Guy Williams Discusses:  RAISING BOYS VERSUS GIRLS

Guy Williams is "Lost in Space" once a week, but professes to be lost in parenthood permanently. Guy and his wife have a son, Steve, thirteen, and a daughter, Toni, eight. Guy says, "When Toni was born, Steve was a well-launched five, so we were convinced we had developed into keen, knowledgeable parents, equipped to bring up a second child according to tested procedures. That was our first error. We learned in a hurry that having a child of one sex does not automatically equip parents, to understand and guide a child of the opposite sex."

Guy says, "No matter what people think, it isn't a man's world- if one means by that that a man has the easier life. It is impressed upon a boy at an early age that he must be financially responsible, because his is to be the job of protector. He must also master resourcefulness and diplomacy. He must learn early how to avoid the local bully without being called chicken".

"At about the time we had Steve's life planned, along came Toni. One of our early discoveries was that apparently no female baby needs to be taught to be a girl- she is one hundred per cent indoctrinated the moment she starts to flirt with her pediatrician. She is never required to make a transition from the home world to the school world. She's had it figured from the start."

Guy discovered early in Toni's training that nothing exasperated her so much as being told, "You can't- you're a girl." She was furious to be discriminated against because of her sex. The next time she wanted to play football, Guy changed his method. "Great idea, but wait until you're a little older," he advised. "Those boys aren't kidding when they tackle; you need a little more beef to compete; give yourself about two more years." Toni was satisfies and Guy knew that in two years his girl child would have turned her attention to less tooth-rattling activities.

Guy says, "If possible, parents should arrange a family so that there is an older brother for each sister. The youngsters will solve a multitude of problems for one another. For instance, Steve taught Toni to ride a bicycle. That took time and patience, but Toni finally mastered the technique. Then she had to learn to be watchful, because Steve tripped her if she relaxed her vigilance. That taught her to be cautious around the playful male, and did wonders for her concentration and sense of humor."

"In our household we try to remember that the first law of parenthood is flexibility, because no two children can be brought up alike; each youngster is a separate, unique individual. Such diversity is just one of the things that keeps parents on their toes."

Photoplay Magazine. 1967.