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To think adding 'for a boy' negates the compliment.

(21 Posts)
Idbeloveandsweetness Tue 28-May-13 19:10:15

Took ds (nearly 4) out today to a local museum and he was chatting away to one of the members of staff. He was talking about the school room and how it was different to his preschool classroom.
The lady turned to me and asked how old ds was. Then she said 'oh I thought he was older, (ds is very very tall) he's very articulate and bright. For a boy.'

How I loathe this phrase. It suggests to me that they're basically saying 'you're ds is chatty but he's still not as bright or articulate as a girl.'

Annoying. And rude. And it's not the first time I've had similar said to me.

Tailtwister Tue 28-May-13 19:14:37

It is rude. I do think people generally expect boys to be a bit behind girls of the same age though. I guess your DS bucks the trend! DS1 is the same and is extremely articulate, far more so than his female peers.

I always get comments about how well behaved my 2 are 'for boys', how well they sit in restaurants 'for boys', etc etc. I just take it as a compliment now.

Leviticus Tue 28-May-13 19:14:53

Aren't girls a bit further ahead in their development than boys though? I wouldn't have taken offence and I only have boys.

neontetra Tue 28-May-13 19:17:28

It is, indeed, silly and offensive.

Idbeloveandsweetness Tue 28-May-13 19:17:32

I guess it's because it's been said before. When he was very little (a couple of months) someone in the supermarket said ''he's very alert. For a boy. Not as alert as a girl of course.'
Fuck off random strangers!
The lady today wasn't rude but I do wish she'd stopped before adding 'for a boy' on the end of her sentence!

I'd never dream of saying to someone 'your daughter can climb / run / is good at science. For a girl.' And it's the same thing really.

noxius Tue 28-May-13 19:17:42

It's a bit of an ill-judged comment, though perhaps no offence was intended.

Idbeloveandsweetness Tue 28-May-13 19:18:43

I am a bit defensive of boys since having one I guess...

xylem8 Tue 28-May-13 19:18:56

Girls tend to be better at talking than boys and boys better in their physial development than girls.

VivaLeBeaver Tue 28-May-13 19:26:44

Isn't there some research saying that girls develop faster than boys? Maybe that's what she meant.

LemonPeculiarJones Tue 28-May-13 19:32:13

YANBU. How needless.

Maybe you should say, "Scratch the last three words and I'll accept the compliment!" with a big fierce smile grin

Dahlen Tue 28-May-13 19:36:07

Most of the research suggests that girls tend to have better social skills than boys simply because the expectation is there. Bad behaviour is often dismissed for boys with "boys will be boys" and rambunctiousness is positively encouraged, whereas for girls even the toys encourage a more stately 'ladylike' behaviour with a greater emphasis on sitting down entertainment.

As a mother of one of each, I am rather sensitive to this (especially as both mine rather buck the stereotyping). Sexual stereotyping does no one any favours, and can be quite cruel to boys.

GotAnyGrapes Tue 28-May-13 19:37:32

Xylem, I have 4 children and that's just bollocks!

JamieandtheMagicTorch Tue 28-May-13 19:45:10

Oh yes

It's not my experience that boys are less articulate, speak later and read less well.

They can bog off with their generalisations

JamieandtheMagicTorch Tue 28-May-13 19:45:35

I have 2 boys. Although one is a girl, statistically speaking

RedPencils Tue 28-May-13 19:48:40

I'd be pissed off about that, I hate that sort of casual sexism. Imagine if someone said 'she's quite sporty, for a girl'

MrsMelons Tue 28-May-13 19:57:15

I have no idea where the 'girls tend to be ahead in development than boys'. Both my boys are infant school age and there really no evidence to suggest this is the case.

DS1 is in Y2 and I know that in the top learning groups there are 7 boys and 1 girls for numeracy and 6 boys and 2 girls for literacy so I can't see how it translates into RL.

Both my DSs were potty trained by age 2 and could hold full conversations by then. DS1 was an early reader/writer also )the only other child at his preschool who could also read was a boy) I have heard the same comments and it does wind me up (obviously regardless of their gender I am of course biased as they are my children and would be the same if they were girls ).

DS1 also gets told he has neat writing for a boy - NO he just has neat writing but then I am still told I have neat writing for a left hander.

I sometimes think people have no idea what they are saying or that they don't lke giving proper compliments. I am guessing nothing offensive was meant but I understand why it grates.

HorryIsUpduffed Tue 28-May-13 20:22:11

I would hear that as "particularly for a boy", ie a double compliment.

I take the point though that children tend to live up and down to expectations.

arethereanyleftatall Tue 28-May-13 20:57:29

The problem is, as a sweeping generalisation, girls do develop quicker than boys. I probably know about 100 children and 90% of the time, the girls are quicker than the boys.
So, I would try to take it as a double compliment, for a 4 year old he's articulate, and, given he's a boy, its even better.
I do agree though, there would be anarchy if you said to an 18 year girl, you re good at maths for a girl...

Bunnyjo Tue 28-May-13 22:01:21

I shit you not, but I took DS, now 2yo, for his 8-12mth HV check and it wasn't our usual HV. She started cooing over him and exclaiming 'Oh what a beautiful girl you are. Aren't you just the prettiest girl?' Then when I informed her that she was in fact a HE (she had his paperwork in front of her and he was dressed head to toe in blue) she then said 'Well, it's just all the beautiful babies are girls. He is far too gorgeous to be a boy!' shock angry confused sad

As a mum of a girl and a boy I cannot stand these gender stereotypes.

loofet Tue 28-May-13 22:32:38

Argh yes! My DS has long hair so often gets mistaken for a girl. When I correct people they usually say 'oh that's a surprise, he's so well behaved for a boy!' ... I hate sweeping statements like that. A lot of people expect boys to be naughty and hard work. My DD's are 1000000x harder than he ever is. He just sits quietly most of the time playing, they're the ones trashing the place and fighting grin.

I remember when I told people I was having a boy it was always met with 'oh you're going to have your hands full, boys are hard work!' hmm

loofet Tue 28-May-13 22:34:15

Yeah and DS also gets the 'You're too pretty/bonny to be a boy'.. So are boys supposed to be ugly then? hmm

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