If you are already the mother of a boy and think that your newborn girl is anything like him, you are in for the surprise of a lifetime. Little girls are a class apart from their brothers. Just listen to the stories moms of girls share with their friends and you will know this for a fact.
While most of their behavior is endearing and sweet, parents of little girls should be ready to face these 6 unexpected realities of raising a baby girl!
1. Development At An Earlier Age
Girls begin to optimize brain connections at a much earlier age than boys. Studies find that girls also tend to mature faster in areas of emotional and cognitive development when compared to boys (1). However, before we start making generalizations based on such claims, you may also find your son exhibiting more emotional and cognitive maturity than your little girl. Mothers should be prepared to deal with their little one’s responses by appreciating their smartness, and at the same time, setting their limits in a firm but gentle manner. This way they will grow up to be assertive and empowered.
It’s so much more fun shopping for girls! Firstly, there is a larger collection of clothes on display in the girl’s section of any shop. Secondly, clothes for girls get prettier and stylish with every passing year. While the boys’ section features limited pair of pants and shirts in a few colors and patterns, the girls’ section boasts of dresses, tights, skirts, leggings, tank tops, peasant tops—the list is endless! You’d be lying if you said you never wished your daughter’s clothes came in your size at least once.
3. Girls And Toys
When it comes to toys, girls seem to not be very different from boys. Although toy manufacturers market kitchen sets, dancing dolls, and beauty sets, girls may prefer playing doctor with a toy stethoscope or racing their toy cars with those of their siblings. Your little girl may enjoy playing with trucks and dinosaurs as much as she enjoys playing with Disney princesses.
Did you ever notice that girls begin to utter words, phrases, and sentences before boys do? When it comes to language, various research and studies show that girls might be better equipped with vocalizations and language than boys (2). The research points to the fact that the gene linked to human communication called FOXP2 is more abundant in girls when compared to boys. Though girls might pick up and learn new words and phrases much faster than boys, this difference in gender regarding speech and language might disappear as your kids grow older and are provided with the right learning environment and support.
Girls can be emotionally sensitive when compared to boys. Research shows that women react more negatively to unpleasant situations showcasing emotions such as fear, sadness, and disgust than men. It is interesting to note that different regions of the brain were used by both the genders to regulate reactions to unpleasant situations. It was also found that women tend to be more responsive to others’ emotions, including negative ones (3). Girls are sensitive to what is happening around them and respond to parent’s instructions quickly. This makes them appear to be calmer than boys. However, it might be too soon to make generalized statements as more studies need to be done focusing on the multivariate perspective of the emotional domain between both genders.
6. Society And Behavior
Whatever be the culture you are from, society expects different things from boys and girls. Parents become more protective of female children and expect them to behave well. Those outside the family may ignore the mischief boys do but comment negatively about a girl’s behavior.
The media projects an image of girls that is hard to conform to. Additionally, girls too feel the pressure that is put on women to look good. In the modern world, they are also expected to be creative, independent, confident, and mature.
The home of a girl child can be a little paradise. While researchers and social scientists constantly debate if a girl’s behavior is a pattern in nature or a product of nurture, parents regardless enjoy the unique experience of raising a girl child.