It’s a question that gets asked time and time again – are boys and girls just different, or do we raise them differently? Is it nature, or nurture? Only having girls, it’s a hard question for me to answer, so I enjoy spending time with friends who have sons, so I can compare notes…
Last week we went with my friend Vicky and her son Ashley to Dunster Castle. Living in Somerset, we really are spoilt for scenery and Places of Interest. Great if you’re retired or are keen on historic buildings, not so keen if you’re fifteen and like screamo.
Drive less than an hour in any direction and you can be in the city, on the beach, on top of a hill or, in this case, in a castle.
“I like snow-covered mountains,” says Bee, watching me type over my shoulder. “We don’t have any of those do we?”
Well no. We don’t.
Visiting the Dunster Castle with two primary aged kids, one male and one female, highlighted beautifully the innate differences between girls and boys. I consider Belle to be a particularly energetic and strong-willed girl, and Ashley is a very sweet and sensitive boy, but even so, the differences were obvious.
Take our tour of the house for instance. We were given a kids quiz to do as we walked around, but Ashley just wasn’t interested. “Look for a large gong to the left of the fireplace,” read out Belle as we entered the large hall, “what do you think it was used for?”
“Cool! A staircase!” cried Ashley, weaving his way precariously between the legs of several groups of elderly women, oblivious to the gong or the fireplace.
It made me think about the post I wrote recently on men being cheaters. Watching Ashley and Belle exploring the castle in their very different ways, I wondered if it is simply the case that men and boys are ‘do-ers’ – acting first, thinking later? Can we excuse men their behaviour purely on the grounds of genetics, or should they over time learn to control the urge to run towards the most interesting looking staircase/woman in the room, regardless of who they might hurt on the way?
Is it nature, or nurture?…