Women Are From The Classroom; Men Are From The Playground

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By Gary Smalley
May 29, 2003, 12:43

One of the simplest ways to note the differences between men and women is to watch them with their children. If you've ever left the children with Dad or watched your brother handle his children, you know what I'm talking about.

It isn't that men aren't loving and concerned; we are. Truly. It's just that the chemical differences in our brains mean we handle children in a fatherly, not motherly, fashion. Keep in mind that we're talking generalities here, but they are generalities that apply to the majority of guys.

A mom's day with the kids includes:

  • Nearly laid out clothes
  • Matching socks
  • Clean underwear
  • Clean hands and face
  • Structured, timed activities all within predetermined safety standards
  • Planned meals pulling foods from all major food groups, including carrots and broccoli
  • Specific bedtimes
  • Chores and predetermined rules about running in the house and jumping on furniture
  • A standard cleanup time that involves all children

A dad's day with the kids includes:

  • Mismatched clothes
  • Mismatched socks
  • Dirty clothes
  • Dirty hands and faces
  • Questionable, sometimes dangerous activities
  • Questionable food, including Twinkies, soda pop, and candy necklaces, moments before dinner
  • Loose bedtimes
  • Loose house rules
  • Few cleanup guidelines

Or, as Bill Cosby once said while imitating his children's reaction to a day alone with him, "Dad is great! Gives us that chocolate cake!"

Granted, the children love the idea of spending a day with Dad. The above activities make for a day filled with laughter and fond memories...and one that will require two days to follow-up once Mom's back in the picture. One man I counseled put it this way.

"When my wife's gone and I'm alone with the kids, I like to have fun and play hard. I never understand why she's upset when she gets home. The kids are safe; we've had a good time. What's the problem?"

The problem is, when analyzed through the eyes of a woman, the actions of a man can seem careless, potentially dangerous, or almost childish. Would it amaze you to know that th eman you love--this unique creation of God, whom you are trying to understand--might have a reason for the way he acts? Could there be a scientific basis for why he responds the way he does? Why he sayd the things he says? We'll get to that in just a minute. But first let's take a brief glimpse at the man's man hall of fame.

Scripps-Howard News Service, 1992--A Colorado man drove out of a gas station near Washington, Pennsylvania, and continued on through West Virginia and part of Ohio without realizing that his wife--the mother of their two children--was still back at the gas station in Pennsylvania. In Ohio, the man pulled over and--assuming everything was well in the back of the van--decided to take a nap. It was only ninety minutes later that he awoke and recognized the fact that his wife was no longer in the vehicle. At this point he turned around and began driving frantically back east on Route 70 getting as far as Wheeling, West Virginia, where he hit a deer. The crash damaged the van, so he hoofed it to a truck stop where a trucker helped reunite him with his wife. This happened on Mother's Day.

Okay, so you believe me already. You could write stories of your own about strange situations or odd behaviors exhibited by the man you love. The question is this: Why are men so different? And the answer is simple: testosterone.

Copyright 2003 Smalley Relationship Center


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