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Sugar & Spice

Sugar & Spice

What are little boys made of, what are little boys made of?

Slugs and snails and puppy dog tails, that’s what little boys are made of.

What are little girls made of, what are little girls made of?

Sugar and spice and all this nice, that’s what little girls are made of.

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Little climbing boy.

Looking back to when my son was reaching toddler hood, climbing everything, running off across the park with reckless abandon, never giving me a moment to sit and catch my breath before he’d be off trying to give himself concussion. He was also quite vocal but not verbal – loud but didn’t talk. He walked early (9 months) and was very into anything that had wheels – cars, trucks, trains, ride on toys or push along toys (including a pram which he’d toss the doll out and replace poor dolly with a plush Thomas the tank engine) He was also pretty intense about wearing a pair of gumboots everywhere, all year round, even to bed.

All these things when observed or I’d I mentioned to other people, would get the same reaction, that all of these traits related to the fact he’s a boy.

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Little climbing girl.

Now my daughter is entering toddler hood with the same gusto and whirlwind of energy. She’s frighteningly fearless with climbing, she is on the go up until the moment she falls asleep (and even then she doesn’t actually stop moving, you’ve heard of sleeping like a star fish? She sleeps like a fish on a boat deck – *flip flop, flip flop*) she also wakes through the night to feed and snuggle, she thinks the cue for a feed time is me sitting down, she’s very noisy, but only has a couple of words at 13 months, she also very much into cars and trucks, she’s claimed her older brothers large tonka truck as her favourite toy. She’s also very attached to a green and floral dress that she will pull out of her draw and put it on over her head whether she’s already dressed or not.

Funnily enough, her wilfulness, her energy, her clingyness, the volume of her protests if her needs are not met in a timely manner more often than not get put down to the fact she is a girl.

I’m not saying my children are totally different people with their own personalities, Katelyn is much more solely attached to me than her brother was, she’s less trusting of people outside our family and she’s probably all round more determined than her brother at the same age. She’s a fractionally better sleeper but Jasper did not set the bar very high, at 13 months he was waking hourly through the night. Her brother was more likely to walk off across the park and never return, he was so confident in himself if he was happily playing he’d just wander off of I didn’t constantly chase after him.

I’ve also been told by two female relatives that girls are more manipulative and deceitful and as a woman myself, I’m offended for myself and my own daughter, and shocked that two women would speak so about their own gender, about their daughters and of themselves in such a way.

From my experience though I’m not seeing much difference in how “gender specific” their behaviours and interests are.

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Jasper and his doll.
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Katelyn on a truck.

How much do you think that your child’s gender influences their behaviour?

About Rachel Stewart

Rachel is the founder of Parenting Central Australia. She is raising two children, boy and girl, with her partner.She has a background in early childhood education, but right now is content to be a stay at home mum.She is passionate about birthing rights, breastfeeding and mental health. She enjoys crafting, drinking coffee (sometimes wine) and spending a little too much time on Facebook.

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