I am involved in raising my two grandchildren and worry equally about both. My grandson needs more and better role models. He definitely needs more input than my granddaughter, who, at eight years old, finds inspiration everywhere and appears to have a firm grasp on who she is and what interests her. My grandson jumps from one interest to another, never following one long enough to become proficient at it.
However, my grandson is the thinker, which may serve him well later but could hold him back as he over-thinks opportunities. My granddaughter goes with her gut and moves forward with confidence.
My grandson is often confused by people and situations. My granddaughter has an instinctual comprehension of motives and actions. She is less likely to be duped.
My grandson’s strength is his willingness to tackle a job, to pitch in and help even if the work is difficult or boring. My granddaughter will work hard at what what she likes and what interests her but is reluctant to help out for the sake of helping.
Both are sensitive but my grandson internalizes his feelings more than she does, often keeping worries to himself. He is more prone to being sad or anxious. He is very empathetic.
I worry the he will be rudderless and struggle to find his way. He is hypnotized by wealth and material success but I see his path being more spiritual and philosophical. Maybe he will figure that out with time if he doesn’t get too caught up in worldly pursuits.
I worry that my granddaughter, like nearly all females, will sell herself short, lose the momentum she has now, and settle for less. I see her working at a creative or intellectual career making way less income than her brother who could end up being a manual laborer if he doesn’t find his calling or becomes too disillusioned and depressed. Then, I can see her becoming discouraged and disillusioned because, as a woman, her work is discounted and unappreciated.
Girls may be winning the education race but they are held back in the workplace and in nearly all other areas of achievement. My granddaughter loves school and excels while my grandson dislikes school and struggles. Yet, she may very well end up with a college degree making less money than her brother working in construction.
Of course, I hope they both discover and nurture their talents. I hope they pursue whatever education will help them live productive and happy lives. I hope they find fulfillment personally and professionally. At their young ages, my granddaughter seems more likely to achieve that but, considering how society treats women as lesser than men, it is more likely that my grandson will have a higher level of success than she does. And she will have to work harder and accomplish more to come close to what he can attain financially with less effort.
Question is: who will be happier?