The Gender Issue

When I had a son, I thought 'hurrah, no hormonal issues to deal with!'

Fool!

While there won't be a monthly warzone to contend with come teenage years, there is still the surges in testosterone, and it seems from recent events, that the first one has started.

Last night, as if by a stroke of good luck (either that or The Baby Centre have read my blog and seen that he's having a touch of the wolly-coddles, which let's face it is unlikely) there appeared an e-mail in my inbox which highlighted that the differences between boys and girls were becoming more apparent as our infants progress. It seems two and a half is a prime time for these difference to start manifesting themselves and they gave some background information and top tips, some of which I want to try and follow, and therefore share with you!

I'm not one to indoctrinate The Boy into typical male behaviour; he's always had a baby to help him to understand how to be kind and caring, and now with the PlayMobil house we've had to review (more about that in another post) he's acting out our lives in order to comprehend them. Daddy and he play football in the garden together, but that's as macho as it gets.

Apparently, male babies are born with as much testosterone as a 25-yr old man! This then plummets until puberty. Testosterone is responsible for developing some areas of the brain and neural connections and surpressing some others. Male and female brains develop in different ways, with males developing deeper emotions, such as fear. I wonder if this might explain the separation anxiety that he sometimes experiences?

Tips for Raising a Well-Rounded Boy

  • Give him some responsibility: He's always asking if he can help me, so I get him to pass me the pegs or
  • Let him show his emotions: Well, that's not a problem at the moment is it?! He's allowed to cry, be hurt and show his feelings. I don't want an emotionally stunted son, his future wife will not thank me for it.
  • Let him develop his nurturing side: The other day he chose to play with a toy highchair and feed the baby. I don't have a problem with this, he's in tune with the needs of others.
  • Introduce him to music: Well that's why the piano was bought seven years ago when neither of us can play. I want him to have a sense of accomplishment and enjoy making music.

Food for thought!

 

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Comments

  1. says

    I love the baby centre emails! I think it's so important to let them just be children and experience all sorts of things – not just 'boy' stuff. I try to explain these things to my husband, but he just rolls his eyes at me. Grrrrrr! I might forward him your post :)

  2. says

    As much testosterone as a 25 year old? Blimey! No wonder their hormones are all over the place. Its so interesting though and definitely helps to understand what's going "behind the scenes" in their development.

  3. says

    My boy is nearly 2.5 and we're definitely on a hormone rollercoaster at the moment. It's hard, because I can see him struggling to deal with all the emotions and the frustration he feels. He crys and I say 'why are you crying'? – half the time he doesn't even know himself. I also noticed the other day that his little legs don't feel smooth anymore either, small hairs have sprouted on them and they feel rougher, whereas my goddaughter the same age still has baby like soft skin on hers.

    I agree with all your suggestions…On the responsibilities one, my husband has recently started getting him to help with sorting out the recycling on a Sunday night. Excited? Understatement of the year. He thinks it's the best thing ever!

  4. Debbie says

    My boy is 7 now. I have a daughter of 9 too and no experience with small boys, and I've been amazed at how different he is from his sister, after what I thought was the same upbringing. But he does like cooking and music and lots of cuddles…..

  5. Debbie says

    Ps other jobs for boys – loading the washing machine, then measuring the powder and pressing the buttons. He loves it! He also enjoyed sorting the knives and forks out of the dishwasher into their drawer area (when he was about 3 or 4). And both my kids love the feather duster…..

    • TheBoyAndMe says

      Followed your advice and got him to load the washing machine for me this morning, he loved it! Apparently he hoovered the hallway yesterday mum said.

  6. says

    I love baby centre emails, they are often so spookily well timed for us. My boy just turned 3, he was very aggressive around 2.5, he has calmed down lots in the last 2 months and has always been more affectionate than his sis. Lots of her boy friends hit another surge around 4, that was very noticeable!

    • TheBoyAndMe says

      Glad to know it's not just me who's having/had experience of it, bit of a shocker from my otherwise placid child. Four you say? Oh bugger.

  7. says

    I've brought up both of my children to be cuddly – we are a cuddly family. When I see the two of them consoling each other with a friendly hug, it melts my heart….
    At 9 and 7 a lot of my daughter and son's friends don't hug their families nearly so much any more. But my two still want kisses and hugs all the time and long may it continue…
    I just hope I will be able to cope when they finally decide they don't want them any more. I'm bracing myself for it….

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