Raising Madeline, Girls are Different than Boys

“Sugar and spice and everything nice…”

Children are AWESOME!

I will never forget the first moment I looked at our baby girl, she was ALL girl. Everything about her was different, she sounded different than her two older brothers, she looked different, and her cries were even more “boo-hoo” than “WAAAAAAHHH”. She would take her little baby arm and wipe her forehead with her chubby hand, as if intentionally imitate Scarlet O’Hara. She melted our hearts.

1. “Girls are emotional”

Stating that girls are emotional is probably pretty obvious. I, being raised an only child and never having been around babies growing up didn’t know exactly how different boys and girls were, until I had my daughter. When the boys would get reprimanded, they would immediately say “OK, yes, mam”. When Madeline would get reprimanded (which was hardly ever) she would act dramatic and cry out in GIANT sobs. I was interested to think… why is this? Why is there so much emotion involved in a little disciplinary action?

The boys would (speaking in terms of their toddler /preschool years) error often, and when “caught” or in “admitting” the error, they would take a stiff upper lip and immediately change behavior. Madeline however, would work double time to NOT error and in so doing, if she ever “made a mistake” it would be all we could do to get her to calm down so we could talk to her. In this, I have come to the understanding that women, as a whole, are extremely spiritual persons.

I have come to this conclusion by scripture, observation and the whole package of seeing a little person work so hard to do everything right, and then become so devastated when they do something wrong! It is almost as if women have been in a constant state of trying to repay the error of Eve so many years ago. However when Eve refused to take responsibility, todays girl, assumes all responsibility to the point of pure emotional exhaustion.

If you have a dramatic and emotional daughter, I would encourage you to instead of dealing with the offense only, look at all of the sequence of events leading up to the offense. Has she been working so diligently to be “perfect” that she has made one error out of many successes? When we discipline Madeline, talking to her and gaining her trust is the best way that I have found we can do it. I have found out that she (or any girl for that matter) will choose to lie in disappointment, in order to prevent from feeling like a “failure”. Disciplining a girl has to be sandwiched between lots of praise. Being emotional isn’t always negative. Emotionality when steered in the right way can become compassion.

2. “Girls are intuitive”

I find it really funny that whenever the boys are in trouble, or are about to get into trouble Madeline totally disappears! She knows that the boys are in trouble, and it hurts her too much to even witness that they are  being punished. I have seen how she can be observant to the point of saying, “If you do that you are going to get in trouble!”

I believe this intuition is a strength which helps girls who desire to please from doing things that could get them into trouble in the future. As parents of daughters, we need to all learn about how they operate. Intuitiveness is a strength, not meant to be used just to “avoid potential pit-falls” but instead intuition should be used to guide young ladies towards potential successes. When you look at a few of the most successful women in Biblical history; Sarah, Ruth, Esther, and even Mary – all were able to use their intuition to see “where things were going”.

3. “Girls come complete with a strong desire”

When a girl wants something… you better watch out! I have noticed that out of all of our children, when Madeline wants something she has this ability to say, “*SIGH*, Oh… how I WISH someday… maybe… I might be able to get that doll…..” Wow! Who can say “no” to that?! On the flip side, when she doesn’t want something, she will say “no, thanks”. I can remember walking through the toy store one day and looking at coloring books. I asked her if she wanted one, she said, “No, that’s ok. I don’t need one.” HA! The boys would have said “yes”, merely because of the suggestion!

4. “Children are creators”

Whether your child likes to build with bricks, design with fabric, color, or cook, children are creators. They have this imaginative design in them to be more like God than any staunch adult. Half the joy for me of being a parent is for me to provide them with all the tools (craft building supplies) and just let them go-to-town. (I think God is very much this SAME way) I have talked before about the 8′ x 12′ wall that I painted with chalkboard paint in the living room, it took them about an hour before it was all covered!

I believe the key to embracing and encouraging creativity is not to enforce our children to “stay with in the lines” or “build it like this”. I am convinced that as we encourage creativity in youth, our children will grow to think in new and exciting ways, in a world filled with the “ordinary”.

5. “Children are lovers.”

Regardless of what it is, I am sure you have seen your child’s desire to hug and be touched. I have seen my children hug animals, couches, pillows, dolls, people, and even lamp posts. Children are lovers, and are born with a need to be loved in return. Psalm 127 in the Message Version says,

Don’t you see that children are God’s best gift?
the fruit of the womb his generous legacy?
Like a warrior’s fistful of arrows
are the children of a vigorous youth.
Oh, how blessed are you parents,
with your quivers full of children!
Your enemies don’t stand a chance against you;
you’ll sweep them right off your doorstep.

If you have children, they are a blessing from God. As you grow in a family, your family will become a force. It is up to you as a parent to decide; will that force be a force of righteousness and legacy intent on living for the Lord, or will that force become divided and wither and die? I like to look at it as if we are an army, and we are marching forward toward righteousness and global impact. As a parent, it is up to me to recognize when we are marching “out of sync” and pray and find out whatever it that our army needs to do in order to encourage the restoration of harmony. We are in a battle, it is just not meant to be with each other!!!

God Bless you friends,


Momma Jessica

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