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Who's Harder to Raise?

As we've discussed before, boys and girls are inherently different. It's one of those facts that parents say but non-parents really don't believe until they have their own kids. But true it feels.

Now comes the question from Parenting.com's Paula Spencer: Is one gender easier to raise than the other?

Her answer? It depends. Here's her scorecard based on interviews with the experts:

  • Discipline: Boys

  • Physical Safety: Boys

  • Communication: Boys in the early years; girls around age 8 and older.

  • Self-Esteem: Girls

  • School: Boys
  • I've always thought of my boys as different than girls -- but never harder. But then, I don't have a girl to compare them with. Sure, the boys have tons of energy. And yes, they like to jump off high perches and try feats they aren't quite ready for. Four-year-old has a small chip in his tooth to show for it. Thanks to one my daredevils, I have some nice bumps and bruises. And yes, sometimes when I'm talking to my boys, I wonder if there's a brick wall between us blocking my words.

    But for all their normal boy-ness, what you see is what you get. They are open books. They don't play games with emotion. Their lives aren't filled with drama.

    What about you? Do you think one gender is harder to raise than another or are they simply different?

    By Stacey Garfinkle |  June 19, 2008; 7:00 AM ET  | Category:  Elementary Schoolers , Preschoolers , Tweens
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    Comments


    "Do you think one gender is harder to raise than another or are they simply different?"

    Each child is an individual.

    Posted by: Anonymous | June 19, 2008 7:10 AM | Report abuse

    Fugly children are harder to raise than good looking children.

    Posted by: Anonymous | June 19, 2008 7:13 AM | Report abuse

    I have 2 boys under Age 4. Whenever they play with girls or boys there is definitely a difference. Boys just seem to be more wild and have a need to throw/run/hit/wrestle. The girls seem to be just as imaginative and playful, but in a quieter more tame way! Not that one is easier than the other necessarily, just different. I do think having boys in the teenage years will be much better!!

    Posted by: HappyDad | June 19, 2008 7:28 AM | Report abuse

    They're different; neither gender is harder to raise than the other.

    The differences among girls can be as great as or greater than the difference between boys and girls.

    The stereotype is that teenage girls = drama, drama, and more drama. Teenage boys = consumption of mass quantities of food, always doing things they shouldn't in an effort to test their wings, and causing drama in the lives of teenage girls.

    Those stereotypes seem to be mostly true.

    Posted by: ArmyBrat | June 19, 2008 7:36 AM | Report abuse

    It's a crapshoot.

    Posted by: Anonymous | June 19, 2008 7:40 AM | Report abuse

    What's harder to raise: a topic designed to provoke mind-numbing, thoughtless, lazy, generalizations based on cute-to-the-author but vomit-inducing-to-everyone-else anecdotes...or something actually worth talking about?

    I've consulted the experts, and here is the scorecard:
    - Sarcasm: lazy topic
    - Anger: lazy topic
    - More page views: lazy topic
    - Intelligent discourse: worthy topic for the first few posts, then momentum dies as there are only so many smart people who actually read this thing
    - Insults to strangers: lazy topic

    Posted by: i wish i were in key west right now | June 19, 2008 8:08 AM | Report abuse

    I think it's ridiculous to try to divide it up by gender roles.

    So much depends on the child's and parents' personalities. In my home we're fine with going out and playing a lot, for example, so "rambunctious" does not equal "harder." But I know my own mother would have had a conniption.

    Posted by: Shandra | June 19, 2008 8:11 AM | Report abuse

    Sometimes I wished I had 2 girls instead of 2 boys. I'm a girly girl and the boys constant need to be physical wears me out. I can't stay still for a minute. I always have to have my hat full of tricks to keep them busy. But there's no drama. My friend with a tomboy daughter has to deal with drama and her daughter's high octane energy needs. When she comes over, she tears up the house and keeps us all on our toes. Dealing with her makes me greatfull for the simplicity of my boys however active they are. At least I know what to expect. With some exceptions in both sexes, it seems that you're either going to deal with physical or mental exertion

    Posted by: On1 | June 19, 2008 8:31 AM | Report abuse

    Of course they are different, but I also believe that girls are generally more challenging than boys...spoken as the father of daughters 20 and 17. We look at our close friends who all seem to agree with this. The angst, pettiness and drama does not start when they are teenagers, but rather in preschool. This is not the biggest issue, but we don't see this with boys. The rest...things like academics...are a push IMO.

    Posted by: Mike Sorce | June 19, 2008 8:31 AM | Report abuse

    Who's More Rewarding to Raise?

    Posted by: Anonymous | June 19, 2008 8:34 AM | Report abuse

    I would think I need more children to figure out if one gender is harder than the other. We have one of each but... seriously... how do I know it is not just personality vs gender that makes one easier or harder? I need a second child of the same gender to know for sure.

    In our case, both my husband and I agree that the son is generally harder than the daughter. She is far more obedient, happier, easy-going and much quieter. He never wants to obey the rules, always ends up being in punishment for not following rules that are the same day-in and day-out, almost never manages to play without talking to himself in a loud voice (ie never quiet) and is upset by anything that does not result in his immediate satisfaction - even a delay of 15 minutes will result in a melt-down. I wish I could say that the son was younger than the daughter which explains his actions but he is actually 3 years older.

    It totally blows my mind that the children are complete opposites. And up until now, I never attributed much of it to gender... just different personalities.

    Posted by: Billie | June 19, 2008 8:35 AM | Report abuse

    Billie

    "In our case, both my husband and I agree that the son is generally harder than the daughter. "

    After numerous red flags, are you still with this loser!!! Is there something rooted in your childhood that compels you to be a doormat? What kind of example is that for the kiddies?

    No one can abuse you without your permission!

    Posted by: Anonymous | June 19, 2008 8:40 AM | Report abuse


    I heard this quote at Tim Russert's memorial yesterday and I thought it most applicable to all the haters!


    This is the true joy in life, the being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one; the being thoroughly worn out before you are thrown on the scrap heap; the being a force of Nature instead of a feverish selfish little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy. - George Bernard Shaw

    Posted by: moxiemom | June 19, 2008 8:46 AM | Report abuse


    "I heard this quote at Tim Russert's memorial yesterday and I thought it most applicable to all the haters! "

    Oh, brother! Shaw!!!!

    Posted by: Anonymous | June 19, 2008 8:49 AM | Report abuse

    For the first 10 years, girls are easier. they are generally more cooperative and don't engage in risky or devient behavior as much as boys.

    Then puberty strikes... and all hell breaks loose. Daddy finds himself arbitrating spats that break out between his little angel and his lovely wife, getting manipulated by tear inducing stomach aches once a month, and then comes the hit in the wallet that is necessary to keep his daughter socially adept with her peers.

    Not to mention that the shotgun needs a constant polishing. Yes, teenage girls need to be protected from the 22 year old pizza delivery guy that rents a downstairs apartment from his mother. A father doesn't have to worry about things like this with his son.

    When boys get older, they get cooler. The fart jokes get replaced by better humor. Dad gets his lawn mowed while he drinks a beer on the back deck, and he no longer has to climb on the roof to clean the gutters.

    And I haven't even gotten to the expense of the wedding. So you thought that was a tear in his eye as he walked his daughter down the aisle? Wait until you see the look on his face when he gets the bill for it all!

    Posted by: DandyLion | June 19, 2008 8:53 AM | Report abuse

    "It totally blows my mind that the children are complete opposites. And up until now, I never attributed much of it to gender... just different personalities."

