Author Topic: Is this too harsh? A family of girls...  (Read 16573 times)

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MommyPenguin

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Re: Is this too harsh? A family of girls...
« Reply #60 on: June 27, 2013, 08:34:28 PM »
Well, it's never gonna be true in all cases, I just have this theory that there's a *tendency* towards that.  But who knows, I can only look at anecdotal data, friends and their kids, that sort of thing.  I just know that I have incredibly girly girls, my SIL has incredibly boyish boys, some friends have similar situations, and it seems to feed off each other sometimes.  What's funny is that I am *not* a girly girl, and my SIL is very much so.  So it's sort of funny that sometimes it seems like I ended up with her kids and she ended up with mine!

Pen^2

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Re: Is this too harsh? A family of girls...
« Reply #61 on: June 27, 2013, 08:53:16 PM »
As for girls and sports, sure, girls can/do play sports.  I have this theory, though, that when you have a household of all one sex, you have an increased tendency towards "girly" or "boyish" behavior, because that tends to be what the kids have in common.  One girl might like dolls and theater, another like LEGOs and dolls, another like dolls and riding bikes, but that means that they all have playing dolls in common, so there's an increased tendency to play dolls because you see everybody else doing it, and everybody can do it together, etc.  Versus my SIL's household which has a lot of guns and shooting and sports and superheroes.  :)

That's what I've seen, but I, personally, think a lot of that is on the parents. My favorite toys as a child were Legos and cars and my favorite color is green. When my first child was born, a girl, I bought her mostly puzzle toys (obviously, no Legos for newborns), cars and green things - green blankets, green clothes. When she was old enough to decide what she liked (cars, cats and yellow), I bought her those things.

I know not everyone agrees with me, but I think all children should try all things: sports, superheroes, cars, dolls, dressup, jumping on beds, etc.

Yes yes yes!

My parents gave me barbie dolls every birthday and Christmas from about 2 (I don't remember the first one) to maybe 7 or something. Every single time, I would open the present, look at it, and promptly hand it to my sister before moving on to the next present. They kept giving them to me because of gender alone. Meanwhile, I would wait until my brother was playing outside so I could sneak into his room and enjoy his legos, since I wasn't allowed any of my own. You know, because of that law about girls and legos. I was once told, when asked my favourite colour, that my answer was wrong because I didn't say pink.

At least give the kid a chance with a variety of things. And if they obviously like/dislike something, as when I was a little one, don't ignore that! A kid who instantly discards barbies isn't going to want more. A kid who spends hours wistfully leafing through mechano catalogues might like to try that, hmm?

Unless a parent really can't afford it at all, I think a hallmark of good parenting is to expose a child to a variety of things, and nurture any interests that form, rather than say, "oh, it's a girl, that means no football for us." Even if the interest is *gasp shock horror* contrary to classical gender-roles. I spent many years as a child wishing to be a boy so that I could do more of the things I liked without having to hide it. I used to fantasise about being given toy dinosaurs, like my brother, instead of fairy dresses. And I honestly think my sister enjoyed my birthdays more than I did.

MommyPenguin

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Re: Is this too harsh? A family of girls...
« Reply #62 on: June 27, 2013, 09:07:24 PM »
Oh, trust me, we're trying hard to interest our girls in engineering.  :)  They do love LEGOs, although they prefer the Friends LEGOs to the others (which, on the plus side, were *designed* to get girls interested in LEGOs and building toys, so I don't mind too much).  We have a ton of our LEGOs, both my husband's and mine from when we were kids, to fill out their sets.  And we have the LEGO Simple & Motorized Mechanisms set and are hoping to get the WeDo Robotics set soon, too.  They definitely get lots of boy toys.  And my husband would love to take them to a shooting range when they get older, maybe get them involved in archery.  My oldest got a woodworking set for Christmas.  And we're hoping to get them playing soccer this fall.  Like I said, I'm not a girly-girl myself (I'm supposed to wear MAKEUP?  Dresses?  I'll have to call my SIL...).  It doesn't seem to matter.  They hardly *ever* wear pants, preferring dresses and skirts at all times.  Princesses, dolls, fairies, dressing up, etc.  My oldest loves to read mysteries and yet she's really not a big fan of books without girl main characters.  It's all pink pink pink with maybe some purple thrown in.  Lace and quilting and sewing.  It's just funny how it goes, you know?  (And no, we're not trying to *push* the woodworking/soccer/robotics, but we're trying to introduce them to such things so that they might develop an interest.)

