Double standards

double-standardFirst let me state that I have permission to write about this.  I never write something personal without asking.  Let me start out by explaining what we mean when we say Sue’s “on call.” Sue is “on call” once a week and every 6th weekend or so.  What that means is she has to stay overnight at the hospital. She has to be within so many minutes of the hospital in case there is an emergency surgery.  So on those days when nobody is at home, Trinity gets off the bus here.  It just didn’t make sense for her to go to daycare for a few minutes in the morning and a few minutes in the afternoon so I said let her come here instead.  It’s some of the best times for me.  We really talk about a lot of things that we wouldn’t ever talk about in front of other people.  I enjoy it immensely.

I’m going to take a stab in the dark and say this was about a month ago. Trinity got here and started talking to me about this boy who gave her a bracelet.  She was happy but a little scared at the same time. We were talking and I was going to get everything out of her.  I just have a knack that way.  I asked her how it happened and she tried to make light of it.  I asked her how he gave it to her and she said he just gave it to her.  I asked if he threw it at her or put it in her desk or locker with a note or handed it to her.  She said he said “here” and handed it to her.  I asked if she liked him and she said yes.  She told me that she was on his “girlfriend list.”  I asked if any other girls were on it and she said yes.  I asked her if her friends knew he gave it to her and she said yes again.  I asked what the other girls did and she said they went “eeeeewwww……and kind of squealed.”  I would assume you all know how girls of age 8 squeal.  

I asked her if she was going to tell her dad and she said “no grandma, you can.”  You have to know how Toby is when it comes to Trinity and boys.  Neither Trinity OR boys come in the same sentence.  He will give you “this look” and you just drop the conversation.  If you ever ask about boyfriends or if she likes this boy or that boy, Toby will just look at you like “shut your mouth!” Have you ever heard this song Rodney Atkins-Cleaning This Gun, it reminds me of this.

So the guys get home from work and we sit down to eat supper and I casually bring it up and start talking to Trinity about it.  I could see Toby turning color.  He didn’t say a word but boy, that look was there.  Oh ya, the look was definitely there all right.  So now he knew about the bracelet and that was it.  We didn’t really ever talk about it again but I have asked Trinity about it a few times since then and she keeps it in her backpack in a little pocket.

So, Sue goes for Christopher’s preschool conference one day last week.  Christopher is going to be 5 in July.  Everything is all fine and well and I’m not sure how it got brought up, Sue can tell us if she wants to but it turns out that Christopher has a “little friend” at school and it’s a “she.”  She is the daughter of a school friend of Toby and Sue’s.  It turns out they stick together like glue.  They play together and sit together and are quite close friends. Hhhmmm….what do you suppose Toby thinks of this??  It also has come to light that Christopher also has a little friend at daycare who is also a little girl and this little girl makes sure she looks good and her hair is combed and everything is perfect before he gets there in the morning.  What do you suppose Toby thinks of this?? He thinks he’s “quite the ladies man.” 

Now what makes father’s like this?  I know my dad was like this. He was very protective of me but with my brother it was “different” when it came to dating and girls compared to me and boys.  I had an uncle who was terrible to my girl cousin but her brother was “different” too.  I know Bailey has had little girlfriends too but Jason and Nikki don’t have a girl but I can see Jason being this way if he had a daughter and I’d like to know why.  What is it? I think it’s cute in one way but it is unfair in another way.  

What do you make of this?  Was it like this when you were younger?  Do you have girls and is this the way you are?  Come on dad’s and mom’s of girls, what’s your take on this?  Women, what were your dad’s like when it came to you dating versus a brother?

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17 Responses to Double standards

  1. My son and I had a little pow-wow a few weeks back. I think it’s scary either way as a parent. See, he’s got a habit of texting back-and-forth with two girls. As if that wasn’t bad enough, turns out they’re best friends. So I tell him it’s really only a matter of time before the switchman forgets to switch the tracks and the trains collide.