    I agree totally -- mine are night and day. For us, the girl is the loud, active one, while the boy tends to play happily by himself more. I never attributed it to gender, just that they're very different people. They do have some stereotypical behaviors (she's much more emotional than he is), but mixed in with a lot that's not.

    I think what you consider "difficult" has less to do with gender and more with how well your personality and parenting style meshes with your kids' personalities. My husband would absolutely say our daughter is the more difficult, because they butt heads all the time -- he tends toward the authoritarian, and she tends to react to that with rebellion and meltdowns. I tend toward calm-but-firm, more 1-2-3 Magic approach, and she responds better to that, so I don't think she's that difficult (now -- first couple of years were another story!). But the boy, man, he drives me nuts sometimes with his ability to ignore anything he doesn't want to hear. But my husband manages him no problem.

    Then again, maybe it is gender to some degree, since I "get" the girl more, and he "gets" the boy more.

    Posted by: Laura | June 19, 2008 8:58 AM | Report abuse

    DandyLion

    "Yes, teenage girls need to be protected from the 22 year old pizza delivery guy that rents a downstairs apartment from his mother. A father doesn't have to worry about things like this with his son."

    Are you kidding????? Sons don't neeed protection from sexual predators?

    "Not to mention that the shotgun needs a constant polishing."

    Um, what good is a shotgun to a blind man? It's difficult to believe you are a middle-aged man, you are like a teenager who never matured. Pathetic. And really sad for the kids who are a captive audience for your idiocy.

    Posted by: Huh? | June 19, 2008 9:01 AM | Report abuse

    DandyLion, this father of 3 girls and 1 boy is going to have to respectfully disagree.

    "Daddy finds himself arbitrating spats that break out between his little angel and his lovely wife"

    You got that right! Our pediatrician told us that it's typical for teenaged girls to rebel against their mothers first. Oldest DD decided at the age of about 14 or 15 that it was time for her to be "Queen of the House". DW decided that "little princess" needed to know her place and stay there. Each constantly called on me to take her side. I quickly learned the "you two need to resolve this yourselves" reply.

    "teenage girls need to be protected from the 22 year old pizza delivery guy that rents a downstairs apartment from his mother. A father doesn't have to worry about things like this with his son."

    Yes, he does. Females can be as sexually aggressive as males. If you don't want to deal with the family of the girl that your son got pregnant, and you don't want to deal with the STD your son acquired, you'd better keep vigilant on that front, too.

    "The fart jokes get replaced by better humor."

    Say it ain't so! My friends and I haven't outgrown that kind of humor at our age; don't tell me DS will.

    "Dad gets his lawn mowed while he drinks a beer on the back deck, and he no longer has to climb on the roof to clean the gutters."

    I have a kick-start lawn mower. I kick my son until he starts mowing. :-)

    "And I haven't even gotten to the expense of the wedding. So you thought that was a tear in his eye as he walked his daughter down the aisle? Wait until you see the look on his face when he gets the bill for it all!"

    I told all three girls that I'm not paying for their weddings; I'm paying for their college educations so that they can pay for their own darned weddings. Wish me luck in pulling that one off! :-)

    Posted by: ArmyBrat | June 19, 2008 9:18 AM | Report abuse

    Huh? You don't happen to have a job delivering pizzas, do you? Sorry, I must have hit a nerve or something.

    Posted by: DandyLion | June 19, 2008 9:22 AM | Report abuse

    Army Brat, c'mon pay for the wedding! I know that deep down you are a softie for your girls!

    Posted by: Moxiemom | June 19, 2008 9:22 AM | Report abuse

    moxie - yes, oldest DD has had me wrapped around her finger since she was born. The others just ride along and learn to pull the same strings their big sister does.:-)

    I'll probably have to pay, but gee whiz - I'd like to retire at some point!

    Posted by: ArmyBrat | June 19, 2008 9:25 AM | Report abuse

    Who the heck was Tim Russert, anyway? Some bloviating talking head. The big stink they're raising about his death, you'd think he was a King or something.

    Boys or girls harder to raise? My mom would beat the crap out of all of us, didn't matter to her. However the boys eventually grew bigger than she was and she finally got rid of the paddle. She used one of those wooden paddles with the rubber ball attached. Took off the ball and paddled us with that at the drop of a hat. Used to beat my sister when she came home from dates. Used to slap my brother around if he talked back at her.

    Posted by: Anonymous | June 19, 2008 9:32 AM | Report abuse

    Definitely a difference. Our first trip to the emergency room was recently - I feel lucky that it's been six years til that milestone - and child had 6 stitches in lip and they took out his tooth last week :(.

    I mentioned to my sister once after her first (a boy) was born that maybe she'd want a little girl and she said no,they're so hard to raise - in that voice as in: of course, I know everything about that. Of course, she didn't have any girls, and she was acting as if she knew because she was the older sister to two girls, and she thought she knew what it's like to raise them.

    Anyway, they're just different, but not better or worse. You'd think my MIL thought so - she has five (healthy) grandsons, and she keeps lobbying her kids for a girl...

    Posted by: atlmom | June 19, 2008 9:37 AM | Report abuse

    "Who the heck was Tim Russert, anyway? Some bloviating talking head. The big stink they're raising about his death, you'd think he was a King or something. "

    Americans have short memories and even shorter attention spans. Remember the big stink about Heath Ledger's death and what a "tragedy" it was?

    Posted by: Anonymous | June 19, 2008 9:38 AM | Report abuse

    re: weddings...

    if you're not going to treat the kids equally and give each and equal amount of money for their weddings - then, go back to the 1800s and have the BOYS ONLY get ALL the inheritance....

    My MIL spends ALL her time thinking about so called 'fairness' with regards to the kids - but son got ZERO for wedding, while daughters got tons of money for theirs. And who inherits the jewelry....hmmmm....

    so...go back to another century - or give both the kids some money - or no money - but don't treat them differently because their are different genders...then nothing that has happened in the last 40 years makes any sense...

    Or, are you saying: well, no one would marry my daughter, and she is free to not be able to support herself - because her wedding (dowry) is paid for....?

    Posted by: Anonymous | June 19, 2008 9:44 AM | Report abuse

    "Who the heck was Tim Russert, anyway? Some bloviating talking head. The big stink they're raising about his death, you'd think he was a King or something. "

    weel he was part of the liberal media, they always think they are oh so important, just one out of a thousand talking heads

    Posted by: Anonymous | June 19, 2008 9:54 AM | Report abuse

    "Who the heck was Tim Russert, anyway? Some bloviating talking head. The big stink they're raising about his death, you'd think he was a King or something. "

    well he was part of the liberal media, they always think they are oh so important, just one out of a thousand talking heads

    Posted by: Anonymous | June 19, 2008 9:54 AM | Report abuse

    Since all of mine are girls, I honestly can't say. It has been my experience that boys are more rambunctious in the pre-school years which can make for a physically exhausitng day. My girls are all drama all the time and have been since they could talk which makes for an emotionally exhausting day.

    Regardless of sex, parenting is sometimes a joy, sometimes a challenge and I don't think you can make a generalization about one gender being more difficult than the other.

    Posted by: Momof5 | June 19, 2008 9:56 AM | Report abuse

    "DandyLion

    "Yes, teenage girls need to be protected from the 22 year old pizza delivery guy that rents a downstairs apartment from his mother. A father doesn't have to worry about things like this with his son."

    Are you kidding????? Sons don't neeed protection from sexual predators?

    "Not to mention that the shotgun needs a constant polishing."

    Um, what good is a shotgun to a blind man? It's difficult to believe you are a middle-aged man, you are like a teenager who never matured. Pathetic. And really sad for the kids who are a captive audience for your idiocy."