Bluenomi

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Re: Is this too harsh? A family of girls...
« Reply #63 on: June 27, 2013, 09:29:39 PM »
My parents ended up with one sports mad girl. She's the one who goes to the football (various codes) with Dad and loves teasing DH when her team beat his team etc. But it was a pretty girly household growing up, not helps by my mother's love of pink!

Slightly OT but I hate pink so avoided it when DD was a baby and have always encourgaged gender netural toys and 'boys' toys as well as girls toys. Well she is the girliest girl I know. Only wears pink, loves her baby dolls and ponies, always plays in her toy kitchen, etc, etc. I suspct no matter how I raised her, she's be that way! It could be helpful though, she loves babies and she's got 2 siblings on the way...

kareng57

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Re: Is this too harsh? A family of girls...
« Reply #64 on: June 27, 2013, 11:23:13 PM »
That's a good point!  From my homeschooling group, I know a few mixed-race families, and a *lot* of families that have a mix of kids (sometimes some are biological and some aren't, but sometimes the kids are all adopted but just have different looks).  I remember one mom talking about the looks she got when she (white) and her daughter (black) had their hair done the same way.  And apparently the most common comment is, "Are they yours?"  Which, while I could see somebody having reason to ask, has got to be painful for the kids to hear over, and over, and over, and over, you know?  Just to complicate things, my husband and I are open to considering fostering or adoption at some point, and we'd be open to any race or sex, so we *could* end up with all sorts of questions being asked!  Not to mention if we foster or adopt a boy after having had all girls biologically.  I can only imagine the comments we'd get.  But it's true in the end that it wouldn't make us decide to stick to adopting/fostering only girls of our race, so we'll have to deal with it if it happens.

I'll admit that I'm sort of assuming that if we have a fifth, it'll be a girl.  While theoretically it's about 50/50, you definitely can have a tendency towards one sex or the other.  Maybe I've just read Pride and Prejudice too much!

I definitely don't want to say anything that would come back to haunt me if we *did* have a boy at some point.  So I can't go with the "I'm a specialist!" or "he'd look silly in the hand-me-downs!" type of comments, even if I think they're utterly hilarious (and I'll have to share them with my SIL, who has 3 boys and is definitely done, I think she'd love these ideas).

As for girls and sports, sure, girls can/do play sports.  I have this theory, though, that when you have a household of all one sex, you have an increased tendency towards "girly" or "boyish" behavior, because that tends to be what the kids have in common.  One girl might like dolls and theater, another like LEGOs and dolls, another like dolls and riding bikes, but that means that they all have playing dolls in common, so there's an increased tendency to play dolls because you see everybody else doing it, and everybody can do it together, etc.  Versus my SIL's household which has a lot of guns and shooting and sports and superheroes.  :)


There's also parents passing on their own interests to their kids, regardless of sex.

Late Dh had never been a sports-nut - either during his own childhood, or as a spectator.  But he was very hands-on as to construction and trades and taught both of our sons pretty intensively.  One did pursue a trades career (welding), the other is a graphic designer.  For son #2 - he's a talented sketcher/painter apart from computer stuff.  Neither his dad nor I could draw a straight line, we never figured out where his talent came from...

But both of our boys showed only a token interest in team sports.  They played baseball when they were about 6 and 7 years old.  One of them was going to go for soccer but changed his mind.  However, their Dad influenced them to become outdoors oriented, and this benefited the one who went for Scouts, and the other who went for Air Cadets.

