What do you do when you have a child who feels outshined in the family? How do you make things EVEN for all your children. Is this even humanly possible?
It has started to happen in our home…you know, the complaint that goes like this “you did this for ‘child X’ but what about me?”
We have nine children so I anticipate that this will be a recurring theme that will be said about their life well into their adulthood, maybe forever. I better get used to being blamed for their sadness. Better yet, I should start a savings fund for their therapy bills because I’m sure I will be the one to blame.
<do you see how beautiful and bright the bunch of tulips are here in the front? That bunch in the back are nice too, just not getting as much sunshine right now. How unfair, right?>
Now let me be honest for a minute, I myself had this complaint as a child. I didn’t ask for much but that’s probably because my older brother asked for everything! I didn’t want to be a burden. At times I would get so angry about all the things HE got and wondered what would happen if I acted out or whined. Would I start to get the $100 shoes just like him?
How do we as parents stop this from happening? Hand out equal rations and uniforms for each child? One hug a day? I mean how do you make it even??
In my 19 years as a mother I’ve learned that some children require more money spent on them (extra curricular activities, etc), others require more time. Some children are harder on clothes, others aren’t and they accept hand me downs. Some children get emotional if they don’t get enough cuddles and others are fine.
As parents we do what we can to meet the needs of each child both emotionally and physically. I’ve done this when I had three kids and now with our blended family of nine children, I’ve continued. Each day is all about making sure everyone has what they NEED and we assess the wants. I don’t give each child the same amount of everything because they are all different.
I spoke to a friend about this topic recently (and about my frustration) and she gave me a great object lesson to share with my children. She said to sit all the children down and pass them each a diaper. By the way: the oldest child in our home is 17 down to age one. Give them each a diaper? Why, you may ask? Because that’s what the youngest child needs. She said to explain to the children that they are all different, have different needs, at different times, and it will never be even. Do they all need diapers? No, but the baby does right now. We don’t all get diapers because he gets them. At one time in our life we got them but now we don’t. So that means we also don’t all get the same amount of “stuff” or privileges at the same time. Everything is based on the needs.
<unless you really want a diaper? I tried offering to the boys but they wouldn’t accept the diaper? I TRIED to make things even!!>
Great advice isn’t it? I have amazing friends.
So, the next time one of your children are complaining about how life is unfair, and not “even”, just hand them a diaper and a copy of this post.
As parents we love our children, are doing the best job we can do for them, and can only hope that when they grow up and have a family of their own THEY WILL UNDERSTAND!