THE BLOG
06/25/2014 06:22 pm ET Updated Aug 25, 2014

Are There Gender Rules for Children?

Sharon Dominick via Getty Images

There is a sort of unwritten code when raising children; a list of gender rules which we are all aware of that make us wonder (and sometimes worry) if they will be true for our kids. As a mother of three boys, will I be subject to a house full of bad smells and occasional grunt responses, or maybe, just maybe, will things be different?

Help me out. What is your experience? Here are some of these rules for you to think about.

  • Little boys love their mothers the most
  • Little girls are more independent
  • Boys are rowdy, dirty and loud
  • Girls scream and have tantrums
  • Boys don't like public affection
  • Girls are more thoughtful
  • Boys don't communicate
  • Girls are 'Daddy's girls'
  • Teenage boys are easier
  • Teenage girls are a nightmare
  • Grown boys leave home and rarely call
  • Grown girls are always in contact
  • A son is a son until he meets a wife
  • A daughters a daughter for the rest of her life
But here's the thing: I know of young girls who love both parents but are clearly closer to their mothers. I know of grown sons who, with their own families, remain closest to their parents. And, as a former teenage girl myself, I don't think I was too horrendous!

I know the response will be that these rules are generalizations and don't apply to all, so problem solved. But who made them up? And, do they really apply to the majority of children or, by repeatedly saying them, do we give them more validity in real terms? They may be dismissed as harmless comments, but to the father of all girls, I bet it grates just a bit to hear for the millionth time,"I pity you when they are teenagers!" Perhaps it would be better for all if we just let our individual children dictate their own course. They may surprise us!

My children are still young, so whether or not these rules will actually be true for them is yet to be seen. But, I do know that each of my boys has his own unique personality and is therefore unlikely to follow the same path, like the same things or act in the same way. Therefore, instead of worrying, I look forward to watching how each of them develops and inevitably how our relationship will evolve (not to say that I don't at times wish I could keep them as little ones forever!).

So, don't tell me that my son is destined to become distant, moody and rarely call me in my old age. OK, it might happen, but that will be down to my son's individual choices not because he is following a predetermined code. In truth, I hope that they all make good choices and remain thoughtful, caring and confident boys. If this means breaking the rules, they've got my blessing to go for it!

Post originally appeared on Luckymothersofboys