Boys vs. Girls: Who's Harder to Raise
Can we finally answer the great parenting debate over which sex is more challenging to raise?
Who's harder? Boys
"Much after-dinner wrestling here," reports Michelle Mayr, the Davis, California, mom of four boys, ages 5 to 12. "I'm constantly fighting to keep my house a home rather than an indoor sports center. Their stuffed animals' primary function is to be added to the pile of pillows everyone is launching into from the coffee table." In general, boys are more rambunctious and aggressive, experts say. Taking risks lights up the pleasure centers of their brains. Many parents find they have to keep a closer eye on what a son is "getting into," or use more bandages.
But letting kids explore -- at the cost of a few scrapes and cuts -- builds character, self-confidence, resilience, and self-reliance, says Wendy Mogel, Ph.D., author of The Blessing of a Skinned Knee. Boys, being natural risk takers, may need encouragement to slow down a little, but maybe girls need to be encouraged to take more risks. Look for opportunities for your daughter to jump off a wall, swim in the deep end, or try the bigger slide.