7 responses

  1. steph
    March 20, 2013

    Terrific subject, Christie. I was the firstborn of 6 girls, and though we are all very different, our mother somehow managed to let us know we were all loved. She never showed favoritism even though she had her favorites. And then I have a friend who, like you, has 2 kids. She’s older so this is from looking back. Her firstborn, a boy, was easy to raise never gave her a bit of trouble. The second was a girl and never gave her a moment’s rest. My friend told me that she parented her second exactly the same as the first figuring she had done something right, since he was so easy. She says that was her mistake. I won’t go into the long story and the girl is finding her way in the world. But the kids were so different she believes parenting is exceedingly difficult for that reason. You have to adapt to each child. That study you cite is interesting. It contradicts her experience. But she’s just one of many millions of parents. Fascinating topic!

    Reply

    • Christie
      March 22, 2013

      Wow! 6 girls! That makes my struggles with two boys seems so trivial 🙂 Thanks for sharing your thoughts. And yes, parenting is exceedingly difficult. I had no idea!

      Reply

  2. ThePursuitOfNormal
    March 20, 2013

    I truly believe that the most important thing siblings have to offer one another is experience with their first community. Every lesson that needs to be learned about how to interact with others, work together, share, communicate, love, laugh, etc, is first learned with a sibling. To that end, the most valuable lesson they learn in this context is that everything in life is not “fair and equal” and that does not mean favoritism.

    Recently my 9 year old told me (through tears after receiving a consequence for his attitude) that I liked his younger brother better. When I asked him what made him feel that way he told me, “You always take my iTouch away when I’m in trouble and you never take his.” So I asked him how often he saw his little brother play with his iTouch. He responded, “Only once or twice a month.” “Exactly,” I responded. I then went on to tell him that consequences were designed to hurt- that’s what helps deter us from repeating the wrong behavior. Taking his iTouch away is painful because it’s his favorite thing. Taking his brother’s iTouch would have little to no impact on him because it’s of little value to him. Their punishments are not the same, but they are appropriate for the person who made the error. It may not seem “equal or fair” but it is.
    So different love works the same way. Different needs, different love languages and different values require different reactions.
    Just my thoughts;)
    Vicky
    ThePursuitOfNormal recently posted…10 Reasons I’d like to be a Dad For a DayMy Profile

    Reply

    • Christie
      March 22, 2013

      All great thoughts, Vicky. Thanks for sharing them. I really like your explanation to your son about the reasons for the different punishments. It totally makes sense and I’m sure that your son was able to appreciate it more with the explanation. Thanks again for sharing your thoughts.

      Reply

  3. Mary @ A Teachable Mom
    March 29, 2013

    Wow, Christie! You’ve outdone yourself here! Our history with our children is soooo similar! I could have written this wonderful post (and wish I had) as this is an issue in our family. We’re only now noticing some of the repercussions of treating one child (a little?) differently and the intense feelings our daughters share. I’m grateful for your treatment of this issue and the helpful information you provided. Hugs to you!
    Mary recently posted…Never Underestimate the Power of BaconMy Profile

    Reply

    • Christie
      April 1, 2013

      Thanks, Mary. Hugs to you too. When are we getting together for that coffee?

      Reply

  4. Susanne
    March 17, 2020

    Thank you. I have an almost 43 year old daughter…first born…who still feels we love her little brother who is 41 much better. She has always had a chip on her shoulder and is insecure in many ways and an overachiever…suma cum laude from Salem College. I have been praying and searching my heart and mind about this and today I found this on Google. Your article brought rears to my eyes…have been feeling so bad about this. Thank you….thank you.

    Reply

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