ThistleBird

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Re: Is this too harsh? A family of girls...
« Reply #65 on: June 28, 2013, 08:13:14 AM »
"Unless a parent really can't afford it at all, I think a hallmark of good parenting is to expose a child to a variety of things, and nurture any interests that form, rather than say, "oh, it's a girl, that means no football for us." "

Oh, I agree! We've just found out we're having a boy, and my mom asked DH on the phone "What sorts of things do you see yourself doing with a son?" I think she was just trying to make conversation (she hasn't had enough chance to get to know him due to geographical distance) but I loved DH's response: "Well, it all depends on what he turns out to be interested in. It could be almost anything. If he gets interested in computers I could certainly do that with him, etc, etc." We've talked with each other about how luck-of-the-draw we've seen it being in other families. If my dad, for instance, had really wanted to play sports with his son, my brother would've disappointed him big-time. I am hoping I get a kid with an interest in the outdoors, but I want to hold it lightly b/c I know either a boy or a girl has no guarantee of that. By common reputation I "should" get this in a boy, but if I get kids like me & my brother, it'll be the girl. If I get kids like a couple we're friends with (a quite girly girl and a very quiet, rather pale intellectual boy) it'll be neither!

camlan

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Re: Is this too harsh? A family of girls...
« Reply #66 on: June 28, 2013, 08:55:46 AM »


As for girls and sports, sure, girls can/do play sports.  I have this theory, though, that when you have a household of all one sex, you have an increased tendency towards "girly" or "boyish" behavior, because that tends to be what the kids have in common.  One girl might like dolls and theater, another like LEGOs and dolls, another like dolls and riding bikes, but that means that they all have playing dolls in common, so there's an increased tendency to play dolls because you see everybody else doing it, and everybody can do it together, etc.  Versus my SIL's household which has a lot of guns and shooting and sports and superheroes.  :)

For a long time, it was me and my five brothers. I didn't get a sister until I was nearly 10. And the family was as you say--there was an emphasis on boy-related things. Just because there were so many of them. So dinner table conversation was about sports. If there was a conflict about what to watch on TV, my parents went by the "majority rules" rule. So there was a lot of sports on the TV, and I rarely got to watch the shows I wanted to watch.

And all the boys played all the sports, too. There weren't many opportunities for team sports for girls in the 60s, and I wasn't interested in them, anyway. But I was expected to be interested in watching all my brothers play all their games. Bringing a book to Little League games got me in trouble--but there were 3 or 4 games a week, what will all my brothers playing, and frankly, those games were boring.
Sure, I had dolls and I played with them. But the boys teased me about playing with "girly stuff." I also played with the Tinker Toys and Lincoln Logs and we all had marathon Monopoly games and built forts with the sofa cushions.

There was just more boy-oriented stuff around, the sports equipment, the toy trucks and Hot Wheels and GI Joe (the original one that was bigger than Barbie). The general conversation revolved around my brothers' favorite topics of sports and cars and war (Dad was in the Army). If I tried to bring up something else, no one wanted to talk about it. And even if I wanted to do some of the things my brothers were doing, I was told, by adults and my brothers alike, that I couldn't do them because I was a girl. (Which didn't always stop me, if I wanted to do something badly enough. I was not a model child.) And a lot of family activities were chosen to be of interest to the majority of us--which meant my brothers and not me.

I started college with no knowledge of how to style my hair or put on makeup or dress in anything other than jeans. But I knew all the rules to all the sports, and how to fight (because when all your brothers start taking karate lessons, you take them too, out of self defense), and how to use tools and how to fix things. Going to a women's college was an eye-opening experience.

So I agree, there can be a tendency to a certain type of behavior in a family.

After we were all grown up, I got a phone call from one of my brothers. He'd just found out that his first child was going to be a girl. And literally, this is the conversation that followed:

Him: What am I going to do with her?
Me: What do you mean, what are you going to do with her? (I was completely puzzled.)
Him: It's a girl! I don't know what to do with a girl!
Me: Love her?
Him: But I can't take her out in the yard and shoot hoops with her or teach her to dribble a soccer ball!
Me: Why not?
Him: [long silence]
Nothing is impossible, the word itself says, “I’m possible!” –Audrey Hepburn


Redsoil

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Re: Is this too harsh? A family of girls...
« Reply #67 on: June 28, 2013, 10:57:11 AM »
I would think an entirely appropriate answer (especially in a church setting) would be - "God has given us exactly the family we are meant to have."  Add whatever phrase you think may work to boost your girls' self-esteem in the face of repeated gender-bias.
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lowspark

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Re: Is this too harsh? A family of girls...
« Reply #68 on: June 28, 2013, 11:02:16 AM »
(snipped for brevity)

I'll admit that I'm sort of assuming that if we have a fifth, it'll be a girl.  While theoretically it's about 50/50, you definitely can have a tendency towards one sex or the other.  Maybe I've just read Pride and Prejudice too much!

