Whoever said that no two children are alike was NOT lying! Your children may have loads of similarities but somewhere you will find very distinct differences. Raising multiples is not easy. Doing it according to personality is like climbing Mount Everest….. It can be done but it’s hard.
How can you successfully raise children without your actions being looked upon like favoritism? It takes a lot of patience, understanding and communication.
Know your child
If you don’t have any patience, parenthood is not for you. It takes a lot of time and sometimes a lot of deep breathes to effectively guide a little person, better known as a child. Just as in any relationship, you have to know the person in order for it to work. As the child is growing and discovering, their traits and attributes will evolve. What one child needs, the other one may not. What one likes, fears or desires may differ from their sibling’s as well. One may require a lot of attention while the other is more independent. It’s a task, but you have to learn it.
To a child observing how you handled a situation with their sibling, depending on what you do, you may hurt their feelings. It may seem like you favor one over the other or that you defend one and not the other but because they are different personalities they have to be handled differently. Communicate this to the child in a manner that they understand. Reassure them that you love them equally and that their brother or sister’s lack of, say assertiveness, is the cause for you coming to their defense sometimes. You must make them feel comfortable by explaining that their qualities are not the same, and that each difference should be respected and not made fun of. Therefore, each situation for each child will be handled accordingly.
To a child that is stubborn, being subtle will not work. In the same way you cannot be stern with a sensitive child. Knowing who they are is key in discipline as well as in everyday interaction.
When your children understand that you love and respect them enough to consider their feelings in every situation, not only will they love you for this, it will aid in their development as a respectful, loving caring adult. What happens in childhood is a stamp on their life, and because they learned to respect their sibling, they will carry it throughout life and respect others. It will be like second nature to them. Their relationships will be better and they will raise their children just as effectively as you raised them.
Remember you are your child’s mentor. You’re not just raising them; you’re setting the stage for the next generation.
Written by: Joyanne Lawrence, Staff Writer, Modern Domestic