Preparing for a daughter

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As many of you may know, I have a sixteen-month-old-son. When I first became pregnant I never thought whether I wanted a boy or a girl. I was simply thrilled to be having a child at all, and wanted only a happy, healthy child--the sex of the baby was inconsequential. Then, at one point I found out I would be having a son. I was an only child and a girl and knew not the first thing about having, and raising, a little boy. Now I'm on track with my second child, a little girl. I'm nervous and flustered and wondering just how different raising a child of the opposite sex will be. After all, I've had experience raising a baby, but he is all boy, all the time.

Is there such a difference in raising children of the opposite sex? Ask anyone, whether or not they're parents, and they'll have a pretty strong opinion about the world of boys vs girls. For example, when I found out I was having a girl, the pink clothing literally started pouring in. Everything is pink! When I was pregnant with my son I received clothes in all manner of colors, but not with my daughter. People also always comment that boys are much more rambunctious than girls in the beginning, but that girls are ever so much harder to deal with as teenagers--and that as the would-be mother of a teenage girl I have a lot of drama to look forward to.

The only real difference I've come across in my research is how you change a diaper. For girls you simply wipe in a different direction than with boys. Perhaps there's a little more clean-up involved as you're dealing with internal parts as opposed to external parts, but really that's the only difference I can discern. All of my friends who have two children, oddly enough, started out with a boy and then followed up with a girl. They all say that there is a real difference, even if it can't be defined in words, to raising a boy vs a girl.

Thoughts? Is there any real difference? Is it just society straining its concept of norms over us? Or is there more to raising girls than pink clothing that makes them intrinsically different than boys? After all, aren't little boys made of snails and puppy dog tails and such, while girls are made of sugar and spice?

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.