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Differences between boys and girls

Evading it
Actually we have sort of evaded that question. When they come and ask us a question like why is this girl like that or why is this boy like that then we try to answer. The world is changing nowadays and it's difficult to explain to them why boys and girls are different because let's face it there are so many things that are different nowadays. It's not as simple and straightforward as differentiating girls and boys. There are boys who behave effeminately. So what do you do? When they come and ask us a question then we will deal with it. - Vivienne Ong, mother of a boy and girl aged nine and 15

Siblings help
That was easy since I have one boy and one girl, who are three years apart. They ran around unclothed with each other for quite some time. In all other ways we try to instil the idea that both sexes are equal and in fact my girl played mostly with boy stuff and kept away from dolls. As far as the birds and the bees, my son picked up the basics at the age of eight from a friend at school so all we had to do was confirm that what he had been told was generally correct and fortunately, it was. We have just tried to explain the details to my daughter of nine because she's started wondering about what menstruation is. Basically, I asked her to read a science book then explained the basics very quickly but she still claims she does not quite understand. I'll keep reinforcing the idea through the analogy with animals mating which she's more comfortable with. – Shantini Tharmanason, mother of a boy and a girl aged nine and 12, from Singapore

Emphasise similarities not differences
Well, the physical difference they can see when we bathe my son! And, they have learnt these things at school. I have not yet had a talk about the birds and the bees with them.

The non-physical difference (personality, character, ability etc) well, actually I have been very adamant that they all see themselves as equals - there is little difference, so I have not been telling them that there is a difference. We consciously steered away from stereotypes like girls playing with dolls and boys playing with planes. All my kids had the same types of toys (lego, cars, cooking toys, building blocks). Unfortunately, society does stereotype. So, when they went to childcare, my boy took to Thomas the Tank in a BIG way, and Bob the Builder. Girls were given things like colour pencils, colouring books and dolls.

I still do not focus on the differences, probably because I want my girls to know that they can do what boys can do (now and for the future). - Leong Lai-Peng, mother of two girls and one boy from three to 11 years old