Grounded Again


“Go to your room and leave your phone downstairs,” yelled your mom to your brother after he gave her his report card for the previous grading period. “You are not going out with friends for the rest of the week,” your dad tells your sister after she tries to explain the missing assignment she has in Biology. It seems as though the list of consequences for misbehavior and rewards for good behavior are never-ending, but do the treatment of children vary depending on on gender?

In a June 2017 article published by Psychology Today, mothers tend to talk more with their daughters in an attempt to consciously prevent them from bad decisions, and on the other hand, parents tend to not talk to their sons step-by-step, and instead rely on a more ‘physical’ approach to discipline their child. Yearbook and photojournalism teacher, Kristi Canon, partially follows the trend, but likes to combine both methods when disciplining her eight-year-old son.

“Now when he misbehaves, it’s only happened twice in his life, he gets a spanking for his misbehavior. We have lots of conversations beforehand about why his behavior is bad, so when we do resort to spanking him, he knows that his misbehavior has gone on for too long and needs to stop,” said Canon.

Much like with disciplining her son, Canon uses both a verbal and a physical approach, if necessary, to instill good morals on her ten-year-old daughter.

“My daughter is more tender-hearted and understands feelings more, so the conversation is different with her. She has only had to have a spanking once in her life because the conversation usually stops the behavior then. She understands more how her behavior can impact others and how it can hurt other people,” Canon said.

The treatment of boys versus girls in a family also varies in terms of day to day activities. Sophomore, Carlwell Redmon, has an older brother who is a junior at Lake Ridge as well as a sister who is currently in middle school at Danny Jones. He believes his parents give him and his brother, over their sister, more of the laboring chores.

“I think my parents treat my sister differently from me and my brother. I think they treat us differently because they have me and my brother do more of the physical labor, such as taking out the trash, cleaning the house, feeding the dog, and mowing the yard, because they want to shelter her from the reality of the world,” said Redmon.

While the variety of treatment and duties can be easily observed between girls and boys in a household, it may not be a result of opposite genders. Chemistry teacher, Katrina Covington, has two children, one is seventh grade and another in tenth grade, and is married to football coach, Ruben Covington. She knows that she treats her children differently, but only because of their conflicting personalities.

“I totally believe we treat them differently but I think it is more about their personalities than the fact they are different genders. My daughter is a little more sensitive so when she gets in trouble we probably tread a little lighter. You can just tell her you are disappointed and it upsets her. Whereas my son, we need to be more direct,” Covington said.

Covington also admits that she treats her son and daughter differently because she is more worried about safety when it comes to her daughter simply because she isn’t as strong as her son.

“Also, little things like going for a walk around the neighborhood, I have always been more lenient with my son since he has always been really big for his age and he is a boy. My daughter I worry more about for safety reasons,” said Covington.

While there are some differences in the way parents approach discipline and responsibilities with their sons and daughters, the contrasting approach isn’t solely because of gender. It is most likely because of dissimilar personalities, such as a son having a more emotional and understanding personality versus a daughter having a more argumentative and stubborn personality.