Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Girls Are Naturally Better Problem Solvers. Or Not. Discuss

I had an opportunity to speak in front of a sixth grade class in one of the local middle schools, today. The topic I was asked to speak on was leadership, specifically, what makes a good leader. Part of the lecture involved discussions about goal setting, facing challenges, and perseverance. When I asked each kid to tell me what goal they had for themselves; I was interested to hear that a large percent of the boys want to play in the NFL, while the majority of girls want to get good grades and to go to college.

I was further interested to learn that the boys didn't see a lot of challenges in reaching their goal, while the girls were quick to list the circumstances that might keep them from theirs. In addition, the girls were able to suggest ways of meeting the challenges and to then set smaller, mini-goals around the possible challenges.

The boys, on the other hand, just wanted to play some football.

It was intriguing, and, while it was too small of a sample to draw any real conclusion from; it was still a notable phenomenon.

On a topic somewhat related, The Teenager just spent the better part of an hour crying over her inability to find her favorite pair of jeans, despite a frantic and thorough search of her bedroom. The longer her search went on, and, the more fruitless it became; the harder she cried and the deeper she spiraled into despair.

So.

That pretty much blows any theory I might have been developing about girls being the superior problem solvers. Especially considering the Man-Cub's reaction to his sister's meltdown: while Hugh and I allowed the waterworks to get to us, the Cub went outside.

To play football.

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