Friday, July 8, 2011

Boys, Boys, Boys

Boys will be boys? 
I am about to have 2 girls and currently take care of two girls so my life is surrounded by pigtails, tutus, and baby dolls.  However, it wasn't too long ago that I was a nanny for two boys and taught martial arts to boys and girls, so I do remember what that world was like...much different!
Boys and girls definitely have different biological makeup and tendencies.  It seems to me that boys often have more energy (or at least need stimulated in different ways) however, I don't think there is a huge difference unless the environment around them is expecting those behaviors of them.  For instance, if a boy is given positive reinforcement for being "a little devil" (or not given consequences for aggressive behaviors) than he is being taught that these behaviors are appropriate and will therefore continue those behaviors.   
On the flip side, I think it's important that we teach little boys how to care for others and reward them when they are affectionate or kind toward others at any age.   Also, exposing girls or boys to excessive violent games and toys can desensitize violence and make it fun.  Do we really need to look at the thousands of studies that we have seen over the years to prove that violent games and t.v make a negative impact on a child's behavior?
Boys will be boys.  They may think different than girls and are often better at more analytical activities such as how things operate.  It's important to embrace those characters but not reinforce the behaviors that lead to aggression or violence.  At the same time, I believe it's important to encourage girls to learn sports and how things work and not to overemphasize social skills and taking care of babies, etc.....
I guess I will save that discussion for another day!

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