    Ignore this idiot, Dandylion, you are right on and 95 percent of dads will read this and nod their head. The other 5 percent like this poster are too busy picking their nose to understand.

    Posted by: right on dandylion | June 19, 2008 9:57 AM | Report abuse

    I have two girls and they are as different as different genders could be. One is quiet, easygoing, plays well with others, never has trouble in school. The other starts talking at 6:30 am and stops when she falls asleep. She never walks when she can run, asks a thousand questions a day, jumps off the stairs, etc. She is often in trouble in school for being impulsive.

    Posted by: girls can be different | June 19, 2008 10:02 AM | Report abuse

    Anonymous: Thanks for contributing. Now it's time to turn back to the topic at hand. And please, sign your posts. Thank you.

    Posted by: Stacey Garfinkle | June 19, 2008 10:09 AM | Report abuse

    The differences in boys and girls is all completely in how you raise them and how society starts generizing them form day 1. There have been numerous studies proving this, showing how if you give a person a baby to interact with and telling them its a boy or telling them its a girl, they will treat the baby differently and use different words to describe it. This occurs whether what gender the adult was told the baby is is true or not. So the adult describes the baby one way and interacts with it one way, based on what he thinks its gener is, and not what it really is, proving that its not based on any actual feminine or masculine characteristics of the baby. Because even using the same baby, adults will treat it differently and describe it differently if they are told its a boy as opposed to a girl.

    Boys "have more energy" because they are allowed to, whereas girls normally get yelled at for causing the same trouble and get put in dresses and told they need to act "lady like " in them.

    As for the wedding thing, I'm sorry, I thought 2 people got married, is it only girls now? Who said its the parents of the bride who pays? But you want me to believe all gener differences aren't based on how society forces those steroetypes?!!! There is no reason for parents to think they pay for their daughter's wedding, except society has told us "thats the way it is" and that we have to be protective over our daughters because they are innocent and pure and all boys are trying to get them. Its 2008, people are postponing marriage now anyway to go to college and start careers etc., everyone should be able to pay for their own wedding. If they don't have the money, they should just have one that is within their budget then. Its about marrying the love of your life, not about that 1 day. My wedding cost me $1,000 and was exactly the one I wanted.

    Posted by: Anonymous | June 19, 2008 10:10 AM | Report abuse

    I don't think you can say that boys or girls are easier or harder, as a generality. My son is very active, and when he was a toddler and preschooler, I could barely keep up. But he was also very happy, outgoing, and easy to please. Never had meltdowns (although my husband claims it's because he always got what he wanted). My baby daughter seems less easygoing. Even at 6 months, she has definite likes and dislikes, and when she is not happy about something, she arches her back and yells her little head off. She does not like to wait. If she is in her crib or bouncer, and wants to get out, she will make this little "ehhhh, ehhh" sounds for half a minute. If we don't attend to her immediately, she begins to wail and cry, and turns red like, as my son says, "a hot burrito." I can already tell that she is going to be more demanding than my son was. Luckily, I don't mind a strong personality. She is incredibly cute.

    Posted by: Emily | June 19, 2008 10:24 AM | Report abuse

    "The differences in boys and girls is all completely in how you raise them"

    Um, uh, let me add that there is a huge biological difference in case you haven't noticed. Girls get pregnant, boys don't.

    And I won't have to have a sit down and talk with my sons to decide if I need to take them to get a HPV vaccination or not.

    Posted by: DandyLion | June 19, 2008 10:27 AM | Report abuse

    Obviously Stacey is as good a moderator as she is a parent. The rules for posting comments state "...comments that include profanity or personal attacks ... will be removed." And "...entries that are unsigned or contain signatures by someone other than the actual author will be removed." Take that spewfest from yesterday, for example. Three-fourths of those comments should have been removed but they were posted nevertheless. Stacey, do your job. The rules have been stated, now take some action. If this is the way you raise your spawn, God help us when they grow up. They are intolerable little creatures now -- nose-picking, constantly masturbating, peeing on the toilet seats. Glad I don't live in that house.

    Posted by: Anonymous | June 19, 2008 10:30 AM | Report abuse

    "My wedding cost me $1,000 and was exactly the one I wanted."


    I can only imagine the sniveling turd you lassoed into that one....

    Posted by: ugg | June 19, 2008 10:36 AM | Report abuse

    Wow, the weddings comment touched a nerve, apparently.

    Yes, the tradition in this society has been for the bride's family to pay for the wedding. That's not always the case (my parents paid for my brother's wedding because his wife's family had kicked her out), but it's the "tradition". And yes, DW's parents paid for our wedding. Frankly, I'd have been happier and a lot less stressed if we'd eloped, but that was what she wanted and since I wanted to marry her, I went along with it.

    I don't look forward to paying for weddings for any of our children, male or female. I'd rather give them the cost as a wedding gift and let them use it towards a house or savings plan or whatever. But I suspect that when the time comes for either the girls or the boy, my sole input is going to be to set the budget cap, and the rest will be done without regard to my inputs. That's one of the ways DW and I divide the labor in the household. It works for us. :-)

    To the 9:44 anon poster: I'm sorry, I didn't really grok your post, so if I'm misunderstanding you I'd appreciate a correction. But I see no need to give each child an equal amount of money for a wedding; I'm not funding their college educations equally. I'm paying what's appropriate for each child, within the budget. If one child wants a private, liberal arts college and with scholarships it's within budget, while another child is perfectly happy with a state school, that's the way it will work. Similarly, if one child and spouse want a big wedding and the contribution I'm asked for is within budget, while another child and spouse want a very small wedding with immediate family only and that's much cheaper, that's fine too.

    I might find some way in the future to even up my support of them, but I'm not going to insist that all weddings cost the same, just as I'm not going to insist on a constant dollar amount (whether or not adjusted for inflation) for education.

    Posted by: ArmyBrat | June 19, 2008 10:36 AM | Report abuse

    But DandyLion -- Boys get girls pregnant. If your son got a girl pregnant, wouldn't that be just as much of a problem as if one of your daughters were to become pregnant?

    Posted by: JEGS | June 19, 2008 10:42 AM | Report abuse

    I just want to know what blind man is doing on the roof?

    I think girls are harder to raise, but that is mostly because I have always had better relationships with men than with women. So, I agree with the poster who says that it largely depends on your own personality and how it meshes (or doesn't) with that of your children.

    Posted by: hmmm? | June 19, 2008 10:48 AM | Report abuse

    AB, you know, it's interesting, I think a lot has to do with your expectations going into it. I just always assumed that when I got married, I'd be a grown-up, and so I'd pay for my own wedding (and my mom thought the courthouse was just fine, so she sure didn't try to teach me otherwise). And by the time I actually did get married, I was making more than my mom, so it would have seemed especially inappropriate to ask for money! In the end, they wanted to chip in, as did the in-laws, but I would never have asked or expected.

    Even though I know the tradition, it would still seem weird to me to save specifically for my daughter's wedding and not my son's (ok, we're actually doing neither! college first). But I am totally with you on the "fair does not require giving the exact same thing to each kid" thing.

    Posted by: Laura | June 19, 2008 10:50 AM | Report abuse

    I don't believe its gender related. The first born are always easier to raise whether they are boys or girls.

    Posted by: charlotte nc | June 19, 2008 10:58 AM | Report abuse

    I'd like ArmyBrat to adopt me so he will pay for my college. The heck with a wedding. College is more expensive -- I had to work two jobs 7 days a week to pay for it myself. Not a dime from mommy or daddy.

