In honor of my 200th post I am going to re-post one of my favorite posts I have written in the past. I wrote this post in August, when I had just began blogging. Although it was a good post, I never thought it got the attention it needed.
The Same, But Different
It really and truly irks me when parents say they love their children the same. They may love their children equally but I think it does injustice to say they love them the same. All children are different and need to be loved in different ways. The love doesn't even have to be really equal, as long as the child gets what they need emotionally.
As for my children there is no way to love them the same. On the personality spectrum they could not be further apart. LaLa is a highly emotional and sensitive child, she needs constant attention and approval. KiKi could care less. She is independent and headstrong. The challenges of parenting these two personalities are complex.
My oldest LaLa is the sweetest little girl. She is very loving and she carries her heart on her sleeve. She is also very cautious, high strung, ADHD, and anxious. Sometimes I can look at her and see the energy flowing in her just waiting to burst out. It is like a dam holding back a swollen river. My job as a parent is to funnel that energy into something that is productive. If not, I have a kid bouncing from sofa to sofa, doing forward rolls all over the living room floor or pulling out ALL my DVDs and lining them up in a perfect line across the living room floor. I also have to watch my tone and wording with her. The slightest raise of my voice, even if I am not angry, can make her burst into tears. I have perfected the low authoritative voice because yelling does me not an ounce of good if it is counteracted by hysterics and a complete emotional meltdown on her part. She craves structure and I am the most unstructured person in the world. I have to force myself to plan ahead for her benefit. This complex individual is wrapped up in a beautiful willowy body, with her fathers dainty facial features. She is an exquisite child and I love her so much. She love me too. Sometimes when I am laying on the couch, she will just come up to me and wrap her arms around me and say "I love you, Momma!" and that means the world to me.
KiKi is a mirror of myself. I can't believe how similar our personalities are. Laid back is an understatement. Unlike LaLa, I "get" KiKi. I understand what she is thinking. I can read her without much effort. She is rambunctious, loud, fun loving, and stubborn. Oh Lord is she stubborn! Try to get this kid to do something she doesn't want to do. I dare you. I double dog dare you. My husband call her "the mean one", which in truth she probably is. She picks on LaLa because she has figured out she can. You can see a little glint of mischief in her eyes when she smiles. It is fabulous. She does have a strong sense of wrong and right even at age 2. Even when she does wrong, she understands when I make her apologize and put her in timeout. I rarely get much resistance from her when it comes to her punishment. She needs me, but not too much. She values her independence. She makes me want to be a kid all over again.
I love my kids differently but equally. I see their good and their bad. I see the trials that they are going to have in the future and it scares me equally. I fear that LaLa is going to be taken advantage of. I fear that KiKi is going to be emotionally hard like I am. The best I can do is to prepare them for the future and explain that it is o.k to be themselves. They do not have to fit the mold of the perfect child, they just have to be their own perfect.
I can’t believe you ever get time to lie down on the sofa.
Sounds like you're giving them the best opportunity to become "their own perfect". It's great that you embrace their differences and you're so right about loving them differently.
My son has (mild)ADHD and you got it in a nutshell with your description - but don't worry, you're giving LaLa the emotional security she needs to manage and cope when people take advantage of her. And you've obviously got KiKi worked out if she's like you.
I always wonder that too-parents loving their kids "the same". It doesn't make sense! Each kid is unique.
Oh, Happy 200th!
happy 200th!!! Where's the champagne???
Great post! Happy 200th!
Rambunctious is a great word, I will have to steal it.
My baby is only 6 months but can already see bits of her mum's character and bits of mine. Will be interesting to see the character develop!
Congratulations on your 200th post!
I just wanted to say I'm hearing you on many different things you have written, my boys are extremely different, would never fit the 'perfect' mould (I wonder if any child possibly could - he he!), and ADHD - oh yes.
I think you are quite right in managing each child differently :)
With ADHD especially it's the self esteem that is so easily and quickly crushed - and difficult to repair.
Happy 200th!!! Great post!
Happy 200th! I've only got one kid, so I don't understand it either!!
You summed up my feelings about raising and loving kids perfectly.
My mother denies that she loves my sister more than me and that's why I turned out so evil. HA!
Well said and WORD.
i think that's right - equally, but differently. well said.
Hmmm, never thought about it but it makes total sense Kat. Each child needs a different level of attention and guidance.
I think I remember this one from scouring your archives. Great post!
Congratulations on your 200th post! I'm glad you decided to re-post it! I love it:) I agree completely...you are loving an individual and each in their own beautiful way!
I remember this one. 200? Nice. "Just keep swimming, just keep swimming..."
Awesome re-post! I also have two totally different kids, one just like me and one the opposite and you are so right, you can't love them the same.
You have it all figured out and it's awesome.
I only have one kid, so I can't really comment.
this is one of my favorite posts so far!! and i wish i had a mom that's understanding like you!
have a happy 200th-post day!
First, happy 200th post!
Also, I agree with what you're saying. I love, unconditionally, both of my boys, but the way I have to approach them and respond to their needs in a loving manner is entirely different because they are both very different personalities. My youngest is fired by an independent streak, but he wants to be cuddled and hugged and in contact with me when he is hurt or overly-tired, etc. My oldest is a one-man show. He has always been one to pick up the pieces and do his own thing, brush things off. It's always interesting to observe these differences and be awed by it in the sense that it almost doesn't seem possible since they come from the same environment.
Happy 200 post. I love this post. It is so true. I love my kids but each one is special and loved in there own way.
Awesome post and I couldn't agree more- my kids are the same way. I love them the same but for totally different reasons. I love Gage's sense of humor and his laid back attitude just as much as I love Carter's sensitivity and good heart. Ryerson seems to be a combination of them both.
Your girls sound adorable and happy 200th!
Oh my! I totally remember this post! I do! I remember it because it totally resonated with me then and it does still today. I've learned it's okay to love your children differently because each of them needs different things.
Congrats on the 200 posts!
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