This is pretty off-topic but something I learned in college which I think is pretty interesting. The chances are actually more like 51/49 in favor of having a boy. In other words, slightly more boys than girls are born. At least at the time I took the class (years ago!) they really didn't know why.

However, as the babies grow older, gradually, females outnumber males. Apparently there are lots of forces at work which cause more males to die than females. Childhood diseases, war, and other things (which I've since forgotten). Again, this class was a long time ago so some of that my have evened out some. As childhood diseases are eliminated or at least greatly reduced, and since women are now involved in combat situations more and more, the numbers may even out, at least somewhat.

But traditionally it's been more boy babies and more old ladies.
(Now back to the regular discussion.)

MommyPenguin

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Re: Is this too harsh? A family of girls...
« Reply #69 on: June 28, 2013, 10:21:45 PM »
I like that one, too, Redsoil!  I will keep that one in mind.  It might be helpful to have a few options, too, in case we get asked multiple times in a row, like last week.  Sunday is coming in two days, and that means trying another new church (since we're trying to find one, as we just moved to a new area), which might mean more questions!  Fortunately, the most recent comments I've gotten this week were the tired stand-by of, "Are these all yours?  My, you have your hands full!" (but with a big smile, so not taken in a bad way at all), an elderly couple who looked absolutely *thrilled* to see a large family and made the hands full comment but also said we have lovely girls, how sweet, etc., and a few comments on the adorable-ness of the baby.  So I've had a good week and haven't had to use any of these for the last few days!  (Is it mean to judge churches by number of people who asked when we'll have a boy?  I do think we eliminated last week's church, which had the several people plus the pastor going on and on about it, but we eliminated them for other reasons anyway.)

Bluenomi

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Re: Is this too harsh? A family of girls...
« Reply #70 on: June 30, 2013, 07:27:31 PM »
(snipped for brevity)

I'll admit that I'm sort of assuming that if we have a fifth, it'll be a girl.  While theoretically it's about 50/50, you definitely can have a tendency towards one sex or the other.  Maybe I've just read Pride and Prejudice too much!

This is pretty off-topic but something I learned in college which I think is pretty interesting. The chances are actually more like 51/49 in favor of having a boy. In other words, slightly more boys than girls are born. At least at the time I took the class (years ago!) they really didn't know why.

However, as the babies grow older, gradually, females outnumber males. Apparently there are lots of forces at work which cause more males to die than females. Childhood diseases, war, and other things (which I've since forgotten). Again, this class was a long time ago so some of that my have evened out some. As childhood diseases are eliminated or at least greatly reduced, and since women are now involved in combat situations more and more, the numbers may even out, at least somewhat.

But traditionally it's been more boy babies and more old ladies.
(Now back to the regular discussion.)

Still OT but I'm not sure when you were in college but it's changed. These days its usually 49% boys and 51% girls born. More boys are convieved but they are more likely to suffer prenatal death so more girls are born. Mind you I suspect they stats vary from country to country.

Also for some reason if you have 2 children of the same gender you are more likely (I think it's 60%) to have the third child be the same gender. No idea why but it does make it harder to get your other gender child!

ThistleBird

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Re: Is this too harsh? A family of girls...
« Reply #71 on: June 30, 2013, 09:30:14 PM »
Quote
Is it mean to judge churches by number of people who asked when we'll have a boy?