    Posted by: Anonymous | June 19, 2008 11:01 AM | Report abuse

    "If your son got a girl pregnant, wouldn't that be just as much of a problem as if one of your daughters were to
    become pregnant?"

    Absolutely not. Make no mistake about it, the female bears the brunt of the physical, emotional, and economic consequences of a pregnancy.

    And compounding the problem is that there are many times over the ratio of irresponsible college age males that don't have a problem inviting HS girls over to their party for drinks and dancing than older women that take advantage of teenage boys.

    In conclusion, fathers spent much more time and effort protecting their daughters than their sons.

    Posted by: DandyLion | June 19, 2008 11:07 AM | Report abuse

    "I'd like ArmyBrat to adopt me so he will pay for my college. The heck with a wedding. College is more expensive -- I had to work two jobs 7 days a week to pay for it myself. Not a dime from mommy or daddy. "

    Think of the price - living with this windbag and his airhead wife? No way.

    Posted by: Nope | June 19, 2008 11:11 AM | Report abuse

    DandyLion

    "In conclusion, fathers spent much more time and effort protecting their daughters than their sons.""

    Ha, ha! I haven't seen "in conclusion" since high school! Oh, the irony.

    Once, again, you don't know what you are talking about.

    How the heck does a blind man protect anybody?? You may be yakking a lot at your kids, but you are pretty much helpless when it comes to really protecting your kids.

    Posted by: Scooter | June 19, 2008 11:18 AM | Report abuse

    anon @ 11:01: sorry, I can't adopt you. No more kids - the ones I've got now are bankrupting me. But I paid my own way through college - academic scholarships plus three jobs put me through a CSS. I'm just trying to give the kids a better opportunity than I had.

    Nope @ 11:11: "I don't want to talk to you no more, you empty headed animal food trough wiper. I fart in your general direction. Your mother was a hamster and your father smelt of elderberries." - copyright Monty Python.

    Posted by: ArmyBrat | June 19, 2008 11:24 AM | Report abuse

    The problem with all this is that it continues other stereotypes- a really active physical girl becomes a "tomboy" rather than just "a girl." A really effete boy becomes a "sissy" rather than just "a boy." And then we wonder why kids are so mean and evil to eachother- they've been taught from birth that there are differences and that they won't get along as well with people who are different.

    I think it's harder to raise competent parents who want to raise independent mature responsible adults rather than trophy clones.

    Posted by: Liz D | June 19, 2008 11:27 AM | Report abuse

    "They are open books. They don't play games with emotion. Their lives aren't filled with drama."

    What an ignorant implicit slam on daughters - imagining complimenting your sons by comparison to the most ignorant stereotypes about women. I feel sorry for Stacey's sons growing up with a mom who doesn't like herself or her gender.

    Posted by: oh my | June 19, 2008 11:35 AM | Report abuse

    oh, my

    "I feel sorry for Stacey's sons growing up with a mom who doesn't like herself or her gender."


    These kids need a TON of sympathy, especially the one who sucks his thumb while he masturbates 24/7.


    Posted by: oh, me | June 19, 2008 11:54 AM | Report abuse

    Judging from the comments and name-calling on this blog, it's no wonder these parents are raising screwed up kids.

    Posted by: Anonymous | June 19, 2008 11:55 AM | Report abuse

    Hey ArmyBrat, when I encouraged by Father to get a dog, he said, "I will not be responsible for any other creature that I have to feed, cloth or put through school." Ok, then, we did not get him a dog.

    And hear, hear to LizD as proven by the idiotic statements posted on this blog. Obviously, neither boys nor girls are better than than the other. It completely depends upon the child and the parent, and especially upon the maturity and competency of the parent.

    What movie was that where the character says "They make you get a license to have a dog, but anyone can be a parent?" or something to that effect. Too true.

    Posted by: Too true | June 19, 2008 11:56 AM | Report abuse

    I'm sure my father would tell everyone that daughters were harder to raise. And he'd be absolutely right about his own three headstrong daughters. Our little brother was the quite, polite, cooperative one.

    I have no daughters, but watching my brother and sister raising my nieces, I think different, not harder is about right.

    And there are physiological differences between male and female brains. I think it's somewhere around 6 weeks of gestation that the Y chromosome wakes up and starts pumping out the testosterone, and it causes all sorts of changes in male fetuses, not just the development of male genitalia. So, whoever it was that said the differences between boys and girls are *all* cultural was mistaken. Some of the differences are pretty likely to be cultural, but some of them aren't.

    Posted by: Sue | June 19, 2008 12:00 PM | Report abuse

    Dandylion,

    You will need to have the HPV talk with BOTH your boys and girls. Girls may suffer disproportionately from it, but where do you think they GET it? Both men and women should get it ASAP. Also, there are minimal risks of throat and penile cancer that affect men. How HPV became a 'woman's problem' I will never know. Women don't get diseases on their own.

    Posted by: dmt | June 19, 2008 12:10 PM | Report abuse

    Both my son and daughter were little angels from heaven. Hugs & kisses for mummy & daddy, and love, love, love! I couldn't understand why other people had any problems with their kids. Yes, my treasures were a delight to raise. That is 'till they were teenagers!!! What a shock! It didn't help that I was going through premature menopause!!!! Headaches and heartbreak!

    Posted by: Been there | June 19, 2008 12:16 PM | Report abuse

    Actually, the nastiness pretty much entirely comes from the people without kids. That they don't reproduce is doing us all a big favor.

    I have nothing to add to the topic. Some kids are hard, some kids are easy.

    "Judging from the comments and name-calling on this blog, it's no wonder these parents are raising screwed up kids.

    Posted by: | June 19, 2008 11:55 AM"

    Posted by: atb | June 19, 2008 12:18 PM | Report abuse

    atb

    "Actually, the nastiness pretty much entirely comes from the people without kids."

    How do you know?

    Posted by: abc | June 19, 2008 12:21 PM | Report abuse

    "How HPV became a 'woman's problem' I will
    never know."

    There is a positive link between HPV and cervical cancer. A man doesn't have a cervix.

    Posted by: biology Lesson | June 19, 2008 12:25 PM | Report abuse

    to biology lesson: there are now links between HPV and throat cancer in men. One of the reasons? Men performing oral sex on women with HPV. Virus enters the man; causes cancer.

    See for example:

    http://health.usnews.com/articles/health/2008/02/19/clueless-on-stds-throat-cancer-and-oral-sex.html

    http://www.rdoc.org.uk/hpv.html

    and many, many more.

    Posted by: anon for this one | June 19, 2008 12:36 PM | Report abuse

    I'm a fixing to post "The Best of Father of 4" from the good old days of OP and OB. Talk about inappropriate sexual remarks concerning young girls-wow!

    Stay tuned. You may want to take a shower when you've read this stuff.

    Posted by: Deep Throat | June 19, 2008 12:37 PM | Report abuse

    Well my girl, age 4, is always eager to please, always loving on me, she pretty much does everything I tell her, but my boy, age 7, his is stubburn, you have to tell him something 4 or 5 times before he decideds to do it. He only loves on me when there's food involved.

    Posted by: Anonymous | June 19, 2008 12:39 PM | Report abuse

    Because they usually say they don't have kids. Duh.

    atb

    "Actually, the nastiness pretty much entirely comes from the people without kids."

    How do you know?

    Posted by: abc | June 19, 2008 12:21 PM

    Posted by: atb | June 19, 2008 12:40 PM | Report abuse

    It is not just Stacy. I am often bewildered and confused by my own gender as well. My husband can just meet soomeone, invite them over for a beer and have the friendship takes off from there usually in a positive direction. That has been my general observation for the past 16 years. Butwith women,9 1/2 times out of 10 there's tons of hoops to go through, clicks to break though, it is constant drama.

