Guidance report

Raising children in today’s modern world can be a difficult challenge for parents to manage. While learning from the generations before us affords us wise advice, nowadays more is often needed. Knowing what is known now about young people and useful approaches to parenting, specifically the differences in parenting boys and parenting girls, is important information to reflect on in finding the best ways to raise our tamariki.

Gender stereotypes will suggest that most boys are active, loud, and prone to rough play, while girls are more emotional, social and nurturing. The truth is these stereotypes should be questioned. As parents, it is important to acknowledge that some young people have a tendency to gender-specific behaviour but many will not. Be careful not to pigeonhole your son or daughter into sex-specific behaviours or gender roles. The main consideration should be what type of person your child is growing into. What are his or her strengths? How can I nurture these strengths so that they can reach their full potential? Ensuring that we do not limit them with socially constructed gender roles and instead enable our child’s natural skills and abilities to emerge, encourages them to be the best human they can be.

Mainstream masculinity and femininity have not been helpful for mental health. For instance, with girls starting puberty much earlier than in the past, young women are having to navigate the emotional and psychological changes that come with this much earlier, causing a marked increase in mental health conditions. Along with this, the negative effects of advertising, celebrity culture and pornography has done a lot of harm to young people, both male and female, in their journey from childhood to well-adjusted adulthood.


This can be a difficult time for parents to navigate too. In going through this time, it is vitally important for parents to encourage their children to be critical about and be challenged on what they think a typical male and female role is and what type of person they want to become. It is important for boys and girls to have a strong role model they can connect with and acknowledge who they are and be empowered by that. One of the most important determinants for a young person’s development is how secure they feel growing up. Ensuring your son or daughter’s opinions are heard and their views listened to, will go a long way towards making them feel loved and supported as they strive to establish their own identity.

In this edition of SchoolTV, we have two special reports. One on raising boys and the other on raising girls. Through this, we hope adult carers will gain a better understanding of some of the more complex issues relating to raising boys and girls. We hope you take the time to reflect on the information offered in this month’s edition, and, as always, we welcome your feedback.

If you do have any concerns about the wellbeing of your child, please contact the school’s counselling team for further information or seek medical or professional help.

To view the special report on raising boys, click here.

To view the special report on raising girls, click here.

Jay Smith

HOD Guidance