Sunday, January 9, 2011

Last week I shared a story of boy-thinking with you and asked for your help with stories of girl-thinking. My niece shared a great example of girl-thinking that gets at one of the differences.

Cindy has four children. The oldest three are boys and the youngest is a four-year old little girl. The children have a set of Lincoln Logs—those very durable, creative building sets that are handed down through the generations of children. When the older boys played with them, the goal, before the building was even finished, was all about crashing and destroying the towers and buildings. How one goes about destroying the creation seems as important as how one created it. I can imagine loud army and bulldozer noises accompanying the crashing part. Now when Jenna plays with Lincoln Logs, the goal is to save the creation, not just for an hour or two, but sometimes for weeks.

What is it about Jenna’s girl-thinking that wires her brain to use the same materials in a different way--saving rather than destroying. Cindy had an interesting observation about that. She said it seemed as if Jenna has an emotional attachment to her toys and playthings. Saving is important. The boys do not seem to have that attachment to what they have built. Their goal seems to be one of conquest.

Jenna likes to have the attention of her older brothers, however she often gets mad at them, “He’s not playing right!” she will complain. When visiting the play area at McDonalds she will choose to sit with her mother rather than play on the equipment when there are only little boys playing. She wants to play with girls.

To sum this up, we are who we are because of our genes. Male brains are different than female brains. In the early development of man, this difference is what helped societies form. There were those who hunted and defended and those who nurtured and saved. In today’s world, the different roles become blurred. Women work outside the home and hold jobs that require an aggressive stance. Men nurture and cook and stay home. However, when you look at the behavior of the youngest in our families, you often see remnants of our ancient past.

Have these stories triggered a memory of your own about boy or girl thinking? If they have, please call me so I can share your stories in this column. (715-532-3209)


Feed, feed, feed the birds

In the wintertime.

When the days are dark and cold

Food is hard to find

Feed, feed, feed the birds

Til the spring has come.

Scatter birdseed on the ground

Feeding birds is fun.

Pantomime Motions

tune: Row, Row Your Boat

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