    I've been lucky because I have had long term friendships with women (two best friends of 15 years or more), I have lots of female acquiantances as well, but for the most part the drama with women can be a bit much. They're simply not easy going.
    You never know when you're going to catch them on their period. They're like cats, you have to constantly be weary of them. They have the potential to be wholly lovely, but they can turn and scratch you right in the eye. Unpredictable? of yeah. powerful? that too. Complex? undeniably.

    Posted by: to oh my | June 19, 2008 12:46 PM | Report abuse

    This just in: all posts to On Parenting will now be accompanied by the following video:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R3xwDDLuLcY

    Thanks so much.

    Posted by: OP now has a theme song... | June 19, 2008 12:55 PM | Report abuse

    This just in: all posts to On Parenting will now be accompanied by the following video:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R3xwDDLuLcY"

    YouTube is blocked on my commuter...

    Posted by: On, no | June 19, 2008 12:59 PM | Report abuse

    "This just in: all posts to On Parenting will now be accompanied by the following video:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R3xwDDLuLcY"

    YouTube is blocked on my commuter..."

    It's an animated version of the old song "Anything You Can do I can do Better" from Guys & Dolls.

    Posted by: Anonymous | June 19, 2008 1:07 PM | Report abuse

    It's from Annie Get Your Gun.

    Posted by: MusicalTheatreGeek | June 19, 2008 1:10 PM | Report abuse

    How do you tell the difference between a breeder and a non-breeder?

    The breeder is the one without the sense of humor. They're also bitter because they're stuck at home with a bunch of whinning kids. They also think that non-breeders are jealous and wish we were them, which of course is a crock. But if you want to know which one is nastier? Just read the posts responding to this one.

    This post was done in jest, but because breeders have no sense of humor they will not see it.

    Ok, now...GO!!!!

    Posted by: And they're off... | June 19, 2008 1:13 PM | Report abuse

    OP Nastiness Meter

    Nursing Nazis - have kids
    Room Mothers - have kids
    SAHMs - have kids
    Stroller Nazis- have kids
    Windbags - have kids

    Posted by: list | June 19, 2008 1:15 PM | Report abuse

    OP Nastiness Meter

    whiners who complain that if new mothers get 6 weeks off, THEY want 6 weeks off, too - no kids.

    whiners who want every flight they're on to be child-free (and they'd also like first class seats plus Dom Perignon and caviar, if it's not too much bother) - no kids


    Who's Next?

    Posted by: Anonymous | June 19, 2008 1:20 PM | Report abuse

    Childfree people don't have to arrange for a sitter to get some quality time with their main squeeze. Contrary to popular belief, singles and childfree folks do not prowl bars nightly looking for pick-ups. That domain belongs to married men with fat, unattractive wives sitting at home with the kids.

    Childfree people can take a vacation without arranging for someplace to put the kids. We can also go shopping, have lunch with friends, and spend time at the spa without constant interruptions from squawking kids.

    Childfree people do not eat every meal in the car going to/from soccer games, music lessons, school functions, doctor visits, summer camp, meetings with the teacher.

    Childfree people have to take up the slack at work when the breeders have to leave early or come in late because of the item listed above.

    Childfree people can have a neat, clean house without worrying what is going to get spilled on the sofa or the carpet. They can choose to have pets, but it's not a requirement for a good life. We have lots of friends, hobbies, interests.

    Childfree people can make a career move across the country without worrying if it will put a kink Junior's and Princess's social life or school enrollment. We can also buy homes anywhere without regard to the school system in the community.

    Childfree people can interact with kids of the choosing, when and for how long they like. When they get tired of the kids, just send them back to their parents and open the chilled bottle of chardonnay.

    The list could go on and on but my lunch break is up.

    Posted by: Anonymous on this one | June 19, 2008 1:36 PM | Report abuse

    Except that those with kids outnumber those of us without which means you top the Nastiness Meter. Every. Time.

    Posted by: Anonymous | June 19, 2008 1:36 PM | Report abuse

    "As we've discussed before, boys and girls are inherently different." Well, DUH! Genius, genius, genius. Give that woman a gold star. Go to the head of the class! We never realized!

    Posted by: Anonymous | June 19, 2008 1:38 PM | Report abuse

    Too True -- Your quote is from "Parenthood", believe Keanu Reeves says it to Steve Martin.
    As for today's topic, our son and daughter are almost carbon copies of each other. Both are very physical, very active and very loud at times. Both have the ability to play for long periods very quietly and alone. To date the biggest difference seems to be that daughter plays with Barbies before growing bored and using them as drum sticks. Son goes direct to drum sticks.

    Posted by: Stroller Momma | June 19, 2008 1:38 PM | Report abuse

    I don't know what any of you are talking about. Boys and girls are exactly the same to raise if you do it right. My two children do all the same activities each week and have their excess energy expelled before sitting down to a civilized dinner. Having them do the same activities is easier on the nanny (one drop off and pick up) and usually you can get a discount for having more than one kid enrolled. Why haven't you all figured this out? If you spent more time thinking about it & less posting here you would have.

    Posted by: Anonymous | June 19, 2008 1:40 PM | Report abuse

    "I don't know what any of you are talking about. Boys and girls are exactly the same to raise if you do it right."

    Another category for the OP Nastiness Meter

    You guys name the category - I'm waiting for th UPS guy.

    Posted by: list | June 19, 2008 1:45 PM | Report abuse

    12:39 I'd be concerned. First off that the girls need to please will turn to resentment that the boy gets away with not doing what he's told with no consequences. Also, perhaps the boy feels he's being compared to the perfect princess and it doesn't matter how good he does, it doesn't get noticed. Finally, I worry that you aren't using effective behavior training leading to frustration for both of you- repeating an order even once is something that should be trained out.

    Posted by: Liz D | June 19, 2008 1:47 PM | Report abuse

    I think that as a group, boys are different from girls as a group. But, as the late great Stephen Jay Gould went hoarse trying to explain over and over again, in general variation within groups of humans is much greater than the variation between groups. "Boys" in the aggregate may be harder or easier to raise, but that tells you very little about the boy in front of you. DandyLion makes the valid point that girls and boys face different risks and challenges as they grow, (e.g. mental torture by "mean girls" vs physical bullying) but as others have pointed out there is a lot of overlap on those issues too. Generalizations aren't useful parenting tools - they lead you into the trap of thinking your child "should" be a certain way which just generates needless friction.

    Posted by: lurkette | June 19, 2008 1:54 PM | Report abuse

    Childfree people get lonelier and more bitter as their friends have children, since they hate people who are mothers and fathers.

    Childfree people are really only good for picking up when those of us with kids leave early. Yay us! We really snowed you there! You must be stupid and spineless!

    Childfree people are materialistic and selfish. It's really going to bite them in the butt later though, because no amount of money is going to guarantee your hired caretakers won't abuse you in your old age!

    Childfree people will never get to feel the intensity of having a child, though they'll try to convince you otherwise, saying how much they love their SO, niece, cat, etc.

    (I, too, could go on and on, but it's kind of painful to have to write that, since the people I know without kids are friends and loved ones who aren't at all hateful. I feel really sorry for all you people who can only be friends with people exactly like you.)

    Posted by: atb | June 19, 2008 1:57 PM | Report abuse

    @Anon at 1:36

    Everything on your list applies to my marriage both before and after having children - well, except the pets item, because DH and I feel that a home simply isn't a home unless it has cats. But that's a necessessity for us, not for everyone.

