Girls vs boys: Which toddler is easier to raise?

If you ask the parent of a toddler boy which sex child is easier to raise, they'll say little girls. Ask the opposite parent of a little girl and you'll get a reversed answer-boys are most certainly easier. It's a classic grass-is-greener situation. As the parent of two toddler boys who has dealt with many toddler girls, I don't think either sex is easier to raise, and this why.

The personality of a child is not determined by gender.

What makes a child a parental challenge has nothing to do with gender. If you're basing your parenting expectations on gender stereotypes you are in for one heck of a surprise. Little girls can be as rowdy and dirt loving as little boys. Little boys can be as mouthy and make-up invading as little girls. No child is going to be exactly like another and every child is going to come with individual problem areas regardless of sex. Toddlers in general are just a challenge.

The personality of the parent can affect perspective.

The fact is some parents are going to find certain personality traits in children more challenging than others. For example, a little boy who loves to play with dirt and bugs may be no biggy to one parent, and totally disgust another. Their perspective of what "good" and "bad" behavior is will also affect their opinion. I'd say the personality and perspective of the parent of a child is far more determinate on how difficult they view that child to raise than the child's gender.

Parenting style can affect any gender.

Outside of personality, the way in which a child is handled can make the difference between difficult and easy. Many parents that find their selves with out of control toddlers are actually just not using the proper disciplinary techniques for the child's personality for one reason or another. As a result, they end up dreaming fondly of the other gender child which surely would be so much easier to raise.

It's a great excuse.

Finally, sometimes when our kids are misbehaving it's easier to just say, "Oh, boys/girls are like that," than it is to admit we may have a disciplinary hole or a behavioral problem that needs addressed. Beyond the tendency to assume that others have it easier than ourselves, human nature is also to blame nature.

In the end, the truth is raising kids isn't easy, and what level of difficulty pairs with "not easy" depends on a wide range of factors, but gender isn't one of them, nor is parents warring over who has it harder helping anything.

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