No! At least I don't think so. I think it's pretty smart. It tells you something about the atmosphere of the church that you might not have been able to learn if you'd showed up with the kind of gender ratios some people think you're "supposed" to have. Especially when it's so marked--getting so many comments at one church and none at another... Of course you'll have other criteria you're looking at too, but I think (inappropriate comments being to a certain extent human nature) it's a sign of a healthy atmosphere at the church where you got none, and that's got to count for something.

Danika

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Re: Is this too harsh? A family of girls...
« Reply #72 on: June 30, 2013, 11:48:47 PM »
Quote
Is it mean to judge churches by number of people who asked when we'll have a boy?

No! At least I don't think so. I think it's pretty smart. It tells you something about the atmosphere of the church that you might not have been able to learn if you'd showed up with the kind of gender ratios some people think you're "supposed" to have. Especially when it's so marked--getting so many comments at one church and none at another... Of course you'll have other criteria you're looking at too, but I think (inappropriate comments being to a certain extent human nature) it's a sign of a healthy atmosphere at the church where you got none, and that's got to count for something.

POD

Coruscation

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Re: Is this too harsh? A family of girls...
« Reply #73 on: July 01, 2013, 12:12:07 AM »
(snipped for brevity)

I'll admit that I'm sort of assuming that if we have a fifth, it'll be a girl.  While theoretically it's about 50/50, you definitely can have a tendency towards one sex or the other.  Maybe I've just read Pride and Prejudice too much!

This is pretty off-topic but something I learned in college which I think is pretty interesting. The chances are actually more like 51/49 in favor of having a boy. In other words, slightly more boys than girls are born. At least at the time I took the class (years ago!) they really didn't know why.

However, as the babies grow older, gradually, females outnumber males. Apparently there are lots of forces at work which cause more males to die than females. Childhood diseases, war, and other things (which I've since forgotten). Again, this class was a long time ago so some of that my have evened out some. As childhood diseases are eliminated or at least greatly reduced, and since women are now involved in combat situations more and more, the numbers may even out, at least somewhat.

But traditionally it's been more boy babies and more old ladies.
(Now back to the regular discussion.)

Still OT but I'm not sure when you were in college but it's changed. These days its usually 49% boys and 51% girls born. More boys are convieved but they are more likely to suffer prenatal death so more girls are born. Mind you I suspect they stats vary from country to country.

Also for some reason if you have 2 children of the same gender you are more likely (I think it's 60%) to have the third child be the same gender. No idea why but it does make it harder to get your other gender child!


Only about 50% of people have boys and girls in equal ratios. Another 25% favour girls and the rest favour boys. Apparently, it helps keep the numbers more equal somehow. Presumably, if you have two girls, you've eliminated yourself from the 'more likely to have girls boys 25%' of the population.
« Last Edit: July 01, 2013, 01:13:53 AM by Coruscation »

MommyPenguin

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Re: Is this too harsh? A family of girls...
« Reply #74 on: July 01, 2013, 12:18:08 AM »
Put yourself into that population, you mean?  Anyway, yeah, we're sort of assuming that there's a better than 50% chance (I'm pretty sure that even if the ratio isn't quite 50-50, because I'd heard that more baby boys were born, too, that it's still really, really close to 50-50) that another baby would be a girl.  Obviously we can't be certain it will be, but we do figure it's much more likely.

Checked out a new church today.  No comments on the large number of girls.  However, not really any conversation at all.  I think part of why we got so many comments last week was that it was a smaller, very friendly church.  Everybody wanted to greet us and chat, chat, chat, etc.  This church was really busy, and is also a multi-language church so a lot of the people aren't fluent in English.  (I was pretty proud of myself for recognizing a few Mandarin characters on the overheads, though).  There was one guy that my husband started chatting with who had 6 kids.  They were discussing the best vehicles for large families.  :P  And I had a brief conversation with the nice nursery lady, who mostly wanted to coo over our 8-month-old.

However!  I did give my husband some of my favorite of your suggestions before we went in, just in case.  So it was really nice to be prepared.  And he enjoyed hearing some of your stories about crazy comments or people wanting boys or the like.  I think going in prepared helped, even though nobody made comments.  Now to cycle back through and decide between really-cool-but-so-very-loud church, nice-but-with-very-little-going-on church, etc.