By Elizabeth Bourgeret
Children are not all the same. Ok, sure, that sounded a little harsh at first, but think about it! How many parents comment:
"My kids are complete opposites!"
"Of my two daughters, one is a princess and the other is a tom-boy!"
"If only I could cook one thing for the whole family!"
And that is delightfully and happily how it is supposed to be! You do not have to treat each child the same. There cannot be the rule that "all children will be created equally!" That's impossible!! Each child has their different needs, learning styles, cravings, discipline issues... In our busy lives as Momma's we have to make decisions on the fly. From moment to moment. And we have to trust that in the long run, everything is going to even out on its own. Our children want to be treated as individuals not the same as every one else.
Your children have a keen sense of what they feel is "fair" in doling out treats, rewards, and punishments! Don't get caught up in their courtroom! You'll go crazy trying to keep the scales even! And I'm pretty sure that it is an impossible task!
A friend of mine who takes in foster children had a teenage girl. And every time my friend had to get something for one of the other children, she thought she should get it too. One got a haircut, she wanted a haircut. One got new shoes, she wanted new shoes. One got a sucker from the bank, SHE wanted one too! It became so overwhelming for my friend, that I was brought in to talk with the teen. We had to work out as a family that sometimes other kids will need things before she would. And the same goes for her. That she might need a new dress while the rest were doing just fine on their dress inventory. She was so afraid of missing out or not getting what everyone else was that she demanded everything!! Eventually, she realized that she was loved just as much as the other kids and that if she took a step back, she was not being fair with her foster siblings.
Life isn't fair. Sometimes one child's shoes will wear out before a siblings. It's just how things go. And if the toddler got to go to the library with Momma for the afternoon without the older sibs, that's okay. Everyone will get some Momma time (or library time!) eventually!
Keep in mind, in the end, it is our job to prepare them to leave the nest and be ready to live out in the real world... which we all know... (say it with me) is not fair. Life is not fair and we, as adults have to learn to deal with that. And, as preparation, we have to teach our off-spring that. In smaller doses, of course.
So, Mommas. Don't stress yourself out trying to keep everything fair and equal. You love all your children. Every one is your favorite.