    But my best friend is childless by choice. She's a wonderful "auntie" and my kids adore her, but she would have been a terribly neurotic parent with terribly neurotic children. I learned from her that (most) people who choose not to have children are to be respected for their self-knowledge and good judgment.

    Posted by: Sue | June 19, 2008 1:58 PM | Report abuse

    "I think that as a group, boys are different from girls as a group. But, as the late great Stephen Jay Gould went hoarse trying to explain over and over again, in general variation within groups of humans is much greater than the variation between groups. "Boys" in the aggregate may be harder or easier to raise, but that tells you very little about the boy in front of you. DandyLion makes the valid point that girls and boys face different risks and challenges as they grow, (e.g. mental torture by "mean girls" vs physical bullying) but as others have pointed out there is a lot of overlap on those issues too. Generalizations aren't useful parenting tools - they lead you into the trap of thinking your child "should" be a certain way which just generates needless friction."

    Good grief! All those words to express a cliche! Are you related to AB? In any event you are a crashing bore, ergo you must be a parent on the OP Nastiness Meter.

    Posted by: Zzzzzzzzzzz | June 19, 2008 2:01 PM | Report abuse

    atb

    (I, too, could go on and on, but it's kind of painful to have to write that, since the people I know without kids are friends and loved ones who aren't at all hateful. I feel really sorry for all you people who can only be friends with people exactly like you.)


    It's painful to write because it's not the truth. AND you MISSED the satire in the original post, which was kind of the point about people with kids....

    Posted by: Mmm | June 19, 2008 2:05 PM | Report abuse

    Actually, I totally got the point, and put out ridiculous overexagerrations and found them painful. All it did was bring home, to me, the point that there are some seriously angry people out in the world. You seem to be one of them, since you clearly have an anti-parent issue. Take a look at what you wrote.

    "It's painful to write because it's not the truth. AND you MISSED the satire in the original post, which was kind of the point about people with kids....

    Posted by: Mmm | June 19, 2008 2:05 PM "

    Posted by: atb | June 19, 2008 2:09 PM | Report abuse

    ATB: There is no guarantee your kids will take care of you in your old age. They will choose your nursing home and use your money to pay for it. Most likely they'll move across the country so they won't have to be near you.

    Posted by: Anonymous | June 19, 2008 2:14 PM | Report abuse

    Girls!!! Smell something on fire upstairs. Yell, what's going on?? Boys: We are burning a frog in our room! Girls: (in chorus) Nothing!

    Posted by: got them both | June 19, 2008 2:15 PM | Report abuse

    to oh my-
    Yeah sometimes it does seem that female relationships are more complicated. I think the problem is that men know what to expect of one another, which is usually not too much, maybe a little company and a little help when asked for (help which they usually avoid asking for). If these low expectation go on long enough without anybody annoying each other the guys develop some loyalty and attachment to each other.
    I think women are less clear on what they expect from one another, and this is where the cattiness and confusion and disappointment begin. Are we supposed to shop, vote, believe, and dress the same way, act guilty for eating dessert or being ten pounds overweight (or not), be there at the drop of a hat or respect each others space, have the same views on childrearing and life balance, be critical in an effort to be helpful (or be always supportive). Society gives men a clear standard of how to behave, there are fewer unknowns about what is acceptable and what is unacceptable. For women, the standards are always debatable, and women who have different ideas about the rules can get on each others nerves. We get our feathers ruffled because we are insecure about the rules that we have come up with for ourselves. I think good female friendships are achievable, but you have to get over this insecurity and find other women who are self-assured enough to tolerate a little difference, and confident enough to admit that they really feel vulnerable not having good female friendships. You must start by doing this youself, and being the type of person that you would want to be friends with.

    Posted by: rumicat | June 19, 2008 2:19 PM | Report abuse

    2:14. Oh..my...God. It was a JOKE that even I recognized was unfair IN THE POST. Let me guess. You don't have kids because you're too stupid to figure out how.

    Posted by: atb | June 19, 2008 2:19 PM | Report abuse

    "Childfree people have to take up the slack at work when the breeders have to leave early or come in late because of the item listed above."

    So you refer to your parents as "breeders"? That tells us all we need to know about you. Please exit stage left to the white room, some nice men with big nets will be there to greet you.

    Posted by: nice and easy | June 19, 2008 2:20 PM | Report abuse

    "Childfree people get lonelier and more bitter as their friends have children, since they hate people who are mothers and fathers."

    Right. People with kids are never, never, ever lonely or bitter.

    Posted by: Anonymous | June 19, 2008 2:21 PM | Report abuse

    Posted by: rumicat | June 19, 2008 2:19 PM

    or boiled down: Women are nuts and even they know it

    Posted by: i get it | June 19, 2008 2:21 PM | Report abuse

    ATB: You have children because you are too stupid to prevent them.

    Posted by: Anonymous | June 19, 2008 2:22 PM | Report abuse

    "repeating an order even once is something that should be trained out."

    Liz, I bet somebody had a lot of fun training it out of you, right? :-)

    Posted by: Anonymous | June 19, 2008 2:28 PM | Report abuse

    ooooo. That smarts. Oh, wait, since that was a completely lame comeback and didn't require any smarts, it didn't.

    Seriously, did you not read the part where I said I didn't believe a word of that utter crap I wrote? I knew our education system was failing, but come on!

    Posted by: atb | June 19, 2008 2:28 PM | Report abuse

    "nice and easy

    "So you refer to your parents as "breeders"? That tells us all we need to know about you. "

    Ten "oops!" pregnancies in ten years makes my parents mindless breeders.

    Posted by: Stoppopping out babies | June 19, 2008 2:28 PM | Report abuse

    Oh Brother. Yesterday it was kids on planes, and now people are gearing up for a battle of parents against the childfree.

    Actually, they should do a gameshow on that. Kind of like American Gladiator. But include stuff like diaper changing, cooking, and other activities, which represent both types of lifestyles. See who wins. I think it would be hilarious.

    Posted by: Emily | June 19, 2008 2:33 PM | Report abuse

    I think someone is ready for their snack and a nice nap.

    Posted by: snack time or nap time | June 19, 2008 2:33 PM | Report abuse

    "Right. People with kids are never, never, ever lonely or bitter."

    I'll give you half of that. I'm bitter because I'm never lonely.

    Posted by: Emily | June 19, 2008 2:34 PM | Report abuse

    I learned from her that (most) people who choose not to have children are to be respected for their self-knowledge and good judgment.

    Posted by: Sue | June 19, 2008 1:58 PM

    ******
    Finally someone gets it.

    Oh, by the way, Liz D, thanks for the advice, but I was actually referring to my dogs, I was wondering if anyone would pick up on that. Your advice was still good though.

    Posted by: Anonymous | June 19, 2008 2:34 PM | Report abuse


    snack time or nap time

    "I think someone is ready for their snack and a nice nap."

    I want the BOOBIE!

    Posted by: Dull topic | June 19, 2008 2:35 PM | Report abuse

    Posted by: rumicat | June 19, 2008 2:19 PM

    or boiled down: Women are nuts and even they know it

    Posted by: i get it | June 19, 2008 2:21 PM

    You can put it that way if you want, in my experience most people are a little crazy in one way or another. And one of the reasons we have religion is to remind us to be tolerant of each others shortcomings and craziness. I keep working at that. Posting on internet blogs is actually a pretty good way to exercise that tolerance muscle. People are crazy and annoying and rude and hateful and they have reasons for being that way, whether you know those reasons or not; they are also wonderful and fascinating and kind and loving, and they have equally valid reasons for being that way.

