Sunday 10 February 2019

Parenting a Girl after Three Boys

 I am not quite sure what I expected parenting a girl to be like, but at the beginning it is the same, you have a baby and babies are all a little bit similar.  It is when they start getting older that things change.  I think in many ways I am still parenting a toddler rather than a girl or boy, but there are little things that are different between Cora and her brothers already.

Whilst they have always been straightforward, she can be much more complex.  If you asked the boys at two or three why their sibling was crying, they would answer 'because I hit them' if that was the answer.  They owned up to everything and said what they felt.  Cora learned to lie so early, to blame things on others when it was quite clearly her fault and she started pushing the boundaries at a much younger age.  She learned how to get what she wants, how to play a game to get it a more subtle way if the original answer is no and how to wrap us round her little finger.  The boys were never as subtle and at seven, five and three they still aren't.

I do wonder whether this is her being the youngest, or growing up faster with having three older siblings, but at the moment it is what seperates her from the boys the most.  In almost every other way I find parenting boy and girl toddlers the same.  Both need to play free, to run and climb and explore. Both need to crawl in the mud and jump in every puddle, both need to test the limits, both love to pick their nose, both need love and cuddles.

Of course I get to buy her dresses and style her hair (well I would if she ever let me). She is the most opinionated about what she wears though and loves choosing her shoes. She has a longer concentration span for things like colouring and craft than any of the boys did at this age and she really likes pink and her babies.

I know the big challenges are still to come with the teenage years but right now I would say she is more complex in some ways than the boys were at the same age, but ultimately she is still a toddler and the same challenges still exist no matter what.  I want to raise her to be fearless, to know she can do and be whatever she wants. I want her to be kind and loving and to help those that need it but these are all the things I want for my boys too. 

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