Growing up, I remember always thinking my parents had a favorite kid. My youngest brother got away with everything while my older brother got to do anything he wanted. Annnnd my other brother and I were stuck in the middle fighting to get attention.
Now, if you ask them, they would tell you I was the one that never got in trouble and I always had my dad’s attention.
My point is, all 4 of us thought someone else was the favorite. All of us saw someone else getting special treatment. My younger brothers, to this day, think that my older brother and I had it better because we were out of the house when our parents divorced. But my older brother and I, to this day, believe they had it better because they got away with everything after our parents divorced.
What none of us realized is our parents did treat us differently. But not because they had a favorite kid. They treated us differently because we are all different people. And because we are different, we reacted to things differently. I’ll give you a for instance: When I was younger, I would cry if my parents raised their voice. And by cry, I mean I would think everyone hated me. A little dramatic. However, my brothers needed a little more than a raised voice.
My kids are getting to the ages of noticing they are treated differently. No, I don’t have a favorite kid. There may be days one ranks higher than another but no favorites. I’m learning I can’t treat them the same way. And for the same reason my parents couldn’t treat us the same.
My kids are all different people. Big C is my super sensitive kid. Yelling at him is like yelling at me when I was his age. It doesn’t do any good and makes the situation worse. Whereas Little C needs a little more oomph when in trouble because he likes pushing his boundaries. K always needs to feel safe and protected. And Big C has to understand that I will always come and get him, I will never forget him, or he gets scared that I’m never coming back.
All of these things make my kids who they are. And, as a parent, I have to be able to recognize their differences so I can give each of them what they need. And that’s the beauty of being a family…Learning and growing together. Not only so we can become better parents to our kids. But so that one day our kids can be amazing parents to kids of their own.