so her teen yeas were hellish!  Always "in trouble" at school. The child just couldn't sit still or stop talking or getting into trouble. My other two have, thankfully, never had those kinds of problems but they did have "The Miseries" as well called them from 10 on.  I've found girls, as a rule get really miserable around 10 and it lasts until.... uh....16, 18, older? My youngest is 14 and is just starting to "level out." It depends on the girl, but I think when sexual development is complete, things get a little easier.... then you have to deal with dating!

 

I don't have any boys, but my MIL had two. She said things were OK until they were about 14 and then all hell broke loose with both of them. My husband's brother died when my husband was 11 (his brother was not quite 19, he turned 19 while he was missing and his body turned up about a week later in Lake Michigan) so I'm guessing that Trauma played a role in my DH going through a really rough time as a young teen. That and he has Tourette Syndrome and probably Asperger's. He got into a lot of trouble and drugs, sex, being brought home by the police and all manner of problems. He calmed down as he got older and into a relationship. His brother was always "trouble" drinking, girls, some minor arrests, a number of accidents, of which the final one killed him. Of course, he was a football star, so his father never thought anything was "wrong." *sigh* His parents were probably the most "hands off" parents (unless they were reprimanding their kids, then it was very physical) I've ever seen, so I wonder if a lack of Attachment played into their problems. I'm not trying to scare you at all, just outlining what I see from my life. I have a lot of boy cousins and, yes, many of them got into "trouble" in the teen years. Testosterone is a powerful hormone and I think its power should not be underestimated.

 

My two closest friends (one my foster sister) have only a boy each, and I know their antics as little kids would make me nervous. I guess I was used to girls and even though my girls did their share of climbing and bouncing around, it was nothing compared to my nephews! I'd have my heart in my throat the entire time I was baby sitting either one of them after the age of 2 or so, always testing and jumping off things and climbing the furniture, my girls were active but these boys outpaced them at every turn. Again, I think the role of Testosterone is not to be taken lightly.

 

My friends who have both girls and boys invariable say "girls are harder." Boys are more physical work, girls are more emotional work. I have found that girls seem to realize they have to bathe regularly a LOT earlier than boys do. :rotflmao(Even girls with Aspies, maybe a little later than her sisters, but long before turning 13.)

 

From what I've seen boys seem to be more physical, while girls' problems are often more emotional. But, that's just my POV. Your mileage may vary.


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