Are Boys Really Easier to Raise Than Girls?

Sheri Reed

boy grass
Photo by Sheri Reed

A CafeMom brought up this question: Why do people say boys are easier to raise? This is a question I always wonder about myself, as a mom of two boys.

I find my daily job as parent to two sweet and lovable but often feisty and unreasonable little boys fairly tough. But is my job actually easier than that of a mom with two girls?

I think the job of raising boys is plenty difficult. Boys have to deal with a lot of things I never thought about when I was a kid: standing steady guard, if not complete shutdown, on their emotions, avoiding physical fights (more so than girls), balancing just enough machismo, avoiding all appearances of weakness, showing off one's physical strength and ability, and so on.

These are things I didn't really feel were real or real important growing up. I thought boys had it so much easier. I also liked to believe that as our society moved more toward gender equality, these things wouldn't matter so much to men. They could relax a little, let down their guard. And this is true in some cases.

However, the more I see society send signals that boys, even little ones, must remain strong in all scenarios, I can only entertain the weight of such a feat. And it's also a feat raising boys to find a balance, to let things go, to use words instead of hands, and frankly to call "bullshit" on some of the unreasonable requirements of malehood -- even if that makes them look weak in the moment.

I only have an outsider's sense of what society expects of boys, and there's a lot of it I see and don't like and a lot of it that isn't healthy for anyone to endure. And so, knowing that you're one of the guides and a major part of the support system to a couple boys faced with such expectations isn't easy as far as I can tell...not easy at all.

What do you think? Are boys easier to raise than girls?

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