Boys vs. Girls: Is My Child's Behavior Normal?Apr 13, 2023
My 6-year-old daughter had two friends over after school one day. The play date lasted over two hours and was a total breeze. First, we had lunch; then the girls played dress-up, they cleaned up their toys, then we quickly loaded up the car to pick up my oldest from school. My 3-year-old had a play date with his grandfather, so only my 1-year-old was around with the girls. After hugs and cuteness toward him, the girls decided they wanted some alone time, so he and I went outside and did some gardening. We checked on the girls periodically, and they spent an hour playing alone nicely. That’s three 6-year-old girls.
Now we have plenty of play dates with three 6-year-old boys and, more recently, three 8-year-old boys. Do they go so smoothly? Very rarely. They usually involve completely dismantled beds, play becoming too rough, rocks thrown around the yard, etc. But as they say, “boys will be boys.”
Certain boys gravitate more toward the calm side (and if you’ve got one of those guys, lucky you!) just as certain girls are rowdier, but gender stereotypes are often accurate. So, when you’re hosting a play date, and the young boys are running wild, rest assured that’s the norm. It’s doubtful your child is overly aggressive. It’s unlikely they have ADHD. They're likely to grow up to be very normal men. This is part of the Checkpoints concept (see The 5 C's to Amazing Parenting) I cover in my courses to help parents understand developmental milestones and associated behavioral expectations for their children.
If you’re concerned your child’s behavior is outside the normal range, first compare their behavior to same-age, same-gender peers - at play dates, at the playground, etc. Next, consult a trusted friend with experience with young children and ask for their honest opinion. Finally, if your concern has not abated, consult your pediatrician, who has many personal observations from which to make a judgment. Most of the time, with a little objective data, you’ll find that your child’s behavior is in the normal range. In that case, try to enjoy the energy and provide redirection when needed to help them grow into respectable young men. And rest assured, in a few short years, you’ll be shocked to see how quickly those boys mature and become a pleasure to host.
Understanding gender differences in child development falls under the Choices & Checkpoints category in my 5 C’s parenting framework (see The 5 C’s to Amazing Parenting). To view more posts in this category, use the category search menu on the right of your screen. Keep up the good work on your amazing parenting journey!
P.S. If you like the idea of getting intentional about your parenting, you might be interested in learning more about my 5 C’s parenting framework and continuing your amazing parenting journey with my free Bootcamps. Find a Bootcamp specific to your child’s age and save your spot today.
Also, if you’re looking for some activity ideas to keep those little ones busy, check out our family’s treasures activity ideas on my Treasures - Activities page.