August 09, 2009

Daughters Are Different

Not so long ago one of my female friends told me that she wanted to kick my ass so that she could knock some sense into me. Being a man who understands women implicitly I began laughing and suggested that she would be better served by cooking my dinner and ironing my shirts.

Two eyerolls and a major sigh later we delved back into the topic that had created the issue. You see, she doesn't like that I have two separate sets of rules for raising boys and girls. And what is really funny to me is that we are having a stupid argument years before any of this may be an issue.

I suppose that it is necessary for me to try and provide a basic outline of what the disagreement was. In short it dealt with teenagers and the kind of freedom that parents provide them with. She didn't like my saying that daughters are different from sons.

But the reality is that they are. This is not about equal rights. I love my children, it is among many things a fierce protective love. I will never worry about my son coming home pregnant. I will worry about him getting someone pregnant or contracting an STD, but pregnancy isn't giong to happen.

This will be a concern with my daughter. We'll do all that we can to educate and protect her so that none of this happens before its proper time, but it is possible. And if she becomes pregnant there is no guarantee that the boy will do the right thing. So this very well could become a major issue that has all sorts of crazy repurcussions.

I will always be concerned about my children, but I will have a different sort of concern when my daughter goes out with friends than I have with my son. It is not because I love either of them more or less than the other.

They are a different set of concerns. Teenagers do stupid things. Teenage girls walking through parking lots at night are a target. It is not to say that teenage boys are not, but it is different.

And to be clear, I want my daughter to feel like she can do anything, just as I want my son to feel. But boys and girls are different and I will respond accordingly.

Anyhoo, she is five so I have some time before it becomes an issue. Keep on reading and perhaps you'll get to see what happens. In the interim here is a list of links to past stories about the dark haired beauty.

Teaching Children Not To Quit
Learn To Live With What You Can't Rise Above
The Princess Speaks
What I Want For My Children & Random Thoughts
She Needs To Know About Boys
Want to Date My Daughter?
Dancing With My Daughter
My Daughter's Favorite Book
Yom Kippur & My Daughter
Rules For Dating My Daughter
Daddy, Why Are You Wearing Make-up?
What Are You Doing In There
The Wiggles Don't Play Here Anymore
Welcome to Tumbleweed Crossing
Playing it Safe


TikunOlam said...

It is not just pregancy that is more of a concern for teen girls, it is safety as well. Girls are much more likely to ecome victims of physical or sexual assault. They are also more vulnerable to depression and eating disorders.

Jack said...

Sadly, all very true.

Holy Hyrax said...

Good post. I agree with TO. There are a host of emotional issues that boys simply don't encounter.

ilanadavita said...

I suppose once both sexes understand why parents have different expectations - and sometimes rules - you will be fine.
However sometimes parents have fewer demands from boys; for instance they won't ask them to lay the table or clear the table. I know this is not what you meant but kids can get the wrong message from being taught differently in some areas. Hence the importance of explaining the whys of some rules.

Jack said...


And how.


I am in agreement with you. I want my kids to understand that I am not trying to play favorites or offer preferential treatment. I just want them to be safe and healthy.