Harder to Raise: Girls or Boys?

Little Boy with Toy Machine Gun and Cake
Little Boy with Toy Machine Gun and Cake

I have a friend who has six children: two in their 30s, two in their 20s, a teen and a preteen. The eldest and youngest are girls, and she says those two girls were (and still are) harder to deal with than all four boys put together.

I’ve had a different experience. I have four children, two in their 20s and two teens, and they go like this: girl, boy, girl, boy. One girl and one boy are strong-willed, while the other girl and the other boy are more compliant, though not completely so. I always believed that the sex of the child doesn’t mean much in how easy they are to raise, that’s it’s more a matter of personalities, both the child’s and the parents’, and how they mesh (or don’t, as the case may be).

Here’s an article that compares boys and girls (which is good, because that means people are finally getting back to the common sense theory that the sexes are different!) and discusses which sex is harder to raise. What do you think? Are girls harder, or boys?

7 thoughts on “Harder to Raise: Girls or Boys?

  1. From my experience, and from what I’ve seen of others’, often the boys are harder to raise when they’re little, and the girls are harder to raise when they’re bigger. Little boys will be into more stuff, breaking, climbing, trying, being bold in their activities. But when girls get to be bigger, there’s the whole thing with getting feelings hurt, and friendships being analyzed, and hormones. Of course, individual kids’ personalities play into it too. I know one family whose one girl was way more work/stress than all their boys put together. But in stereotypical generalities, I think the “girls harder or boys harder?” question depends on whether we’re talking about 4-yr-olds or 16-yr-olds.

  2. I have one boy and two girls. They go boy (8), girl (6), girl (2). They are all different and have their own personalities. Each one of them have their own struggles and joys. I enjoy each of them for different reasons and find something difficult in each of them. When they were two, the oldest and youngest were the most difficult (I’m still in the throes of getting the youngest one to ‘get with the program’). When my middle one turned 5, she started to have ‘issues’.
    My oldest child had an interesting question just yesterday. He asked me if it was harder to be a boy or a girl. My first inclination was to blurt out ‘being a girl is harder’, but I kept my mouth shut and thought about it first (which is amazing on its own, since I’m a blurter.) Really, I think there are hard parts about both. My personal feeling is that most women, especially those who stay home and homeschool, work harder, but then, that is just my experience. I’m sure there would be plenty of men and women who would take issue with that.
    Anyway, I don’t think it’s a gender issue. Each child has his or her own mental make up and way of looking at the world. Also, I’m thinking that perhaps age is definitely a factor.

  3. I have three boys, three girls. I don’t think I can say which is harder to raise…..there’s something hard about all of them! LOL!

  4. Well, I only have girls, age 23yrs and 9 yrs. Like having two only children, actually. The older girl is very calm, mellow, compliant and self-sufficient. During her teen years, however, this translated to a little bit of sneakiness that she kept very much under wraps and was quite a big shock to dad and me when we found out. Thankfully, she has matured beautifully, graduated college and is loving on her own.

    The nine year old is very much a momma’s girl, boisterous, noisy and active. She wears her feelings on her sleeve, then is off to another activity. Some days I feel like I have parented 3 children; she can be a beautiful, rowdy, handful.

    So, even though I don’t have any boys, I think it just depends on the child’s personality.

  5. I’ve got two girls (6 1/2 and 4 mos) and one boy (3 1/2). So far, the boy has been harder to deal with. But I’ve heard what Susan said about the adolescent years being harder with a girl. So I’ll just have to see when the time rolls around whether that’s true for my kids as well.

  6. Great article, Barbara. I have one boy and one girl and I’m very thankful that I have a Man Beast, too because they tend to communicate so much better than my boy and I do. (Although I see it as two guys butting head, MB assures me that they’re ‘communicating’). I would say that each has their moments of ‘hard-to-raise’ – but you know what? I wouldn’t change either one of them for all the money in the world because that part that is difficult is also what makes them beautifully unique.

  7. Susan, that would be another interesting question: which ages were harder, and which were easier?

    Katherine, your son poses yet another interesting question!

    Janet, yours are pretty close in age…..it will get easier as time goes by.

    SoCalLynn, glad your eldest is doing great….sounds like the younger one keeps you hopping! 🙂

    CW, these are busy days for you with two plus a newborn!

    Iva, my guys butted heads but I’m not so sure they were communicating anything I wanted to get involved with, lol…I was raised with only sisters and in some ways the guy thing is still a mystery to me(and my sons are 16 and 24!)

    Thanks, everyone, for stopping by!

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