Are you like me and parent your children differently?
While I was out this weekend at one of our many sporting commitments, I fell into a conversation with another mother about my youngest child. Being the youngest of 4, he can be very lazy and I find myself constantly either telling him off or justifying why he hasn’t picked up after himself. I am more lenient with my youngest child that is for sure. Do you parent your children differently?
Then I began to think about the way I parent all my children. Ashlea is very easy to parent (at this stage anyway) as she seems to understand what the needs of the family are. If I ask Ash to do something around the house, she gets up and does it, no complaining, no whinging, she always helps out (well most of the time). I have very little need to tell her off and when I do need to discipline her, I actually feel quite guilty.
Breanna (my second daughter) likes things her own way or she will let me know she is not happy. I am constantly telling her to hurry up on school mornings as she is very slow and gets easily distracted. She also has a fiery temper and this has a tendency to clash with other members of the family. I need to keep a close eye on her, gently guiding her in the right direction. I definitely parent my girls differently even though they are only a year apart in age.
Jackson (my eldest son) is at the age where he loves me and wants to be around me but is trying to pull away to become a man. This makes him behave in a way I don’t always agree with, causing an argument. He loves to push the boundaries, testing just how far he can go before I reel him back in. His favourite trick is to stir his siblings, pushing, pushing until he gets the reaction he was hoping for. Then he claims he did nothing wrong. Sometimes I believe him but all too often, I have to trust my gut feeling, knowing he loves getting a rise from his siblings and bring him back into line. I get angry the most with Jackson and this makes me feel like crap often but I believe he needs it at the moment.
As mentioned earlier my youngest Flynn seems to get away with a lot. He stays up later than other kids ever did at the same age. He leaves stuff everywhere and I probably only pick him up on it once in ten times (may be I’m just becoming a lazy parent). He eats more crap food than the others and I know I parent him differently to his brother. Well he is my baby. (shhh I didn’t really say that)
I have the same rules for all my children but I definitely enforce them differently. Sometimes this brings those guilty feelings back but all my children have different personalities and require different styles of parenting to help them learn and stay safe.
Do you parent your children differently? Is that the right way to go?