As a parent have you fallen into the pattern of what you do for one child you do for the other? Do you try to ensure your children are treated equally when it comes to attention, time and things?
Perhaps it's time to look at treating your children fairly instead of
equally. Fair and equal are not the same thing. Treating children
equally means you treat them exactly the same. Treating children fairly
means you take into account the individual needs of each child.
For example, your youngest child needs a new pair of shoes. The sibling
says, "I didn't get a new pair of shoes. That's not fair!" It's
important for you as the parent to point out that their sibling outgrew
their shoes and needed a new pair so that was fair. Getting a new pair
of shoes, when they're not needed, simply because a sibling received a
new pair would be equal treatment not fair treatment and in our family
we believe in being fair.
Using a fair approach instead of an equal approach might be something
you are not currently doing or perhaps you are challenged with doing it
as consistently as you would like. Take a close look at why you treat
your children equally instead of fairly. Ask yourself some questions. Do
I not want to hurt my child's feelings? Does it bother me to see my
child disappointed? Am I afraid my children will think I love one of
them more than the other? What message am I sending to my children when I
treat them equally all of the time?
Are your children learning from you that they should expect equal
treatment regardless of the situation? Does that reflect how society
treats us? Life isn't always fair and it certainly doesn't always treat
us equally. That's an important lesson for parents to teach their
I encourage you to take small steps in changing the way you treat your
children. Strive to treat them fairly and not equally. If you're unable
to make this change on your own it might be time to enlist the help of a
parenting coach or a counselor.