As parents of more than one child, what is the best way to make sure that we demonstrate equality and fairness to them? By fairness, I don’t mean in the “ohhh but it’s not fair!” kind of way, which my eldest son has recently started to say when I don’t allow him to do something. What I’m exploring is the idea of treating your children equally, and not seeming to favour one child more than the other in terms of attention, time, opportunities, as well as the material stuff, like toys, gadgets, and maybe even property when they’re adults.
I have become more acutely aware of this since having a second child. Obviously, when a baby comes home, he/she requires a lot of your time and attention, and trying to make sure that your older child doesn’t feel less loved and less important becomes a challenge for most parents or caregivers.
I grew up with two siblings and I do feel that there have been situations where, although my parents have loved us all equally, we haven’t been treated with the same amount of fairness. For example, one sibling might get away with saying or behaving in a certain way that I would not get away with, nor would want to get away with. I have started to wonder if this is because they felt a softness towards one over the others, or that perhaps they felt that one couldn’t handle the same response as the others, or perhaps they were actually scared of how that particular child would react. The jury is still out on this one. However, as the daughter who is the first to be approached for general help, like with technology (writing an email, printing a document, getting a new phone etc), and to cry over the way my sibling(s) have made them feel, and even to openly criticise me on my parenting choices - I can definitely see how my mother feels more comfortable to express herself with me, which I am thankful for, but this also makes me feel the weight of her sadness, frustration, and anger when she is unable to express herself freely to my other siblings. This, to me, is unfair.
Perhaps this is always the case with multiple children, that there will always be an unbalanced treatment of each child based on the parents’ perception of their characters. I am now a parent myself, and am trying not to do that. I don’t want my children to feel that they weren’t treated equally, this will be one of my missions in life. I do not think that anyone should feel entitled to anything as a son or daughter, other than a parent’s love, respect, and attention. Wish me luck for the road ahead.
Thanks for reading my post, @DramaMama x