Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Girl talk, boy talk

If you have kids of different genders, you might have noticed that girls and boys communicate very differently. My communication patterns with Lesley-Anne and Andre have confirmed as such.

Girls are generally more intuitive communicators, they listen not just with their ears but also take in things like body language, tone, etc. But sometimes, it gets to the point where I can't just make any flippant remark to Lesley-Anne without thinking because it may get misconstrued. It seems like anything can be perceived as an accusation. Hai! For instance, our conversation might go something like this:

Me: "Have you done your homework?"
What she hears: "I hope you've done your homework."
What she says: "Not yet."

Me: "Remember to practise the sums your teacher gave you."
What she hears: "You don't practise enough."
What she says (indignantly): "I do!"

Me: "I'm not saying you don't! I'm just reminding you."
What she hears: "You always need reminding."
What she says (agitatedly): "I was going to do them later!"

Me (exasperated): "Ok fine!"
What she hears: "You're too sensitive."
What she says (muttering under her breath): "Always criticising me."

Boys are much more straightforward, they take everything at face value. The problem is getting them to hear anything in the first place. For example, this is a conversation I might have with Andre:

Me: "Have you done your homework?"
What he hears: "Have you ggggnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn."
What he says: "Mmm."

Me (louder): "Andre, have you done your homework?"
What he hears: White noise.
What he says: Nothing.

Me (pitch rapidly rising): "Andre, if you don't do your homework, you can't play Mouse Hunt!"
What he hears: "Blah blah blah blah blah blah play Mouse Hunt!"
What he says (suddenly perky): "What? Can I play Mouse Hunt?"

Me (in Wicked Witch screech): "GO DO YOUR HOMEWORK NOW!"
What he hears (finally): "GO DO YOUR HOMEWORK NOW!"
What he says (grumblng): "Ok, ok, don't have to shout at me lor."

So in short, one hears too much, one doesn't hear enough. I'm not sure which is preferable!


Lilian said...

Brian is a combination of both leh...Mousehunt most definitely makes his ears perk up. But he's also very curt if I ask him if he's doing his work. BRIAN, ARE YOU DOING YOUR WORK?? I AM!!! Other times it's...I KNOW!!! in the most exasperated voice.

I once read that at their age (puberty) they start to read into things, the whole world is against them, that kind of stuff. So while we say one thing, they hear something else (usually accusatory) altogether. I've definitely experienced that with Brian, but I'm hopeful that the worst is over. There's been a whole lot less of such 'drama' for some time now.

monlim said...

I agree it's not just gender, could be other things like personality. The teenage years are the worst - hyper sensitivity, angst, etc. Hopefully the worst is over for both of us!

But if you look at how grown men and women tend to communicate, you'll see the pattern for sure! A friend just told me her husband is a prime example of selective hearing, so they never grow out of it :P

Hsien said...

Good grief. Mine is only 7 and a boy but he is already acting like a teenager - backtalking, muttering, telling me to stop talking nonsense. @#!

monlim said...

Hsien: Look at it this way, if he gets it out of his system now, maybe he'll become a really mellow teenager! (We can always hope, right? :D)

Alcovelet said...

Hahaha!! *Rolling on floor!*

Hsien and Mon, I used to hope that all the back talking meant early puberty so that phase will be over earlier right?

Not a chance!!!! It means more practice so they'll only get better at it, groan.

monlim said...

Well, that goes that theory!!

Veronica_L said...

LOL Andre is so funny. Look at it in a positive light lah, you only have to deal with this one at a time....

Anonymous said...

Generally I agree with your observations and even when they grow up at work, some things just don't change. Maybe you will call me a sexist but anytime I prefer to manage a team of guys than ladies if I want to maintain my sanity daily. LOL. But of course the advantage of ladies is that they are more meticulous and will get the details right first time. :) So net is a balance mix of both is ideal and you are blessed with the ideal case. To me, bringing up girls certainly need more effort from me. For instance, it is easier to throw a boy a toy and keep him occupied for a while but with a girl, must chit chat when playing the toy... *roll eyes*


monlim said...

QX: I have a solution - give her a sibling! LOL!

Karmeleon said...

haha! I've got 1 teenager and 3 boys, so yeah, they ALL don't reply or rather it's all "white noise" to them when I ask them questions.

Anonymous said...

Mon, good thought but the gap will be too big to be of any use...hard for them to play together and more work for me! :)


Puzzled by Puzzles! said...

LOL! That's how my ds react to me too!

Brenda said...

You've just described my elder son and daughter to a T! >.<

But my younger hasn't developed those nuances... then again he's only 5! ;)

monlim said...

Brenda: Just you wait, it will come! *evil laughter* Happy CNY!

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