    I gave him an honest and forthright talk. He’ll be fifteen next month, so I think he gets the gist of it. The next step is the “Fear of God” level, when I have to up my game a bit ;^)

    • mssc54 says:

      J.W.: You son is 14 and you are waiting to step up your game a bit?! It’s easier to become less rigid than it is to be flexible and then recognise the need to implement more rigid standards. lol

      • tessa says:

        I agree! 14 years old is almost too late to have a talk. But you definitely should!! Make sure he knows and that you tell him how to be a good man to woman.

  2. mssc54 says:

    I’ve got FOUR DAUGHTERS and one son. The girls are 29, 25, 20 and 7 years old. My son is only five.

    I have always been strict with dating (boys sniffing around). Group dating (five or more) through age fifteen. Double dating through age sixteen. Single dating after age sixteen.

    My kids DO NOT get into a vehicle unless I have previously met the individual… sit down face to face meet. I tell the boys that I hold them personally responsible to get my daughter home in good health. Seriously. I even ask to see their drivers license and read their address out loud. Seriously.

    Like it or not girls’ and boys’ socialization IS different. When a girl is violated at the hands of a boy it can set off life long challenges.

    Now that is not to say that boys get a free pass. They should be taught (early on) that girls are not “objects” but rather young lqdies who should be treated with respect and to be protected from harm.

    Most five year olds (I think) don’t have the propensity to think along the lines of boy, girl romance. However, it’s still not too young to begin explaining to them that girls are “different” and they should be very polite to them.

    Some eight year old girls are already beginning to understand that the boy-girl thing is something more mature and they need to understand what bounderies are acceptable and which are not.

    There is a biological difference and therefore girls need to be protected more. However, in that same vein boys need to be taught that they are the protectors.

    That’s just my (correct) opinion. 😉 … since you asked.

  3. pammy wammy says:

    I believe when it comes to daughters,its a natural instinct for dads to be overprotective.My dad played that role right up till he died 2 1/2 years ago.I miss that even to this day.It gave me a sense of security.

  4. SKL says:

    I only have daughters, thank goodness. But I grew up in a family with 3 boys and 3 girls. And there was a definite double standard.

    My dad didn’t spend a lot of time explaining himself. Once I started giving him a hard time about my younger sister, and he said “you’re not a parent; when you are, we can discuss it.”

    I understand that girls are biologically different, but some of the restrictions I faced had nothing to do with that. They seemed to have to do with my dad thinking I wasn’t as streetwise as my brothers. (I kept up with my brothers pretty well, thank you.)

    I think my dad got his ideas subconsciously from growing up with his sisters, who were not nearly as independent as the girls in my generation (and me in particular). So some of this just needs to work itself out through the generations.

    Oh, and there are dads’ memories of how “they were” as teens, meaning opportunistic with regard to girls. They assume today’s boys will be the same way. Which is probably true. One wonders why dads of boys don’t make it a point to teach their sons different in deference to their (and others’) daughters, but I rarely see this happening. What I can never understand is how a teen boy can be protective of his teen sister and yet be opportunistic with other teen girls – don’t they make a connection at all? (On the other hand, growing up with teen brothers did make me a lot smarter about other boys.)

    Then too, the protective streak is somewhat in-born in males, and I’m not sure that’s a bad thing. It’s just that dads need to be aware of it and make sure they aren’t crossing the line into being unreasonable. And they really should spend at least as much time talking to their sons about respecting girls/women and not hurting them. Not because we are physically fragile vessels (though some of our bones do break more easily), but because let’s face it, maturing girls are fragile emotionally.

  5. megan says:

    Since my brother was never much of a ladies’ man, I didn’t have to worry about him chasing girls and getting no flak for it. But the double standard was definitely applied to other situations – for example, my brother was allowed to go to concerts alone, stay out later, and do other things I wanted to do LONG before I was allowed to… and he is two and a half years younger than me!!

