The following post was written by Sissy Goff and David Thomas for ParentLife Magazine.
“My favorite times of the day are lunch and P.E.”
“The hardest parts of my day are P.E. and lunch.”
If you had to guess, which gender would you say made each of these statements? Hands down, the majority of boys love lunch and P.E. And the majority of girls don’t.
There are a few basic reasons for this phenomenon…having to do with the emotional and physical differences in boys and girls.
5 things you need to know about a girl.
- She is relational. Much of life will be viewed through this lens and she needs help processing the complexity of this.
- She will be hard on herself. Research shows that boys, when they fail, are more likely to blame others, while girls are more likely to blame themselves.
- She is strong verbally. Use this to help her talk through her emotions and perceptions.
- She needs to be encouraged to have a voice. Girls can easily shrink back in public settings because of their fear of what others’ think. Help her find her confidence and voice.
- She will see herself through your eyes. Encourage her at every opportunity.
5 things you need to know about a boy.
- He is relational, too. But eye to eye can feel threatening to him. Sometimes our best conversations happen side by side (walking together) or while engaged in a task (shooting hoops, building Legos).
- He needs you to catch him being successful. He may spend much of his day being told “stop that, don’t, no,” or “quit fidgeting.” Catch him being helpful, focused, obedient, and kind.
- He is an experiential learner. Rather than lecturing him about fighting with a friend, simply name the behavior and tell him he will “give back” to him now by helping him with a chore.
- He is weak in the ability to regulate. Help him develop this muscle by waiting until you finish a conversation, standing in line patiently, etc.
- He will benefit from breaking things down. Have him do task work with a timer for 15 minutes and then take an active break and report back to you before being instructed on the next one.
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