Do we always have to give the same to our children?

“I want the same,” , “You gave him more! “, ” Sure, it’s your favourite child “…

Here is a selection of sentences you’ve probably heard from your children. As if counting the number of peas on each plate makes them sure that the “other” has not more peas…  Or as if requiring the new sweater as their brother permitted our little ones to test our love as parents.

So what? Do we have to give exactly the same thing for each child so as they won’t be jealous? Or do we have not to yield and risk torrents of tsars ? Take it easy! Here are some tips to help your child do not feel compelled to constantly keep score with his brothers and sisters …

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First, keep in mind that “giving the same means giving less” (Faber and Mazlish, Brother and Sister without rivalries). The mother I was shuddered while reading this sentence for the first time. What do you mean? I was wrong? I, who shared absolutely everything into two equal parts (at the time, I had only two children) , to not cause any feelings of favoritism between my children ! … Nonsense 😉 !

Yet, a few days after reading this chapter that had puzzled me, I saw a family of 4 children (the elder kid was 14 years old and the little one was 6 years old). The big guy has engulfed two big sandwiches while the little girl had only a medium-sized sandwich. Why did the mother do that ? Because the eldest just not had the same needs as his young sister! Watching them, I realized that this example was clear : a child does not need to eat the same thing as a teenager … And this could be applied to many other situations, as explained Faber and Mazlish.

So, the point is to give according to individual needs. One of your children needs at a time of the year more attention and time for homework …. Don’t count how much time you spend with him to then spend the same time with his sister! Behaving like that, she will know that she can count on you since you have been able to be there when his brother needed it.

Crédit photo : Sweet Cabane
Crédit photo : Sweet Cabane

But do not forget to listen to your children’s feelings. Because for them, it can be difficult to see their mother spend more time with a brother or sister , or just see more pancakes on the plate of his big brother. Tell them that you understand that this is painful for them and tell them simply that you act according to each one’s needs!

A few weeks ago, I took my children to a store to buy new shoes to my daughter. My eldest son also wanted a new pair of shoes. He was very upset when I reminded him that he just had new ones and he did not need some more. I took the time to listen to his frustration and told him I heard that he was angry. However, his sister needed some shoes, not him. Did he want me to take a picture  of the shoes he wanted so much for the next time he would need a new pair ? … Then we keep the photo in  our  “desires” album which includes all items that my children want madly when doing the shopping! This album is a also a great source of ideas for birthday rifts 😉 !

Crédit photo : Sweet Cabane
Crédit photo : Sweet Cabane

Finally, behind these questions of giving and sharing,  often hides the question of who the parents love the most. When we are asked, we usually respond: “But see, I love you all the same! “. What does that mean “all the same”? Are there scales that mesure the love parents have for their children? Your child needs to feel loved for himself. Instead, you can say that you like each one in a unique way, that your relationship is special with each of them.

Of course, if in some occasions, you want to give the same thing to each of your children … Please do not hesitate! The important thing is that your children know that, for you,  each  of them is unique and has special needs!

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