  6. Sue says:

    When I got home the following day and heard about the bracelet, I just giggled! Trinity didn’t really want to tell me about it, but she did and Toby did have “that look”! There is a different standard with boys and I don’t know why or how it began, but it’s there. Toby did kind of laugh when he was telling me that one of the little girls at daycare likes Chris, but mention boys in the same sentence as Trin and all hell brakes loose. Part of it, I think, is that Chris is still young enough that it’s innocent and a little cute whereas Trinity is a 3rd grader so she’s starting to get it. And so are some of the boys! She has been invited to a few boys’ birthday parties, but she’s never been the only girl there. The next couple years are going to be quite trying for Toby I think!

    • DM says:

      Sue you said, “The next couple years are going to be quite trying for Toby I think!”

      Speaking as a dad of 3 daughters..28,27 and 22, and your daughter is 8…I’m betting it will be at least the nexyt 10 yrs for your hubby….I can relate to every emotion you observe on his face….not the time or place here to tell my story…but Joy you nailed it when you mentioned the Rodney Atkins song…

      • DM says:

        whoop, I just did the math 🙂 scratch 10 yrs….double that number (ie. 20 yrs )…hang on to your hat Toby, you’re in for the emotional roller coaster ride of your life 🙂 you’ll be fine..but it is quite a ride

  7. tessa says:

    Unfortunately, I did not have a dad around to say. I think it is so cute how Toby is, and that is a great daddy! Men are strong and protectors of the family, this is why dads are like this. Boys are suppose to be able to “take care of themselves”, so that is why they do not worry about their sons. I know Eric will be like this too. I am sure Trinity will/does feel very special, daddy’s girl, to have him protective like that. She will pick good men because of Toby’s protectiveness.

    Nice post and I think you write stories so clearly! Fun to read.

  8. tessa says:

    Brothers can be the same way as dads, my brother was always protective over me even though he was younger. He told me when my boyfriends were no good and he didn’t like it. He actually did not like Eric at all when we first dated!! LOL But they talk all the time now. Christopher will probably be protective when he is older! But nothing is like a dad being protective. 😉 Keep it up.

  9. Just a Mom says:

    Yes there is a double standard! I don’t know why but there is. Boys will be boys and girls better be nuns!

    I have two girls, 16 & 9, the older one has been allowed to date for the last year. I must meet all boys with whom she wants to date and if I approve then they can move to step 2 and come meet Dad. I will say I think my husband is a little easier on the boys than I am but maybe that is because he knows I have already put the fear of god in them! My youngest one has crushes on boys but she knows there is no dating until 16.

  10. Otto Mann says:

    kids will be kids, especially at the age of 8.

    In the teen years though . . . watch out!

    That’s why I hope when I have children I have boys. I won’t worry anywhere near as much as if it were a girl.

  11. nikki says:

    LOL..ask Jason how he feels about Emily having a boyfriend and the dating years??? He loves her like his own so….yea he doesn’t like the thought of it! Mainly because he was a boy, he is a man! He knows what they think, how the act and most of what their intentions are. Not all boys or men are like that but when you have a daughter that’s all you think about…”I know what’s he’s thinking” and he’s NOT doing that with MY daughter! Where as with boys….they’re just different to raise, you don’t have to worry about them so much. Bailey has had pretty much the same “girlfriend” for 3 years. I don’t know if her parents know or how they feel but it’s all innocent. When he gets older and at THAT age, I will worry some just because that’s what you do as parents….worry. Boys are hard wired to take care of themselves and to be strong, but I think girls can be too. It’s all on how you raise them. I don’t think you should shelter them though because you’re asking for trouble! True I only have one son but I have MANY nieces that I cringe at the fact of them having boyfriends or sex or kissing or ANYTHING!

  12. Gary says:

    All this makes me glad I have all boys. LOL I don’t really know why it’s this way but it really is. If I had girls, I KNOW it would be “different” for her.

  13. Tosha says:

    I’ve got 2 girls and 2 boys.. Its certainly different where their daddy is concerned. Cole had a “girlfriend” in kindergarten. The lil girl worshiped him..didnt bother dh.. But Dh came unglued about Jewel’s boyfriend last year..

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