    Posted by: rumicat | June 19, 2008 2:36 PM | Report abuse

    So it's materialistic and selfish because we don't want to be covered in vomit and baby poop? Because we have other ambitions besides giving up a career to feed and clothe ill-behaved rug rats? Because we'd rather fulfill our minds and our lives with something besides Nickalodean and Baby Einstein?

    I work with a woman who puts in maybe 2 hours of work a day while the rest do 14 to 16 hours a day. She thinks she's just as entitled to Firm benefits in spite her meager contributions but -- HEY -- she has kids! Ha!

    Posted by: Anonymous | June 19, 2008 2:43 PM | Report abuse

    Emily

    "Actually, they should do a gameshow on that. Kind of like American Gladiator. But include stuff like diaper changing, cooking, and other activities, which represent both types of lifestyles. See who wins. I think it would be hilarious."

    The winner is the one who wears the Flag Pin!

    Posted by: You kids keep off of my lawn! | June 19, 2008 2:44 PM | Report abuse

    "Yes, teenage girls need to be protected from the 22 year old pizza delivery guy that rents a downstairs apartment from his mother. A father doesn't have to worry about things like this with his son."

    I only have to worry about my one daughter getting pregnant. If I had a son, I would have to worry about the thousands of girls he could get pregnant!

    Posted by: Anonymous | June 19, 2008 2:47 PM | Report abuse

    "So it's materialistic and selfish because we don't want to be covered in vomit and baby poop?"

    Hey, don't knock it till you've tried it. Being covered in vomit and baby poop are the main reasons I became a parent. Third in line are the midnight feedings. So sad they have ended now. If you can find joy in such things, then everything else is a walk in the park.

    Posted by: Emily | June 19, 2008 2:52 PM | Report abuse

    Emily: "Actually, they should do a gameshow on that. Kind of like American Gladiator. But include stuff like diaper changing, cooking, and other activities, which represent both types of lifestyles. See who wins. I think it would be hilarious."

    BWAAHH! In yesterday's semifinal it would have been CHIP, the obnoxious cellphone-wielding business traveler, against BARB, the frazzled single mom traveling with screaming toddler. First one to stop the other from making noise wins, except you can't use physical violence in the effort.

    Today's semifinal features GLAM, the childless globe-trotting gourmet, against STOMP, child-rearing parent of 4. First one to cook a dinner for six, clean a house, coach a sports contest to be chosen at random, and finish a project for work moves on to the finals.

    Posted by: ArmyBrat | June 19, 2008 2:53 PM | Report abuse

    Excellent, ArmyBrat. Excellent!! I love it.

    Posted by: Emily | June 19, 2008 2:56 PM | Report abuse

    God, I hope my friends that are parents aren't really like most of you on this blog. Bitter and humorless. If this blog was the only experience with parents I ever got (other than my own of course) I would never want to become one because I wouldn't want to turn in to one of you.

    Posted by: Anonymous | June 19, 2008 2:57 PM | Report abuse

    2:28- LOL yes some have, although I do get called an "alleged submissive" in jest on occasion

    Posted by: Liz D | June 19, 2008 2:59 PM | Report abuse

    Yikes!!!

    Liz, for all your talk of submissiveness, you sure don't strike me as very submissive.

    Posted by: Emily | June 19, 2008 3:04 PM | Report abuse

    "the frazzled single mom "

    Oooh, another category in the OP Nastiness Meter!

    Posted by: list | June 19, 2008 3:13 PM | Report abuse

    Jamie Lynn Spears popped out a baby girl this morning. Cool!

    Despite what anybody says, I think kids are very entertaining!

    Posted by: DandyLion | June 19, 2008 3:20 PM | Report abuse

    "Jamie Lynn Spears popped out a baby girl this morning. Cool!

    What a Bozo.


    Posted by: Get a life | June 19, 2008 3:24 PM | Report abuse

    We have a little of everything

    The cool professional mom who makes big bucks, and has the three essential status symbols: An ivy leage degree, three kids, and a nanny.

    The cool professional single mom who can bring home the bacon, fry it up in a pan, and never never never lets you forget she doesn't need a man.

    The cool SAHM mom who does it all by setting the bar low.

    The average working moms who can prioritize, juggle, and shift gears to adjust to the many demands of work and family.

    The tough working mom with blue collar roots who will beat you up if you look cross-eyed at her kid.

    The nice childfree vegetarian tree hugger who likes kids but no for herself.

    The childfree and flatulent professional who has issues about her childhood and projects them into each and every experience she has.

    The blind father of 4 who manages to get his kids and wife to do all the work while he naps, drinks beer, and blogs about his challenges.

    Who did I miss?

    Posted by: Emily | June 19, 2008 3:30 PM | Report abuse

    Hey, Dandylion -- Where were you yesterday. I made a fool of myself thinking that you were posting under another name. Please tell me it wasn''t you.

    Posted by: Emily | June 19, 2008 3:33 PM | Report abuse

    Has anyone thought about taking this approach to child rearing?

    http://www.cesarmillaninc.com/

    Posted by: Woof-Woof | June 19, 2008 3:35 PM | Report abuse

    Emily- well first off I am a switch. I am oriented as both a submissive and a dominant in my personal relationships.

    Secondly, personality is not the same as orientation. Business owners can be submissives (and many are). Many dominants prefer submissives who are smart, capable, outgoing, and yes, dominant in personality. They prefer people they can delegate and not worry, people who will make their lives easier by serving under their authority.

    Choosing to be a submissive to someone in a personal relationship should never be confused with having a submissive personality or submitting to the world in general.

    Posted by: Liz D | June 19, 2008 3:36 PM | Report abuse

    Hold it now, Emily. AVERAGE working mom? Come now. She's just as cool as the SAHM and her bar is equally as low.

    Posted by: atb | June 19, 2008 3:38 PM | Report abuse

    Thank, you, Liz D., for the education. I learn something new every day.

    Posted by: Emily | June 19, 2008 3:39 PM | Report abuse

    atb - I did not mean that the average working mom was not cool. Sorry. Didn't mean to ruffle those particular feathers.

    Posted by: Emily | June 19, 2008 3:40 PM | Report abuse

    Has anyone thought about taking this approach to child rearing?

    http://www.cesarmillaninc.com/

    Not to child rearing, but I understand that dog training and husband training are very similar processes.

    Posted by: Emily | June 19, 2008 3:42 PM | Report abuse

    Ya, ya, we've all seen that South Park episode.

    Posted by: atb | June 19, 2008 3:44 PM | Report abuse

    No, Emily. It wasn't me.

    Posted by: DandyLion | June 19, 2008 3:56 PM | Report abuse

    "Choosing to be a submissive to someone in a personal relationship should never be confused with having a submissive personality or submitting to the world in general."

    Okay, but what do you do if you CHOOSE to be a submissive in your personal relationship, although you have a dominant personality, and then your partner does something that you just can't abide. Do you have to suck it up and obey? How can you do that, if your personality is dominant? I don't understand.

    Posted by: Emily | June 19, 2008 3:56 PM | Report abuse

    Thank goodness, Dandylion. For a minute there, I thought you had gone over to the evil side.

    Posted by: Emily | June 19, 2008 3:57 PM | Report abuse

    Someone has revealed my secret.

    I call it "using the dog-trainer voice" and when I do at home, you should see DH and the boys *move*! ;)

    Posted by: Sue | June 19, 2008 3:58 PM | Report abuse

    Okay, but what do you do if you CHOOSE to be a submissive in your personal relationship, although you have a dominant personality, and then your partner does something that you just can't abide. Do you have to suck it up and obey? How can you do that, if your personality is dominant? I don't understand.

