Thursday, 27 October 2011

Four Sons Versus Four Daughters

It was rather weird that after I watched the documentary about women not being content with their families, that I’d go on the watch a documentary about parents that couldn’t be happier! Four Sons Versus Four Daughters was a documentary that followed two families as they swapped children for the weekend. The whole idea being, to find out if the gender of your children shapes the parents, the things they enjoy and their outlook on life.

The families both had four daughters or four sons and had never known life with children of the other sex. The journey they followed was really emotional and done in such a beautiful way. First we saw each families normal life, then they swapped and the mothers/fathers both started to get very emotional, and then the mothers went back to relive the births of all their children and consequently, the effect it had on their family. The mother of the four boys really loved being a mum of girls, it really released this girly figure from the tomboy she was before. She became very emotional about her childhood and the things she doesn’t do as a mother of four boys. In particular her love for horse riding. The family with four boys are very football orientated, but it’s revealed that one of their sons has never clicked with football and that he struggles to play to the standard the other three brothers and the father play too. At the end of the documentary it’s lovely to hear that the mother has started to do something for herself and that Samuel (the son who doesn’t like football) has decided he’d really love to go horse riding with his mum. Which is a really, really beautiful scene. It’s a similar story for the family, who have four girls, but here both parents are really affected by the prospect of having four boys, it seems to be much more of a journey for these parents. The mother of the female family finds it very hard to be left out of the loop pretty quickly. She starts to realise that she, to the boys, is literally just there for cleaning, cooking and the odd nag! The boys are quite happy to play amongst themselves, rather than all playtime being with the mother at the centre of attention. She seems to find it really difficult! The father, on the other hand, at first comes across as this big beastly, scary character, who doesn’t say or do much; he’s very clearly out of his comfort zone. But he seems to go on this journey of discovery, he starts to remember his childhood, the things he did as a boy and happens to find his inner self when he and the four sons go Go-Karting. From this point on he turns in to this huge father figure, again bonding with Samuel, teaching him to make a sling-shot.

I think the most beautiful part of the whole documentary is that, even though both families bond with the other children and ponder on what their life might have been, they both go back with the realisation that they wouldn’t have their life any other way. This was really refreshing after the first documentary I watched last night!

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