Raising Boys vs Raising Girls: Who Drives Mom More Insane?

Last Updated on August 30, 2016 by Diane Hoffmaster

When I was pregnant with my first child I really wanted a boy.  I had grand dreams of my older son watching over his little sister like her own personal guardian angel. In turn, she would gaze at him adoringly and think of him as something of an idol and loving protector.  Well, I got the boy first, and 2 years later my daughter was born but all those dreams flew out the window when my son showed zero interest in her what so ever.  Over the last 14 years they have alternated between “Hey, come play with me” to “Get the hell out of my room” with a few other choice phrases thrown in for good measure.  I have discovered that there is a huge difference between raising boys vs raising girls, although I am not sure if it is a gender difference or just unique traits of each child. Both boys and girls have their own individual challenges when it comes to raising them and I am curious as to which one is going to send me right over the edge to the looney bin first!

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Raising boys vs Raising Girls:  Who Drives Mom More Insane?Raising Boys vs. Raising Girls

I have discovered, at least amongst my own children, that boys are very ‘hands on’ when it comes to learning.  When I say to my son “Honey, don’t touch that because it’s hot” he immediately asks “HOW hot?” while reaching out to stick his finger on the stove top.  Then there is that split second where I am diving at my kid trying to rescue him from third degree burns while he giggles uncontrollably.  Tell me daughter that something is hot?  “Thanks for the warning, mom” and no injuries need to be tended to.  So, keep this in mind when trying to educate your children.  Book work may be fine and dandy for some kids but most of the boys I know do better with ‘learning through play’ where they can touch things along the way.  Preferably things that won’t break.Raising Boys vs Raising Girls

Raising Girls Involves DRAMA

My son has always been a “What happens when I do THIS” kind of kid. He once gave himself a wedgie just to see what it felt like.  And this is the kid that they put in the gifted program?  Starting to wonder about that!  Despite his constant pushing of buttons and flipping of switches, I have found that boys are much lower maintenance than girls when it comes to emotions.  Girls have the emotional roller coaster down pat and from an early age, DRAMA lived in my house.  One day, my daughter got poked with a stick by her loving and protecting older brother.  There was a scratch on her eyelid.  A trip to the doctor assured us that the stick had NOT touched her eye.  We got home and the first thing she did was head to the bathroom to check out the damage.  She immediately screamed out “I can’t SEE”, clutched her eye in agony and dropped to the floor.  I kid you not!  DRAMA surrounds girls from an early age.  I try to ignore it, downplay it, rationalize it or otherwise stomp it out.  But, if you are raising girls you are going to have to accept that drama exists.


I have discovered one big difference between raising boys vs raising girls…attention to detail.  My son is not a detail oriented kind of kid.  He grabs pants and shirts without concern for color or fashion rules.  As long as he isn’t naked nothing else seems to register. He forgets to do things that I told him to do within 30 seconds of me giving him instructions.  He has been known to leave for guitar lessons without his guitar.  He does NOT, however, forget anything related to food.  Ever!  My daughter, on the other hand, is extremely detail oriented.  She has been know to match her earings to her flipflops, remembers to give me school forms that need signing, and is usually the one reminding her BROTHER to do his chores.  That never goes over well.

I am curious whether you have noticed similar traits when raising boys vs raising girls.  Are your daughters all about the drama?  Do you boys care more about food than fashion?  Leave me a comment and share your experiences!  I could use all the help I can get over the next few years!  I can seriously see why some animals eat their young!


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  1. I have 3 sons, and you nearly killed me with the eye story! Seriously my oldest who is 7 poked my middle son, 5, in the eye, so hard that it had blood vessels broken and was bruised around the outside. He kept telling me for a couple of days randomly that his eye hurt. But I would ask if we should go see a doc he actually said "No Mommy. Stop being so dramatic it's fine" LOL Seriously I wouldn't have been surprised if he had trouble seeing but he swears it's fine.
  2. Chrysa Duran says
    Well, I don't have boys or girls, so can't compare raising them. I do know there is a big difference between when I was little and it was just me and my sister compared to my sister now having a little boy.
  3. I guess I should get ready for the drama!
  4. I don't have kids yet but there are big differences between my nieces and nephews that i've noticed while babysitting. I have a couple of nieces who are very dramatic - they act like they were hit by a car whenever they get the tiniest scrap or cut, which is emotionally tiring to dealw ith. THe boys are more physically exhausting because they are just into everything and SO 'busy' all the time.
  5. Ha ha - this is a great post! Frank and I have 4 boys and 2 girls between the two of us. Should be some interesting years ahead of us. :)
  6. Elizabeth Towns says
    I love this post. My kids are in the exact opposite order and mentality. My daughter has been known to leave for any lesson without the necessary equipment {sometimes, I believe, without her head}; my son brings home the information. My daughter is the one most likely to be heard mumbling “get the hell out of my room” while my son is yelling “Mom, Bobbi cursed at me.” I cannot fathom having more than two children at one time. Who does that? lol.
    • I dont know how people stay sane with a whole bunch of kids! I guess maybe every kids personality determines their insanity causing level!
  7. Loved this post! I have 2 boys and 2 girls and the girls are definitely the drama queens of the house, while my sons are quite laid back. My oldest daughter, who was second born, was very demanding and always managed to get her own way. (Eg. She always go to sit in the front seat of the car when we travelled anywhere, and no-one even bothered to argue with her). She is in her 20's now and we can all laugh about it. As time goes on things do change and now it is the youngest child, the second daughter, who demands she sit in the front. Despite their differences my children have always got on quite well but this has definitely improved with age!
    • I hope that as my two get older they will learn to actually tolerate one another better! I know the love is there but they bicker constantly!
  8. Interesting article. I definitely had ideas about what differences there "should" be between my boy and girl. My boy was first and I expected him to be all boy- dirty, running wild, messy, getting into everything, etc. Instead, he has been cautious, curious in a productive way, intentional, focused, wise beyond his years and HATES getting dirty. He also is super emotional and cries about everything. My drama kid for sure. He is only 5. My daughter who is 2 has been everything I thought my son would be. She is dirty, messy, wild, jumping, climbing, reckless, hardly cries, tough cookie and does not fit into any box at all! I was so surprised at what I thought they would be like and how different they are. Now, I know they are young and things could change, but I see their personalities that most likely fit them. My son is a lot like me and my daughter is lot like her dad. :)
    • My son sounds so much like yours! Definitely the quiet and inquisitive type rather than all noise and physical actions. Sometimes he has trouble relating to other boys his age but I hope that as all of his peers mature his 'older than his age' personality will blend a bit better with them.
  9. I have 5 sons. Some are hands-on, some are logic-based, some are compassion-based - one is the drama king, some are coachable - some learn through experience. In books on personalities, such as spiritual gifts - I think a person's personality is based more on that than their sex. Understanding their spiritual gifts, love languages and birth order has helped me not only better understand them, but love and support them more effectively - and make sense out of this boys home! LOL
    • I am amazed that you can handle 5 boys and remain sane! I love my son but boy is he a handful! You are very right that God gives each child their own special gifts and we need to learn to appreciate them and not try to fit them into a mold that society says boys should fit into.

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