    Posted by: Emily | June 19, 2008 3:56 PM

    Safe Word.

    If more explanation is needed, I'll leave it to LizD - she's the expert, and I'm only familiar with basics.

    Posted by: Sue | June 19, 2008 4:03 PM | Report abuse

    Great question Emily.

    In my dynamic, informed consent is paramount. So once you agree to submit to that persons authority you are essentially saying "I understand you, I understand your expectations for me, I understand your values and priorities and ethics and accept them and how they will be applied to me and will operate under your authority"

    Because again, my personality may be dominant (which in some ways it is, in some ways it isn't, like most people), but my orientation, my fulfillment in a relationship, comes from submitting. To deny that would be to deny who I am AND betray the foundations of the relationship we both agreed to.

    Now, in most relationships (certainly mine) it is expected for the sub to respectfully in proper time voice their opinions and dissent. Most smart and long lasting dominants will listen and take it into account.

    In fact, many subs will be in trouble if they CHOOSE to withhold information and opinions.

    But there still may be times when yes, ultimately sucking it up and just accepting it is what you do. And you do that because ultimately that is what fulfills you.

    If the person finds it does not ultimately fulfill them, then like any relationship it should end and everyone should be free to find what works for them.

    Posted by: Liz D | June 19, 2008 4:07 PM | Report abuse

    No, Sue, I didn't mean like that. I got the sense from Liz D that being submissive is a way of life. Not just something they do in bed. Or maybe I'm wrong. I can see it if it's limited to a couple's sex life. But what if partner is say, a slob, and expects you to clean up after him, and as a submissive, you have to obey, but as having a dominant personality, it bugs the heck out of you? How do you handle?

    Posted by: Emily | June 19, 2008 4:07 PM | Report abuse

    Thanks, Liz. It does kind of make more sense now. I would imagine you have to choose your partners VERY carefully as a submissive, as I can imagine that some dominants might use the structure to exploit the other person.

    Posted by: Emily | June 19, 2008 4:10 PM | Report abuse

    Thanks, Liz. It does kind of make more sense now. I would imagine you have to choose your partners VERY carefully as a submissive, as I can imagine that some dominants might use the structure to exploit the other person.

    Posted by: Emily | June 19, 2008 4:10 PM | Report abuse

    Sue- that's true, safewords can be called, but to use it outside of a "play" situation would be paramount to saying "I want a divorce"

    And many dom/sub relationships do not employ safewords, they just use straight communication "Leg cramp!" and "Can we please stop?"

    It's only in cases where you are role playing and stop won't mean stop that a code word might be really helpful.

    Posted by: Liz D | June 19, 2008 4:12 PM | Report abuse

    What in the world does your, um, sex play have to do with today's topic? Or with parenting at all for that matter. Take your smutty private life somewhere else, please.

    Posted by: TMI | June 19, 2008 4:14 PM | Report abuse

    Emily- yes, but I don't really notice any more than other types of relationship. We all get the person we choose. People who are dominants and submissives are just like everyone else, same range of ethics and personality traits. And trust me, subs can be just as manipulative and destructive in their own way (the "poor me" types can get a lot of attention).

    Posted by: Liz D | June 19, 2008 4:17 PM | Report abuse

    Yep, not my game, so I'm not well versed. Seems like communication is really the key, just like in anybody's relationship. Personal styles of communication can vary a whole lot, of course.

    Posted by: Sue | June 19, 2008 4:21 PM | Report abuse

    Be careful. The lizards are reading your chat.

    Posted by: Anonymous | June 19, 2008 4:28 PM | Report abuse

    Reading AND commenting!
    HaHaHaHa!

    Posted by: Lizard King | June 19, 2008 4:36 PM | Report abuse

    Who are the lizards?

    Posted by: ????? | June 19, 2008 4:36 PM | Report abuse

    They are the Celebritology chatters from Liz Kelly's blog.

    Posted by: Emily | June 19, 2008 4:40 PM | Report abuse

    And, apparently, you must be warned about them. Who KNOWS what they're capable of? I think this calls for panic.

    Posted by: atb | June 19, 2008 4:47 PM | Report abuse

    Thank you to the very first poster for stating what should be the obvious answer to this question. Once again we must waste time and energy reinforcing stereotypes while debating a sex-based question, to the detriment of our already sexist culture. Any given child will be more/less easy/difficult to raise based MOSTLY on their age, temperament, personality, and the temperament of the parent/s doing the work at the moment. The sex of the child is probably one of the least important factors to look at when assessing ease of raising.

    Posted by: HBrownWhyte | June 19, 2008 4:51 PM | Report abuse

    Posted by: HBrownWhyte | June 19, 2008 4:51 PM

    HB - Been there, done that. We've moved on already. Now we are on to dom/sub relationships and the invasion of the lizards.

    Posted by: Emily | June 19, 2008 4:56 PM | Report abuse

    "OTTAWA (AFP) - A Canadian court has lifted a 12-year-old girl's grounding, overturning her father's punishment for disobeying his orders to stay off the Internet, his lawyer said Wednesday.
    The girl had taken her father to Quebec Superior Court after he refused to allow her to go on a school trip for chatting on websites he tried to block, and then posting "inappropriate" pictures of herself online using a friend's computer.
    The father's lawyer Kim Beaudoin said the disciplinary measures were for the girl's "own protection" and is appealing the ruling."

    Here's a good preview of what happens when liberals are in charge.

    Posted by: say no to obama and his ilk | June 19, 2008 5:03 PM | Report abuse

    I love how we've been given the moniker MM, but the CF who say things just as nasty don't. I'm going to have to scour the library of pop culture to come up with something... No I won't. I'm too lazy.

    Posted by: atb | June 19, 2008 5:09 PM | Report abuse

    atb - have you been on some of the political blogs, like The fix. Now THOSE are scary. The good thing about being mean (or fat) is that there is always someone out there who is meaner (or fatter). :)

    Posted by: Emily | June 19, 2008 5:13 PM | Report abuse

    atb - I would just call the meany lizards the popular kids (since they remind me of the ones in high school, who loved to make fun of the other kids). PKs for short.

    Posted by: Emily | June 19, 2008 5:15 PM | Report abuse

    "Boys: We are burning a frog in our room!"

    Someone's raising the next Jeffery Dahmer...

    Posted by: Anonymous | June 19, 2008 5:19 PM | Report abuse

    I was gong to say that you all stink and your Mommies dress you funny.

    But you ARE the Mommies...well, most of you.

    Does that mean you have only yourselves to blame?

    Posted by: Little Johnny | June 19, 2008 5:27 PM | Report abuse

    OH, God -- here she is again. Give it a rest, Emily. We're tired of you hogging the blog, like that foamgrone chick. So what did you produce this time? Last we heard you had just announced you were knocked up and nobody really cared.

    So, we've got a debate going on between Emily, who packs her hemorrhoids with frozen spinach, Sue the witch, and LizD, the lesbian, discussing submissive behaviour. Then there's Fof4/DandyLion who always slips in a sexual innuendo into every post, the dirty old man. This blog has dropped to the lowest level ever, if that's at all possible.


    Posted by: Go Away, Emily | June 20, 2008 9:08 AM | Report abuse

    headline: Who's Harder to Raise?
    text: Is one gender easier to raise than the other?
    Answer: boys

    Is boys the answer to "harder" or "easier"?

    headline: Do you have an editor?
    text: Does the editor read your articles?
    Answer: Apparently not.

    Posted by: sscritic | June 20, 2008 12:39 PM | Report abuse

    I'm not a lesbian- I'm bisexual

    Posted by: Liz D | June 20, 2008 1:58 PM | Report abuse

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