Gender Generalizations in Parenting

Little Girl and Boy

Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Managers quickly discover there are many differences in the way that the different genders handle problems, challenges, and disappointments in the workplace.

Past common wisdom attributed those differences mostly to hormones…or corporate culture…or just plain bias against one sex or another, depending on the organization you worked for. Continue reading

Equal Isn’t Always Fair

Six SiblingsThis sounds like gibberish doesn’t it? Of course equal would be fair.  After all, fair is fair, right?

Not always, and practically never with children; not unless you are talking about big money. If you are talking about inheritances, money for college, etc., then yes….be scrupulously equal in what you give each sibling. Even take that equality to a fault. But for everything else, another set of rules apply, depending on what each child needs at a given time.

Here’s an example: You have taken your infant and your toddler to the store with you and the toddler has been extremely well-behaved and asks for a treat; let’s say a frozen yogurt! You think, “Well, that would be a nice treat for us to share and a way to reward him for his great behavior,” so you say yes. Are you going to give your infant some too? Of course not. Wrong reward for the wrong age.

Have you been unequal? Yes.  Have you been unfair? No. You have been appropriate.

Allowances are a typical area of conversation for “fair” and “equal” to come up and you need to be prepared.  Should children of differing ages have the same amount of allowance? Of course not; a five-year old does not need the same amount of money as a ten-year old. A ten-year old does not need the same amount as a fifteen year old.  Continue reading

The Price We Pay as Women

I recently joined a story circle. I heard about them through my Facebook friendship with Susan Wittig Albert. (If you haven’t read her China Bayles mystery series, you are missing out!) I am not sure yet exactly how this will fit into my very busy life right now, but I have derived so many benefits from writing this blog and expressing myself, it seemed a logical thing to do.

China Doll

image courtesy of Trey Ratcliff- http://www.stuckincustoms.com

A recent story prompt they provided was a quote from Shirley Abbott. She said, “Everybody must learn this lesson somewhere—that it costs something to be what you are.” 

I believe this to be true, particularly for women. We pay a price to be what we choose to be. We have grown up assuming it is part of the “ovary package” we have been blessed with, and there is no changing the status quo. Whether we are focused, career women who give up the notion of having children in favor of success, or a women who give up the notion of having a successful career to be a full-time mother and wife…we pay a price for our choices unless we are one of the very lucky few who manage (or at least seem to manage) to have it all.

I read in the local paper today that women still make much less than men for the very same qualifications and job. Over time the gap becomes hideous, both in earnings and in the subsequent social security benefits women often depend on in old age. It made me so angry to think of my bright and talented daughters who will likely be handicapped in the same ways when they enter the work force. The article even calculated the price my daughters will pay in decreased wages and eventual retirement income for each child they decide to bring into the world. I find this situation appalling, and I hope you do, too.

Continue reading